If I am coming back to you all again

  • Victoria K. Haskins


‘The public should be taught that it is just as necessary to go to hospital for childbirth as for a surgical operation,’ a prominent practitioner told his audience of doctors in 1920.1 Nevertheless, most women, like Ming, preferred to have their babies at home with a midwife, or in a private ‘Lying-in’ establishment run by one. The public hospitals and their male doctors continued to cater to poor and working-class mothers, many of them single, many of them, like Mary, with nowhere else to go. A photograph of one of Crown Street’s wards from the time shows a long, cavernous room, with a dark polished wood floor and iron-framed beds lining the walls.


White Woman Bright Spot Aboriginal Woman Domestic Service Rural Employer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    K. Reiger, The Disenchantment of the Home: Modernizing the Australian Family 1880–1940 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1985), 96.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    In Ellen J. Sides, ed., The Letters of Elizabeth Kendall Bate (Surry Hills: privately printed, 1967), 75.Google Scholar
  3. 19.
    M. E. McGuire, ‘The Legend of the Good Fella Missus’, Aboriginal History, vol. 14, no. 2 (1990), 124–51.Google Scholar
  4. 20.
    George Taylor, ‘The Quest for the Australian Girl: Part II, Her Humorous Sister’, All About Australians, 1 April 1907, 229–35, cited in Sharyn Pearce, ‘“The Best Career is Matrimony”: First-Wave Journalism and the “Australian Girl”’, Hecate, vol. 18, no. 2 (1992), 72.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Victoria K. Haskins 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria K. Haskins

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations