Mrs Shaw

Wife of Joseph Shaw, manager at Coranderrk. As the manager's wife (or matron) Mrs Shaw would have been expected to oversee the women and young girls living at Coranderrk, teaching domestic skills such as sewing, dress making and so on. As Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw have noted, Aboriginal reserves such as Coranderrk were set up with a married couples overseeing them, as it was believed this would help to reinforce the gender expectations that were viewed as part of the 'civilising' process, especially in terms of work, of the Aboriginal residents. In this, Mrs Shaw would be a part of the intimate domestic spaces of the Aboriginal women and girls, whilst concurrently reinforcing the legislation and expectations of the Board of Protection.
See: Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw, White Women, Aboriginal Missions and Australian Settler Governments: Maternal Contradictions, Studies in Christian Mission, Volume: 56, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2019.

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