Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content

By Repository

Interview with Peg Christian [sound recording] Interviewer: Karen George

Item Title
Interview with Peg Christian [sound recording] Interviewer: Karen George
Repository
State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana
Reference
OH 593/1
Creator
Christian, Margaret Enid (Peg) (1920 - 2012)
Description

The Honoured Women Oral History Project Part II

Peg Christian grew up on a sheep property near Yass. For her, an only child, the animals, especially horses, were her friends. Peg was nineteen and studying Veterinary Science at Sydney University when her father died and the property was sold. Although her mother strongly believed in the education of girls, she did not consider that her nineteen year old daughter could run a sheep property. Indeed, Peg Christian speculated that her mother always thought that her daughter' s veterinary work 'wasn't anything terribly important'. Peg Christian was a boarder, first at Frensham and then at Abbotsleigh independent girls schools. She reflected on the advantages of single sex schools and the Headmistress' support for her ambition to be a vet. Peg Christian recounts in detail the veterinary science curriculum, its strengths and weaknesses, the impact of World War II and the social life at Sydney University between 1938 and 1943. She was the twelfth woman in Australia to graduate in veterinary science. After graduation and before her marriage, she worked in a small animal practice on the North Shore. Peg Christian stressed the importance of treating the owners as well as their animals. When her husband took up an appointment as a government laboratory veterinarian in Alice Springs, Peg Christian opened her own private practice in the family home. For this she is featured in the Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame, Alice Springs. In 1952, the family moved to Adelaide and again Peg Christian started her private practice in the family home. Peg Christian is best known for her work with native animals, especially joeys, wombats and kangaroos. She learnt by trial and error because care of native animals was not included in her studies at Sydney University. As a pioneer in this work, Peg Christian's memories are a valuable record. She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1984. Voluntary work has always been important to Peg Christian, from being a an air raid warden at Sydney University, through the CWA in Alice Springs, to the Girl Guides, the RSPCA, and Cleland Reserve in Adelaide. She retired from private practice when arthritis caused her to lose the feeling in her fingers. Peg Christian2s philosophy is that humans are responsible for animals. They do not have dominion over them. She also believes strongly that if you want to change something you must become involved with it, without being too aggressive. She reflected on modern day feminism.

Recorded on 12 & 21 December 2000

Formats
Digital audio tape
Quantity
4 cassettes
Finding Aid

Full transcript available, (57 pages)

Repository reference links are external links to the relevant catalogue record in the holding repository. If you experience a broken link it will be because the repository has not understood the value of maintaining persistent links and/or the judicious use of redirects. Try locating the repository's catalogue search and search on the records' creator's name and/or the repository reference number for the records.

Related entries

Women

Related Archival resources

isPartOf

  • The Honoured Women Oral History Project Part II : SUMMARY RECORD [sound recording] Interviewers: Karen George, June Donovan and Peter Donovan, OH 593; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

http://www.womenaustralia.info/archives/AWH001541.htm

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124