Author Talk: “Misguided Crank”? by Dr C. Bishop

‘Misguided Crank’? : Missionary Annie Lock in Central Australia 1927-32

Author Talk by Dr Catherine Bishop, University of Sydney.

Annie Lock was labelled by the Enquiry into the Coniston Massacre as ‘a woman missionary living amongst naked blacks thus lowering their respect for white people’. A visiting doctor described her as a ‘misguided crank’.

To others, however, Lock was a missionary heroine - nursing the sick, caring for children and demanding the protection of Aboriginal women from white men and helping to publicise the Coniston Massacre. She features in the Herstory Archive of the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame here in Alice Springs.

Similar extremes of opinion exist today.

How does one write the biography of such a deeply divisive character?

Join award-winning historian Dr Catherine Bishop, who has been haunted by Annie Lock for over 25 years, as she navigates the biography of a controversial character, who left an indelible imprint on many lives. She is keen to hear from Centralians if they have any stories about the redoubtable Miss Lock.

Catherine Bishop, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, is the author of Minding Her Own Business: Colonial Businesswomen in Sydney (NewSouth 2015), which won the 2016 Ashurst Business Literature Prize. She has a PhD and MA from ANU. Her MA thesis (1991) was about Annie Lock and she was the 2016 NSW State Library Australian Religious History Fellow to revisit her research. She has published widely in Australian women’s history and her second book on New Zealand colonial businesswomen will be published in 2019.

Bookings via or phone 8950 0555.

Friday, September 14, 2018 - 10:00 to 11:30
Event Contact Details 
Book online at or phone 8950 0555.
Event Location 
Alice Springs Public Library Cnr Gregory and Leichhardt Tce Alice Springs