- 27 October 1888
Cressbrook, near Toogoolawah, Queensland, Australia
- 6 November 1957
- Anthropologist and Photographer
Ursula McConnel is recognised as an influential anthropologist of the Cape York Peninsula and a talented amateur photographer. McConnel used her photographs to illustrate publications of her research in magazines and ethnographic journals such as Oceania and Walkabout. She was also a collector of Indigenous artefacts.
Content added for original entry by Lee Butterworth, last modified 11 June 2009
As one of the first students of A. R. Radcliffe-Brown's Australian tenureship, Ursula McConnel conducted ethnographic fieldwork as a participant-observer in western Cape York Peninsula between 1927 and 1934. She worked chiefly among the Wik peoples, particularly the Wik Mungkan based at Aurukun Mission. As part of her anthropological study McConnel amassed a substantial material culture collection of over five hundred artefacts. Together with Donald Thomson's collection from the same area, it forms a unique record of Wik Mungkan material culture from that period. In 2006 a large collection of professional papers belonging to Ursula was discovered and donated to the South Australian Museum.