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Blog post from Friday, 20 March, 2015

Australian Women’s History Month: Mary Jane Cain

Displayed above is a 20th century manuscript written by an Aboriginal woman and matriarch from the Coonabarabran region, Mary Jane Cain, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Burra Bee Dee Aboriginal Reserve in 1912.

This manuscript, which is held in the State Library of NSW’s collection, includes some of her reminiscences of growing up in the area around Coonabarabran in the 19th century and a word list of the language spoken by the Indigenous community in the region.

Mary Jane Cain died at Burra Bee Dee, Coonabarabran, NSW in July 1929, aged 85. During her life, she came to be known as the Queen of Burrabeedee or “Queenie Cain”

To view this collection, click here,