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 was the 2016 Australian Religious History Fellow at the State Library of NSW researching a biography of missionary Annie Lock. She is a Sydney-based historian of business and gender and the author of Minding Her Own Business: Colonial Businesswomen in Sydney, and several articles. Her second book, about colonial businesswomen in New Zealand is due out by the middle of 2018.