Professor Anne O'Brien
Emeritus Professor

Professor Anne O'Brien

BA Adelaide, PhD Sydney

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Humanities & Languages

Anne O’Brien is Professor of History in the School of Humanities and Languages at UNSW.  Her interests in social and cultural history focus on Australia in its transnational context.

She is the author of three monographs, Poverty’s Prison: The Poor in NSW, 1880-1918, God’s Willing Workers: Women and Religion in Australia and Philanthropy and Settler Colonialism. She has written numerous articles and book chapters in the fields of women’s and gender history, religious history and welfare history.

Her current major research project is 'Homelessness and Homeless People: an Australian History', a project undertaken with Dr Heather Holst, Deputy CEO of Launch Housing, for which they were granted an ARC Discovery Project Grant 2018-20. She is currently supervising/co-supervising 3 PhD students and has supervised/co-supervised 15 completed PhDs.

9385 2384
368 Morven Brown
  • Books | 2014
    O'Brien AP, 2014, Philanthropy and settler colonialism, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstock,
    Books | 2005
    O Brien AP, 2005, God`s Willing Workers: women and religion in Australia, Original, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney
    Books | 1988
    O'Brien AP, 1988, Poverty's Prison: The Poor in New South Wales, 1880-1918, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne
  • Book Chapters | 2022
    O'Brien A, 2022, ''Economic and Social Welfare'', in Cane P; Ford L; McMillan M (ed.), Cambridge Legal History of Australia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
    Book Chapters | 2019
    O'Brien A, 2019, ''Homeless women': Histories of emotion and justice', in Aggleton P; Broom, A; Moss J (ed.), Practical Justice: principle, practice and social change, Routledge, New York: London, pp. 25 - 37,
    Book Chapters | 2015
    O'Brien AP, 2015, 'Australian Methodist Women', in Methodism in Australia, edn. Ashgate Methodist Studies Series, Ashgate, pp. 211 - 224,
    Book Chapters | 2014
    O'Brien AP, 2014, ''Christian Church Workers'', in Smart J; Swain S (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia, Australian Women's Archives Project, Melbourne,
    Book Chapters | 2013
    O'Brien AP, 2013, 'Religion', in Macintyre S; Bashford A (ed.), The Cambridge History of Australia : Volume 1 Indigenous and Colonial Australia, edn. 1st, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, pp. 414 - 437,
    Book Chapters | 2012
    O Brien AP, 2012, 'The 'fully-ordained meat pie problem': women church workers and leadership under Australian democracy', in Francis R; Grimshaw P; Standish A (ed.), Seizing the initiative: Australian women leaders in politics, workplaces and communities, edn. Original, The University of Melbourne: eScholarship Research Centre, Melbourne, pp. 293 - 300
    Book Chapters | 2012
    O'Brien AP, 2012, 'Women in the churches before 1992: 'No obtrusive womanhood'', in Lindsay E; Scarfe J (ed.), Preachers, prophets and heretics: Anglican women's ministry, edn. Original, UNSW Press, Sydney, pp. 30 - 54
    Book Chapters | 2011
    O Brien AP, 2011, 'Maude O'Connell and 'the need of the mother'', in Davis F; Musgrove N; Smart J (ed.), Feminists, Firsts and Founders: women leaders in twentieth century Australia, edn. Original, e-Scholarship Research Centre, University of Melbourne., Melbourne, pp. 105 - 129
    Book Chapters | 2009
    O Brien AP, 2009, ''The Irish origins of Australian Catholicism' [7000 words] in James Jupp (ed) The Encyclopedia of Religion in Australia, Cambridge University Press, 2009', in Jupp J (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Religion in Australia, edn. Original, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, pp. 235 - 245
    Book Chapters | 2008
    O Brien AP, 2008, 'Saving the `Empty North`: Religion and Empire in Australia', in Carey HM (ed.), Empires of Religion, edn. Original, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 177 - 196
    Book Chapters | 2006
    O Brien AP, 2006, '`A little lower than the angels`: WK Hancock and professing history in Australia', in Agendas for Australian Anglicanism: essays in honour of Bruce Kaye, edn. 1, Australasian Theological Forum, Hindmarsh, South Australia, Australia, pp. 171 - 191
    Book Chapters | 2002
    O Brien AP, 2002, 'Anglicanism and gender issues', in Kaye B (ed.), Anglicanism in Australia, edn. First, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, pp. 270 - 292
  • Journal articles | 2022
    O'Brien A, 2022, 'Housing the Homeless: How revisiting the 1940s assists the struggle.', Australian Journal of Social Issues,
    Journal articles | 2021
    O'Brien A, 2021, ''A Bargain with the Devil': Human Rights and Homelessness in the Neoliberal Age', Australian Historical Studies,
    Journal articles | 2021
    O'Brien A, 2021, ''Archaic laws' and the making of the homelessness sector', Housing Studies,
    Journal articles | 2020
    O'Brien A, 2020, 'Homeless Veterans: A Short Long History', Parity, vol. 33, pp. 8 - 10
