Making 'Genuine Friendships' Across Racial Lines: 'Cousin Judy' and her Aboriginal 'Mates'

Sitarani Kerin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In 1958, soon after the birth of her third child, Judy Inglis (nee Betheras, 1930-1962) applied to the Board for Anthropological Research (BAR) and the Social Science Research Council of Australia (SSCR) for research grants in order to 'study some aspects of life of part-aboriginal people living in or about Adelaide', South Australia, later refined to 'the status and influence of married women'. In her application to the BAR, Inglis stipulated that her request arose from the 'need to make arrangements for domestic help'. An independent researcher with no formal university affiliation, Inglis wanted a grant so that she could hire someone to care for her children while she conducted interviews. An academic advisor from the Australian National University's department of anthropology and sociology, John Barnes, cautioned against stressing the practical consequences of winning a grant in her application to the SSRC: 'These august and all-male academic bodies like to feel that they are giving money in order that good research can be carried out, and like to be able to repress the fact that in doing so a few women will be allowed to escape from the kitchen sink'. Inglis ignored Barnes' advice. Her application - thought to contain a number of 'unusual features' - left the SSRC somewhat bemused. Unable to reach a decision, it asked whether Inglis would consider appointing 'interviewers whose remuneration could be financed by a research grant' rather than use the money to hire a child-minder. Frustrated, Inglis replied that she had 'no intention of employing interviewers'. The kind of research she proposed could only be done via the establishment of 'personal relationships' which would involve 'many visits' to Aboriginal peoples' homes at all times of the day and night. The SSRC was not persuaded, but fortunately the BAR could see merit in her project. It agreed to provide a special grant enabling the department of social studies at the University of Adelaide to employ Inglis as a parttime researcher for one year beginning in March 1959.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-53
    JournalJournal of New Zealand Studies
    Issue number14
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    Dive into the research topics of 'Making 'Genuine Friendships' Across Racial Lines: 'Cousin Judy' and her Aboriginal 'Mates''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this