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The Spiritual and the Material: Women and Work at the New Norcia Mission 1860-1910

Massam, Katharine (2015) The Spiritual and the Material: Women and Work at the New Norcia Mission 1860-1910. New Norcia Studies Journal , 22. pp. 53-61. ISSN ISSN: 1039-8627

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Abstract

An intriguing photograph of women and girls at the river in New Norcia prompts an exploration of work in the Benedictine mission town, and in the Rule of St Benedict itself. It considers the origins of St Joseph’s Native School and Orphanage from the late 1860s as an institution for girls and unmarried women in the town, and sets the traditions of domestic work that developed there alongside evidence from the telegraph office that opened at New Norcia in 1873. It highlights the work of telegraphists Helen Pangieran Cuper and Sarah Ninak, as well as Eliza Willaway, matron at St Joseph's Native School and Orphanage, and sets the nineteenth-century engagement with Western technology alongside the celebration of needlework that dominated twentieth-century education. The article argues that the work of the township was not only at the core of Benedictine life for the monks themselves, but also at the centre of the mission’s engagement with the Aboriginal people of Victoria Plains.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Rule of Benedict, work, women, New Norcia, mission history, Aboriginal history, Rosendo Salvado, Helen Cuper, Sarah Ninak, Eliza Willaway, Benedictine
Fields of Research: 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220201 Business and Labour History
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950504 Understanding Europe's Past
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
A - Humanities, general
D - Missiology
D - Spirituality and Spiritual Direction
College/Association with University of Divinity: Pilgrim Theological College
Depositing User: Dr Katharine Massam
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2015 03:07
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2017 01:35
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1863

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