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‘We had seen with our own eyes’: A cultural history of humanitarian and Australian feminist responses to the social and moral conditions of indentured Indian labour in Fiji, 1910s

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posted on 2022-11-16, 03:27 authored by Suzanne Claridge

In 1916, Christian missionaries Charles Freer Andrews and William Winstanley Pearson published a report that investigated the conditions of indentured labour in Fiji. Their report garnered significant attention in Australia, particularly among humanitarian and feminist organisations. In response to their report, Florence Garnham, on behalf of combined women’s organisations across Australia and New Zealand, conducted an inquiry in Fiji and published A Report on the Social and Moral Conditions in Fiji in 1918. By focusing on how Andrews and Pearson were oriented towards the problem of indenture and how their report engaged an Australian feminist response, this thesis explores how different humanitarian sensibilities were oriented towards the problem of indentured Indian labour in Fiji during the 1910s.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. White Australia and the Indentured Labour System in the early twentieth century -- Chapter 2. Humanitarianism and the Politics of Friendship -- Chapter 3. Humanitarianism and White Feminism -- Conclusion -- Bibliography


Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of History and Archaeology, 2022

Department, Centre or School

Department of History and Archaeology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Leigh Boucher

Additional Supervisor 1

Alison Holland


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




Fiji Australia


72 pages

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