    Journal articles | 2018
    O’Brien A, 2018, 'National Shame/National Treasure: Narrating Homeless Veterans in Australia 1915–1930s', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 49, pp. 167 - 183,
    Journal articles | 2017
    O'Brien AP, 2017, 'Homeless women and the problem of visibility: Australia 1900-1940', Women's History Review, vol. 27, pp. 1 - 19,
    Journal articles | 2016
    O'Brien AP, 2016, 'Catholic Nuns in Transnational Mission, 1528-2015', Journal of Global History, vol. 11, pp. 387 - 408,
    Journal articles | 2015
    O'Brien AP, 2015, 'Hunger and the Humanitarian frontier', Aboriginal History, vol 39:, vol. 39, pp. 109 - 134,
    Journal articles | 2012
    O Brien AP, 2012, 'Dorcas and the Do-nothings: Reflections on Histories of Women in the Church', Church Heritage, vol. 17, pp. 242 - 248
    Journal articles | 2011
    O Brien AP, 2011, 'Humanitarianism and reparation in colonial Australia', Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, vol. 12,
    Journal articles | 2011
    O Brien AP, 2011, 'Pauperism revisited', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 42, pp. 212 - 229,
    Journal articles | 2008
    O Brien AP, 2008, 'Charity and Philanthropy', Sydney Journal, vol. 1, pp. 18 - 28
    Journal articles | 2008
    O Brien AP, 2008, 'Creating the Aboriginal Pauper: Missionary Ideas in early 19th century Australia', Social Sciences and Missions, vol. 21, pp. 6 - 30
    Journal articles | 2008
    O Brien AP, 2008, 'Missionary masculinities, the homoerotic gaze and the politics of race: Gilbert White in Northern Australia', Gender and History, vol. 20, pp. 68 - 85
    Journal articles | 2008
    O Brien AP, 2008, '`All creatures of the Living God`: Religion and Leprosy in turn of the century Queensland', History Australia, vol. 5, pp. 1 - 16
    Journal articles | 2008
    O Brien AP, 2008, '`Kitchen Fragments and Garden Stuff` - Poor law discourse and indigenous people in early colonial New South Wales', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 39, pp. 150 - 166,
    Journal articles | 2007
    O Brien AP, 2007, 'Rethinking Blasphemy: religious ideas in the writings of WK Hancock, Manning Clark and Russel Ward', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 38, pp. 228 - 243,
    Journal articles | 2007
    O Brien AP, 2007, 'Rethinking blasphemy - Religious ideas in the writings of W. K. Hancock, manning Clark and russel ward', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 38, pp. 228 - 243,
    Journal articles | 2006
    O Brien AP, 2006, 'Faith, Fetes and Domesticity in Australia', Womens History Review, vol. 15, pp. 719 - 736,
    Journal articles | 2003
    O Brien AP, 2003, 'Australian Women Missionaries', Locality, vol. Winter, pp. 5 - 7
    Journal articles | 2002
    O Brien AP, 2002, 'Spirituality and work: Sydney women 1920-1960', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 33, pp. 373 - 388,
    Journal articles | 2001
    Carey HM; Breward I; Doumanis N; Frappell R; Hilliard D; Massom K; O Brien AP; Thompson RC, 2001, 'Australian Religion Review, 1980-2000, Part 2: Christian denominations', Journal of Religious History, vol. 25, pp. 56 - 82,
    Journal articles | 2001
    O Brien AP, 2001, 'Revisiting `family values`', Values, pp. 1 - 4
    Journal articles | 2000
    Carey HM; Breward I; O'Brien A; Rutland SD; Thompson R, 2000, 'Australian religion review, 1980-2000, part 1: Surveys, bibliographies and religions other than Christianity', Journal of Religious History, vol. 24, pp. 296 - 313,
    Journal articles | 2000
    O Brien AP, 2000, 'Militant mothers: Faith, power and identity in the Mothers` Union in Sydney, 1896-1950', Womens History Review, vol. 9, pp. 35 - 53,
    Journal articles | 2000
    O Brien AP, 2000, 'Playing second fiddle for Christ`s sake: Women, religion and history', Women-Church, pp. 13 - 16
    Journal articles | 2000
    O Brien AP; Carey HM; Breward I; Rutland SD; Thompson RC, 2000, 'Australian religion review, 1980-2000, Part 1: Surveys, bibliographies and religions other than Christianity', Journal of Religious History, pp. 247 - 362
    Journal articles | 1997
    O Brien AP, 1997, 'Sins of Omission: Women in the History of Australian Religion and Religion in the History of Australian Women', Australian Historical Studies, pp. 126 - 134
    Journal articles | 1996
    O Brien AP, 1996, 'The case of the cultivated man: class, gender and the Church of the Establishment in interwar Australia', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 2, pp. 242 - 256
  • Other | 2017
    O'Brien A, 2017, How History Can Challenge the Narrative of Blame for Homelessness, The Conversation Media Group,
    Other | 2006
    O Brien AP, 2006, Book Review: The lowest rung: Voices of Australian poverty, Blackwell Publishing Ltd,

My Teaching

ARTS2270 Australia 1788-1900: Invasion to White Australia
ARTS1271 A History of the Present: the World Since 1900

ARTS4247 Research Skills in the Humanities

Consultation Times

During Term 1 2019 Anne is normally available for consultation on Monday 12-2
or at other times by appointment