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Langmore on Australia in the world

Ann Prendergast

Ann was born in Hay NSW in 1934 and grew up on a property 100 km out of town town. Her early education was through lessons mailed each week from Blackfriars Correspondence School in Sydney. She completed her secondary education with the Sisters of St Joseph at their boarding schools in Leeton and Goulburn. In 1953 Ann was awarded a scholarship to Wagga Teachers College, where she trained as an infants teacher.

After three years country service in her hometown of Hay, in 1958 Ann was appointed to Norfolk Street Infants School in Newtown and began evening study at Sydney University majoring in history and completing an honours year followed by an MA. In 1963 she was appointed to ASOPA, where she was a popular lecturer - her earnest and softly spoken style and pleasant good looks a constraint on even the most boisterous male students..

Ann was encouraged by Principal Charles Rowley to apply for a scholarship to the East West Centre at the University of Hawaii, established by the American government during the Kennedy administration to promote cultural contact between Asia, the Pacific and the US. Here, Ann began work on the culture and history of the Pacific. Her doctoral thesis was on the history of the early years of the London Missionary Society in Papua. She later spent time working in the archives of the Society in London.

Having finished her PhD in 1968, Ann returned to teach at Balmain Teachers College, later Kuring-gai College of Education, which was incorporated into the Sydney University of Technology. She rose to the position of Head of the Department of Social Science. In 1990 Ann retired after forty years of challenging, interesting and productive academic life.

Ann retains a lively interest in ASOPA affairs and was disappointed that physical immobility prevented her attendance at the recent reunion in Brisbane.

Source: Sophie McGrath in Newsletter (vol 6 no 1, April 2006) of the Golding Centre for Women’s History, Theology and Spirituality, Australian Catholic University, Strathfield NSW


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