A pioneering woman…

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????By virtue of my curious mind…I’m always on the lookout for things to do – particularly things that might seem a little out of the ordinary…

Last weekend I attended a book event at the Warrnambool and District Historical Society where Bronwen Hickman was in attendance to provide an insight into her new book.

Bronwen is a Melbourne writer, historian and teacher and has been researching the life of Mary Gaunt for approximately 20 years – her research saw her follow in Mary’s footsteps across the world as best she could.

The recently released book “Mary Gaunt – Independent Colonial Woman”, tells the story of Mary Gaunt, including some information from her unpublished autobiography – I was delighted to hear Bronwen speak of her findings at this event.

Mary Gaunt was a woman of the colonial era – born in the Victorian Goldfields in 1861; she was well educated, well connected…and a rebel!  As one of the first women to attend the University of Melbourne, she wrote articles and stories in order to fund her travels – her solo travels (can you see why I was drawn to attend this event?)

Of further interest though, was the fact that Mary lived in Warrnambool for some time where she was married to the Honorary Medical Officer at Warrnambool Hospital – Dr Miller.  Unfortunately it was Dr Miller’s health concerns which saw them leave Warrnambool – and his subsequent death was the catalyst for Mary venturing out to travel the world.

I’ve only just started to read the book myself, so I can’t make any recommendations as yet, but if you are interested you can purchase a copy through Melbourne Books.

And yes, Bronwen and I had a good chat about the perils of being “Bronwen with an e”…



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