The image of early women anthropologists in Australia has been one of Daisy Bates seated in the middle of nowhere, recording the habits and customs of "a dying race". A harmless eccentric, or a serious pioneer of field anthropology? When anthropology began as a serious academic discipline in Sydney in the 1920s, its lecturers and theoreticians were male. Few know, however, that much of the field work and research was carried out by women. Their contribution remains marginalized, omitted from the history of anthropology. "First in their field" looks at the way these remarkable women worked, their difficulties and their hopes. Very few have received the recognition they deserve and this volume, documenting their courage and determination, is long overdue. This collection of essays is a first appraisal of the work of women who, to varying extents, have been considered undisciplined or eccentric. Daisy Bates is perhaps the best known of these, but Mary Ellen Murray-Prior, Jane Ada Fletcher, Ursula McConnel, Olive Pink and Phyllis Kaberry also spent years in the field, working with great perseverance and with little real encouragement.