HerStory Archive

ABBA, Hilda May

Born: 30/5/1918

Special Achievements:

First woman in Australia ordained as Theological Lecturer (Pitt Street Congregational Church, Sydney: 1951)

Additional Information:

In 1936, Hilda entered Homerton College, Cambridge, where she qualified as a teacher.  She later obtained a Bachelor of Arts Honours History degree at Sheffield University (1943).  Accompanying her husband to Sydney in 1948 (with her son and daughter), she was appointed Tutor at Camden College when he became Principal, and in 1951 obtained the Bachelor of Divinity degree of Melbourne College of Divinity.  She was ordained at Pitt Street Congregational Church, Sydney, on 8 October 1951.  She became Lecturer in Church History, United Faculty of Theology, St Andrew's College, University of Sydney; and in April 1952, Minister of Balmain Congregational Church, Sydney.  The family returned to the United Kingdom in 1955 and, from 1955-1976, Hilda was the head of religious education in various technical, comprehensive and grammar schools in the United Kingdom.  Hilda and her husband returned to Australia in 1977 to take up a joint ministry in the Hampton Uniting Church Parish, Melbourne, and in 1980 they began another joint ministry at St John's Uniting CHurch, Essendon, Melbourne.  From 1982, they were Ministers of St John's Uniting Church, Cowes, on Phillip Island, Victoria.

Hilda May Abba was a member of the Society for Old Testament Study (in the United Kingdom), the Fellowship for Biblical Studies (Australia), the Australian Federation of University Women and the Australian College of Education.


  • Image - Hilda May Abba

    Image courtesy of Hilda May Abba

  • References

    Hilda May Abba is the author of articles on the Church and Society in "The Venture", New South Wales (1948) and on the Beginnings of Congregationalism in New South Wales in "The Congregationalist" (1951-55).