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A/Prof. Joanna Cruickshank



Associate Professor in History


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Hum & Social Science


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 2009. 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, Joanna has worked primarily on the history of religion and race in Australia and the British Empire, with a continuing focus on women's experience. Her research on women and Aboriginal missions has examined the way that religious belief shaped white women's attitudes to race and gender as well as their relationships with Aboriginal women. She is currently part of an ARC Discovery Indigenous Project which examines Aboriginal leadership in the conduct of lawful relations in Victorian history.

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

Read more on Joanna's profile

Research interests

History of religion in Britain and Australia

Gender and religion

History of Christian missions

Empire and religion

Race and Christianity

Teaching interests

AIH 305 (Sex, Gender, Race: Empires, 1750-1950); AIH 288 (Colonial Encounters);  AIX494 (Research Communication)

Professional activities

Editorial Board, Wesley and Methodist Studies (Penn State University Publishing)

Editorial Board, Studies in Christian Mission (Brill Publishing)

Academic Committee, School of Indigenous Studies, University of Divinity

Research groups

Centre for Contemporary Histories


Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence (2019)

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 colonial Australia and the British Empire. These include studies of missionary women involved in Aboriginal missions and research on the relationship between church and state in Australian settler colonialism. She is also part of a team conducting research into how Australians understand history and its uses.

From 2018, Joanna has been a Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery (Indigenous) Project which examines the leadership of Aboriginal people in conducting lawful relations with the settler government in Victoria.

From 2011-2016, Joanna was 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 examined the religious convictions of the non-Aboriginal people who testified at the inquiry, particularly their understandings of justice.


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Missionaries, Peacemaking and the 'Meeting of Laws' in Australia

Joanna Cruickshank, Bronwyn Shepherd

(2023), Vol. 58, pp. 174-198, Pacifying Missions: Christianity, Violence and Empire in the Nineteenth Century, Leiden, The Netherlands, B1

book chapter

Australia's Stolen Generations, 1914-2021

Joanna Cruickshank, Crystal McKinnon

(2023), pp. 93-117, The Cambridge World History of Genocide: Genocide in the Contemporary Era, 1914-2020, Cambridge, Eng., B1

book chapter

Thinking with Sovereignty in Australia

Joanna Cruickshank, Julie Evans, Ann Genovese, Crystal McKinnon, Shaun McVeigh

(2022), pp. 123-146, Sovereignty: A Global Perspective, Oxford, Eng., B1

book chapter

Religious freedom in 'the most godless place under Heaven': making policy for religion in Australia

J Cruickshank

(2021), pp. 45-52, History Australia, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

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

J Cruickshank

(2012), pp. 513-529, The Oxford Handbook of the British Sermon 1689-1901, Oxford, England, 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 : international journal on the history of European expansion and global interaction, Cambridge, England, 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, Oxford, England, 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


E Eckermann

(2006), pp. 7-12, Gender-based violence in the Western Pacific region : a hidden epidemic?., Manila, Philippines, B1

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, Carlton, Vic., C1-1

journal article

Were early Methodists masochists? Sufferirg, 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, Manchester, England, 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, A/Prof 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, A/Prof Joanna Cruickshank, A/Prof Ann Genovese, A/Prof Robert McVeigh, Dr Julie Evans

ARC Discovery Indigenous

  • 2022: $138,389
  • 2020: $1,611
  • 2019: $31,716
  • 2018: $16,716

Other Public Sector Funding

Geelong Ladies Reading Circle Research Project.

A/Prof Joanna Cruickshank, A/Prof Tiffany Shellam, Ms Jacquelyn Baker

Geelong Regional Library Corporation

  • 2022: $9,000

Industry and Other Funding

History for Change

A/Prof Joanna Cruickshank

Pozible Pty Ltd

  • 2016: $8,749


Principal Supervisor

Jacquelyn Baker

Thesis entitled: Tracing the "Somewhere" of Women's Liberation in Melbourne: An Oral History, 1960s-Present

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


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


Bronwyn Shepherd

Thesis entitled: Making a mission space: Milingimbi Methodist Mission, 1923-1943

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate Supervisor

Deborah Lee-Talbot

Thesis entitled: Kaleidoscopic archives: a history about London Missionary Society records, 1813-2022

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


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