'Mother, teacher, adviser and missionary' : Matilda Ward in North Queensland, 1891–1917
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AbstractThis chapter focuses on Matilda Ward, a missionary at the Presbyterian mission of Mapoon, north Queensland, and the first paid woman missionary to work on an Aboriginal mission. It examines the factors that led to Ward’s employment on the mission, the role that she played in the life of the mission and the consequences of her actions for Indigenous mission residents. While Matilda Ward was unusual for her time, her experience points to broader shifts in missionary practice and attitudes to gender within the Australian churches, particularly through the development of women’s missionary societies.