Groger-Wurm, Helen

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Groger-Wurm, Helen

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Other form(s) of name

  • Dr Helen Groger-Wurm PhD
  • Helen Groger
  • Helli Wurm

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Description area

Dates of existence

1921- 2005


Helen Groger-Wurm was born in Vienna, Austria on 21 February 1921. She gained a PhD in Anthropology and Linguistics from the University of Vienna 1946. She met Stephen Wurm at the Department of Anthropology in Vienna and they married in 1946. From June 1946 to June 1948 she worked for the Department of African Linguistics of Vienna University and compiled a textbook of the Dongolawi Nubian language. From June 1948 to January 1952 she worked as Departmental Assistant in the Department of Anthropology of Vienna University. Moving to London in September 1953 she took part in the postgraduate course in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics until their move to Australia in 1954. During 1955 and 1956 Groger-Wurm undertook fieldwork to record many Indigenous Australian languages, particularly in New South Wales and Southern Queensland. In 1957 she was appointed the Curator of the Anthropological Section of the Institute of Anatomy in Canberra. In 1958 she accompanied Stephen Wurm on a nine-month survey of the Highlands of Australian New Guinea. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s she undertook further trips throughout northern Australia collecting artefacts. She subsequently catalogued these objects for the Institute of Anatomy. In 1973 Groger-Wurm published a significant study of the sacred art of Eastern Arnhem Land titled Australian Aboriginal Bark Paintings and their Mythological Interpretation: Volume 1, Eastern Arnhem Land. She died on 19 September 2005.


Vienna; London; Papua New Guinea; Australia

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Functions, occupations and activities

academic; anthropologist; curator; linguist

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Related entity

Wurm, Stephen Adolphe (1922 - 2001)

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Karina Taylor on 12 February 2010; revised on 15 May 2012




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