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Scholarly Musings: Single Female Missionary

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State Library of NSW

Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor

Macquarie Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

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Annie Lock: Single Female Missionary

With Catherine Bishop

‘The only white woman among 300 Aborigines at Bonny Well, 266 miles north of Alice Springs, Miss Annie Lock is “Big Boss” to the natives, to whom she is schoolmistress, evangelist and doctor.’ This Adelaide News depiction of Annie Lock was one of the more positive of this controversial figure, who worked across Australia in the early twentieth century. Often dismissive of Indigenous culture, she also defended Aboriginal people’s right to a peaceful livelihood and blew the whistle on the Coniston Massacre. She remains a problematic but fascinating biographical subject. Dr Catherine Bishop, Sydney-based historian and the author of Minding Her Own Business: Colonial Businesswomen in Sydney, was the 2016 Australian Religious History Fellow at the Library.

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State Library of NSW

Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor

Macquarie Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

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