Australian Women's Register

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MacDougall, W. B.



Mrs W. B. MacDougall was a keen amateur photographer. She was active in the Girl Guide movement and lived on Aboriginal missions with her missionary husband.


Mrs W.B. MacDougall was an avid amateur photographer who developed and printed her own photographs. When and where she developed an interest in photography is unclear; neither is it clear if she had any formal training. The location her photographic archive is uncertain. Some photographs may be part of the Walter Batchelor MacDougall Collection, held at the Museum of South Australia.

MacDougall was said to be an attractive woman who loved flying and other activities. She was involved in the Girl Guide movement, as a Captain, Cubmaster and Scoutmaster. She set up a Girl Guide group for Aboriginal girls at the Port George IV Mission, c. 1934.

Little is known of MacDougall's early life, except that from 1928-1931 she lived in North Queensland, and then moved to Kunmanya Presbyterian Mission, Western Australia in 1931. She moved with her husband, the missionary Walter Batchelor MacDougall; the couple also spent time at the Port George IV Mission.

The MacDougalls lived in Ernabella, in the north-west of South Australia, from 1940-1946. In 1947 Walter was appointed as the Native Patrol Officer at the Woomera Rocket testing range, while Mrs MacDougall worked as a teacher. In 1953 they moved to Emu and Maralinga during the atomic testing was conducted there. Photographs that Walter and possibly his wife created are part of the Walter Batchelor MacDougall collection held at the South Australian Museum.

The MacDougalls moved to Victoria following her husband's retirement in 1971.


Walter Batchelor MacDougall Collection, South Australian Museum

Sources used to compile this entry: Australian Inland Mission, The West Australian, 16 November 1933, 17 pp,; Guiding in the North-West, The Argus, 31 May 1934, 6 pp,

Anne Maxwell (with Morfia Grondas and Lucy Van)

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