Dr Joanna Cruickshank



Senior Lecturer In History


Faculty of Arts and Education


SHSS Arts & Education


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus


Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2011
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, 2007
Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland, 1996



Joanna Cruickshank came to Deakin in 2007. Her PhD research, undertaken at the University of Melbourne, examined the way that eighteenth-century British people made sense of their experiences of suffering through the practice of writing and singing hymns. This research involved a particular focus on questions of gender.

Since coming to Deakin in 2007, Joanna has worked primarily on the history of religion in Australia, with a continuing focus on women's experience. Her research on women and Aboriginal missions has examined the way that religious belief shaped Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women's attitudes to race and gender as well as their relationships with each other. She is also interested in developing innovative approaches to the history of religion in Australia, with a new project underway on the place of public religious speech and sermons in colonial Australia.

Joanna's research on these topics informs and is shaped by the experience of developing and teaching units on Pacific, Indigenous and gender history.

Read more on Joanna's profile

Research interests

History of religion in Britain and Australia
Eighteenth-century Britain
Gender and religion
History of Christian missions

Teaching interests

AIH 205 (Sex and Gender in History); AIH 337 (Race, Science and Religion in Australasia); AIH 288 (Exploring Australia's Indigenous Pasts)

Professional activities

Reviews Co-editor, Journal of Religious History


Outstanding Dissertation Award, Wesleyan Theological Society (US). (2008)

Ian Robertson Travel Prize (2005)
University Medal, University of Queensland (1996)


Joanna is involved in a number of research projects which examine the role of religion in British and Australian history. These include studies of missionary women involved in Aboriginal missions, a history of sermons in the British world and colonial Australia and research on the religious understandings of colonial humanitarians.

Since 2011, Joanna has been part of a team awarded an ARC Linkage Grant for the "Minutes of Evidence" project, which examines the ways in which colonial and postcolonial societies have responded to injustice. At the heart of the project is a theatre performance, Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country, which consists entirely of the voices of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who testified at the 1881 Parliamentary inquiry into Coranderrk Aboriginal station. Joanna's research within this project examines the religious convictions of the non-Aboriginal people who testified at the inquiry, particularly their understandings of justice.


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Lawful conduct, Aboriginal protection and land in Victoria, 1859-1869

Joanna Cruickshank, Mark McMillan

(2020), pp. 194-211, Aboriginal protection and its intermediaries in Britain's antipodean colonies, New York, N.Y., B1

book chapter

White women, Aboriginal missions and Australian settler governments: maternal contradictions

Joanna Cruickshank, Patricia Grimshaw

(2019), Leiden, The Netherlands, A1


Colonial contexts and global dissent

J Cruickshank

(2017), Vol. 3, pp. 296-315, The oxford history of protestant dissenting traditions - the nineteenth century, Oxford, Eng., B1

book chapter

Women, authority and power on Ramahyuck Mission, Victoria, 1880-1910

J Cruickshank, P Grimshaw

(2015), pp. 165-182, Settler colonial governance in nineteenth-century Victoria, Canberra, A.C.T., B1

book chapter

Indigenous land loss, justice and race: Anne Bon and the contradictions of settler humanitarianism

J Cruickshank, P Grimshaw

(2015), pp. 45-61, Indigenous communities and settler colonialism: land holding, loss and survival in an interconnected worlds, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

I had gone to teach but stayed to learn: Geraldine MacKenzie at Aurukun Mission, 1925-1965

J Cruickshank, P Grimshaw

(2015), Vol. 39, pp. 54-65, Journal of Australian studies, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Converting Mrs Crouch: women, wonders and the formation of English methodism, 1738-1741

B Curtis Clark, J Cruickshank

(2014), Vol. 65, pp. 66-83, Journal of ecclesiastical history, Cambridge, England, C1

journal article

The Sermon in the British Colonies

Joanna Cruickshank

(2012), B1

book chapter

'Mother, teacher, adviser and missionary' : Matilda Ward in North Queensland, 1891-1917

J Cruickshank

(2011), pp. 27-45, Founders, firsts and feminists : women leaders in 20th-century Australia, Melbourne, Vic., B1

book chapter

Blood, tears and race : Moravian missionaries and indigenous bodies in colonial Australia

J Cruickshank

(2011), Vol. 14, pp. 15-31, Interface : a forum for theology in the world, Hindmarsh, S. Aust., C1

journal article

A matter of no small importance to the colony : Moravian missionaries on Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, 1891-1919

J Cruickshank, P Grimshaw

(2010), pp. 151-165, Missionaries, indigenous peoples and cultural exchange, Great Britain, B1

book chapter

Race, History, and the Australian Faith Missions

J Cruickshank

(2010), Vol. 34, pp. 39-52, Itinerario, C1

journal article

Pain, passion and faith : revisiting the place of Charles Wesley in early Methodism

J Cruickshank

(2009), Lanham, Md., A1


A most lowering thing for a lady : aspiring to respectable, whiteness on Ramahyuck Mission, 1885-1900

J Cruickshank

(2009), pp. 85-102, Creating white Australia, Sydney, N.S.W., B1

book chapter

'Friend of my soul': Constructing spiritual friendship in the autobiography of Mary Fletcher

J Cruickshank

(2009), Vol. 32, pp. 373-387, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, C1

journal article

'To exercise a beneficial influence over a man' : marriage, gender and the native institutions in early colonial Australia

J Cruickshank

(2008), pp. 115-124, Evangelists of empire? : missionaries in colonial history, Melbourne, Vic., B1-1

book chapter

'The suffering members sympathise' : constructing the sympathetic self in the hymns of Charles Wesley

J Cruickshank

(2007), pp. 245-263, Charles Wesley : life, literature and legacy, Peterborough, Vic., B1-1

book chapter

Appear as crucified for me: Sight, suffering, and spiritual transformation in the hymns of Charles Wesley

J Cruickshank

(2006), Vol. 30, pp. 311-330, Journal of Religious History, C1-1

journal article

Were early Methodists masochists? Suffering, submission and sanctification in the hymns of Charles Wesley

J Cruickshank

(2006), Vol. 88, pp. 81-100, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Minutes of Evidence project: Promoting new and collaborative ways of understanding Australia's past and engaging with structural justice

Dr Julie Evans, Dr Joanna Cruickshank, Prof Patricia Grimshaw

ARC Linkage - Projects Rnd 2

  • 2013: $11,000
  • 2012: $11,000

Indigenous leaders: Lawful relations from encounter to treaty

Prof Mark McMillan, Dr Joanna Cruickshank, A/Prof Ann Genovese, A/Prof Robert McVeigh, Dr Julie Evans

ARC Discovery Indigenous

  • 2020: $1,611
  • 2019: $31,716
  • 2018: $16,716

Industry and Other Funding

History for Change

Dr Joanna Cruickshank

  • 2016: $8,749


Principal Supervisor

Lauren Robinson

Thesis entitled: Places of Pleasure and Freedom: Victorian Women on the Land (1835-1901)

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Jennifer Louise Caligari

Thesis entitled: Bessie Harrison Lee (1860-1950) Evangelical, temperance and social reformer

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate Supervisor

Lisa Couacaud

Thesis entitled: The Ideal America(n): Dwight Eisenhower's Elusive Search

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Kirstie Barry

Thesis entitled: A Mission Divided: Race and Culture in Fiji's Methodist Mission

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Mark Humphries

Thesis entitled: Understanding Euthanasia Debate: The Northern Territory Experience in Historical Context

Doctor of Philosophy, School of History, Heritage and Society