From missionary wife to superintendent: Janet Matthews on three independent Murray River missions
This article considers the work of Janet Matthews, an independent and non-denominational Protestant missionary, at the Maloga, Metco and Manunka Missions, all located on the Murray River (the first in New South Wales and the latter two in South Australia). While Maloga was founded and subsequently run as a joint undertaking, Janet was the primary founder and sole director at both Metco and Manunka, making her one of the first women to run an Australian mission entirely on her own. As such, the Maloga, Metco and Manunka archives constitute a useful resource for examining the different opportunities and obstacles associated with a transition into the role of the independent female missionary. Janet's management and representation of the missions, her relationships with Aboriginal people and their perceptions of her and her connections to local settlers and the settler-colonial state are all considered, first in the context of her partnership with her husband Daniel at Maloga, then during her period of transition at Metco, and finally in her solo work at Manunka after his death in 1902 until her retirement in 1911.
Journal of Australian Studies
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History