Women of Yulgilbar
Celebrating the lives and contributions of six women associated with the much-loved Clarence River property, Yulgilbar Station.
Curated by Jennifer Baldwin and Lianne Hart of the Yulgilbar Archives, Women of Yulgilbar celebrates the lives and contributions of six women associated with the much-loved Clarence River property, Yulgilbar Station, and their contributions towards the advancement of human rights, science, agriculture and sport as well as the development of one of Australia’s historic cattle stations.
The lives and achievements of Maria Little, Theodosia Ogilvie, Mabel Lillingston (nee Ogilvie), Jessie Street, Dame Bridget Ogilvie and Sarah Myer are honoured in the Women of Yulgilbar exhibition, which covers the period from the building of Yulgilbar Castle in 1860, through its grand years, decline and eventual rebirth one hundred years later in the 1960s.
Maria Little, a Bundjalung woman was the subject of Tom Roberts’ 1895 painting and is remembered by her descendants a storyteller and singer. Theodosia Ogilvie the wife of Yulgilbar founder Edward was a well-educated woman who raised a large family on the Clarence and often entertained dignitaries visiting the castle. Theodosia and Edward’s daughter Mabel Lillingston was the last resident owner of Yulgilbar and restored the station’s fortunes after years of drought and economic depression. Jessie Street is best known for petitioning for the 1967 referendum for Aboriginal recognition and in 1945 was the sole woman on the Australian delegation to the founding conference of the United Nations. Dame Bridget Ogilvie, great-granddaughter of Theodosia and Edward, is a world-renowned scientist for her work in the field of sheep immuniology and parasitology. Dame Bridget maintains close links to the Myer family who currently own Yulgilbar, including Sarah Myer who has played a pivotal role in improving the Santa Getrudis and Quarter Horse bloodlines in Australia and is a renowned cutting horse breeder and rider.
The Women of Yulgilbar exhibition brings together paintings from libraries and galleries such as the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales and the National Portrait Gallery.
Image credit: Tom ROBERTS - Portrait of an Aboriginal Woman (Maria Yulgilbar) c1895