Woman Brock, Peggy (1948 - )

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Written by Patricia Grimshaw, The University of Melbourne

Peggy Brock is a leader in colonial, Indigenous and mission history. She was born Margaret Susan Brock in Adelaide in 1948, and completed a B.A (hons) degree in 1969 at the University of Adelaide and a PhD at the same university in 1992. She has held positions at a number of institutions, including historian at the Aboriginal Heritage Unit in South Australia 1982-89. She contributed the Historical Background to the South Australian Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, 1990. Her research has frequently been cited in Native Title claims in South Australia.

Brock has taught since 1991 at Edith Cowan University in Perth where she was promoted to senior lecturer in 1995, associate professor in 2002 and professor in 2005. Since the early 1990s her research has included comparative studies of the writings (diaries, memoirs and correspondence) of Indigenous peoples in Australia, northwest Canada, the Pacific and southern Africa; work on central Australian Aboriginal communities; and colonial history in British Columbia, Canada. Her books include Women, Rites and Sites: The Status of Aboriginal Women's Cultural Knowledge (ed), (1989); Outback Ghettos. A History of Aboriginal Institutionalisation and Survival (1993; reprinted 2009); and The Many Voyages of Arthur Wellington Clah: A Tsimshian Man on the Pacific Northwest Coast, Vancouver (2011). Several other collections she has edited have also been highly influential, including Indigenous Peoples and Religious Change (2005). Peggy Brock was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 2005. She was Visiting Fellow at the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 2003 and Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London University, in 2005. She is currently Emeritus Professor at Edith Cowan University and working on a co-authored book, Clash of Authority: Christianity, Tradition and the Colonial Worlds of Indigenous Evangelists.

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