Series:

Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw

Abstract

Chapter five examines the role of faith missionaries in southeastern Australia in the period after World War I. At this time, Aboriginal people began to organize into new political organisations to advocate for greater political and civil rights. We examine the responses of the faith missions to this development, as well as the way some white women associated with faith missions in the southeastern states of New South Wales and Victoria became involved in Aboriginal efforts to resist or challenge the policies and practices enacted under the discourse of protection. We also examine broader elements of the relationship between Aboriginal activism and Aboriginal involvement in the faith missions.

Series:

Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw

Series:

Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw

Series:

Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw

Abstract

Our first chapter describes how attitudes to missionary women developed in early colonial contexts in Australia, prior to the development of comprehensive policies or legislation regarding Aboriginal people. We examine four institutions that arose out of collaborations between the colonial state and humanitarians who sought to ‘civilise and Christianise’ Aboriginal adults and children in the early years of the colonies of New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. We consider the establishment and failure of the Parramatta Native Institution on Dharug country in New South Wales (1814-1828); the Port Phillip Protectorate on Kulin country in what later became the colony of Victoria (1839-1848); the work of the Evangelical Lutheran Missionary Society on Kaurna country in South Australia (1838-1845); and the Albany Native Institution on Noongar country in Western Australia (1852-1870). White women, it emerged, would be essential to the conduct of missions as personal supporters of white men’s endeavours, as appropriate mentors and teachers of Indigenous women and children, and as agents in the implementation of government-initiated policies surrounding Aboriginal peoples.

Series:

Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw

Abstract

In chapter two we consider white women’s role in humanitarian and missionary ventures in colonial Victoria, within the system of residential missions that developed under emerging policies of protection. Through a close study of the relationships of white and Aboriginal women at Ramahyuck Presbyterian Mission, in the east of the colony, we illustrate the ways in which the particular conditions of Aboriginal reserves in this period shaped the experiences and relationships of women. We show how the maternalist assumptions about the place of white women on missions created contexts in which relationships between Aboriginal women and missionary women could be characterized by affection, dependance, resistance and/or resentment. Yet the ultimate outcomes of living on missions were very different for Aboriginal women and the white women who sought to ‘mother’ them.

Series:

Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw

Abstract

This chapter examines the emergence in Australia of a new model of missionary work, known broadly as ‘faith mission’. The faith missions were an international phenomenon, with common patterns of gendered involvement, but their impact in Australia was distinctive. In Australia, ‘faith missions’ began work during the same period that most of the Australian states passed ‘protective’ legislation that gave settler governments far greater powers over Aboriginal people. We consider the impact of the faith missions by examining the role that white women played in the two main faith missions – the Aborigines Inland Mission and the United Aborigines Mission - in both New South Wales and Western Australia.

Series:

Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw

Abstract

Chapter six returns to far North Queensland through an account of Geraldine MacKenzie, a missionary wife who worked at Aurukun Mission from the 1930s to the 1950s. MacKenzie’s experiences demonstrate how the status and roles of white women on missions changed in the first half of the twentieth century, leading up to the time when state policies of ‘assimilation’ replaced those of ‘protection’ and Aboriginal missions were largely secularised. We show how the underlying tensions within missionary agendas, as missionaries sought both to care for and to control Aboriginal people, were often on stark display in this final era of ‘protective’ policy.

Series:

Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw

Abstract

Chapter three focuses on missionary expansion in far north Queensland at the end of the nineteenth century, as the settler government in that colony passed protective legislation and appointed official Protectors of Aborigines. We consider the role of missionary wives and single white women on Aboriginal missions at Mapoon, Aurukun and Weipa on the Cape York Peninsula and the way their experiences were shaped by both government policy and developments within missionary practices at this time. The emergence of women’s missionary societies demonstrated changing attitudes to the role that white women might play in mission ventures, but this had limited consequences for both Aboriginal and white women on Australian missions.

Series:

Ellen Huijgh