School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

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    'To exercise a beneficial influence over a man': marriage, gender and the native institutions in early colonial Australia
    CRUICKSHANK, JOANNA (eScholarship Research Centre in collaboration with the School of Historical Studies and with the assistance of Melbourne University Bookshop, 2008)
    This chapter examines understandings of marriage among missionaries and humanitarians connected with two early colonial ‘Native Institutions’. A comparison of the Parramatta Native Institution in New South Wales and the Albany Native Institution in Western Australia demonstrates that concerns about marriage were central in discussions about the formation and maintenance of these Institutions. Both of these Institutions were established and supported by British evangelicals, who had brought with them to Australia powerful assumptions about gender roles, particularly in marriage. These assumptions influenced their decisions regarding the children who resided in the Native Institutions. Within specific colonial contexts, however, the assumptions of humanitarians and missionaries did not remain static, and debates over the futures of the Aboriginal children they sought to educate reveal complex and shifting hierarchies of race, gender and class.