I went to Uganda from Britain in 1964 as part of the Anglo-American Teachers for East Africa project. I taught in a secondary boarding school that had been founded by a Church Missionary Society missionary, initially for boys, but in 1964 when the school was directly administered by the State Government, starting an intake of girls. My time in Uganda followed the country's Independence and although relatively stable politically, there was much dissent below the surface, a feature expressed by students in my school. My interest in the involvement of missions in Africa generally, and the Church Missionary Society in particular developed from this time, and inspired my doctoral research. My doctoral thesis was titled, 'Women and the Church Missionary Society in Uganda, 1895-1935', which fed into book chapters and articles and expanded over time to broader studies of women and the British Empire, and gender and missions, and more recently concerns about Australia's engagement with African countries.
I was part of a team of La Trobe University scholars along with Professor Sue Thomas and Professor Susan Martin in a Routledge project to publish volumes of primary sources on Africa, the Caribbean and Australia on Women and Empire for which the university provided two Central Large Grants in 2005 and 2006. My volume included a 100-page scholarly introduction and a selection of primary sources for copying. Scholarship for this project covered several years and included a visit to South Africa and two to the United Kingdom. I was a Research Assistant for Professor Thomas in 2011, assisting in her work on slavery.
I made a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, 'Inquiry into Australia's relationship with the countries of Africa'. My submission, mainly concerned with education and education links between Australia and Africa, was quoted in several places in the report published in June 2011 by the Commonwealth of Australia.