Saturday, May 5, 2018

Mannum’s Women of the River Country exhibition has been travelling across the Murray Darling Basin for the past 3 years and was launched at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery on 4th May 2018.
The exhibition showcases the incredible lives and stories of 19 remarkable river women including:
 Pearl Wallace (Wentworth NSW and all the Murray/Darling)- First Woman River Captain
 Ruby Hunter (Paringa SA) – Aboriginal Singer, Songwriter
 Ivy Carr (Morgan SA) – Queen of Cuisine on the Murray
 Mary Ann Randell (Mannum SA) – Murray River Mother
 Elizabeth “Bessie” Randell (Mannum SA) – A Murray River Love Story
 Eliza Arbuckle (Morgan SA) –A Murray River Explorer
 Jessie Wakefield (Goolwa SA) – World War One Heroine
 Mary Ann Edwards (Murray Bridge SA) – A River Entrepreneur
 Pauline Milich (Loxton SA) – Mother of 14, Midwife to over 80 more!
 Ella Chaffey (Renmark SA) – Stories from a River Past
 Hattie Schell & Hattie Sexton Schell (Mildura VIC) - The Two Hatties
 Hilda Creager (Rufus River NSW) – Professional Fisherwoman
 Elizabeth Williams (Dareton NSW) – Courage and a Cannon
 Jessie Dunstone (Swan Hill, VIC) – Well, I Love it!
 Margaret Court (Albury, NSW) – Tennis Legend
 Helen Sutherland (Wodonga VIC) – Murray Grey Breeder
 Elyne Mitchell (Towong VIC) – A Woman of High River Country
 Essie Nesbitt (Echuca VIC) – Over 20,000 River Welcomes
Travelling to a variety of locations, this unique and extensive exhibition has been enjoyed by regional communities and will be on show in Murray Bridge until the 10th June with venues chosen as home bases for many of the profiled women.
Murray Bridge originally known as ‘Edwards Crossing’ named after exhibition star Mary Ann Edwards who was an amazing entrepreneur in 1858, widowed with 8 children and created a rest stop called the ‘Turnoff Café’ situated near Hume reserve where the cattle, having swum across the river at Edwards Crossing (upstream of the current bridge) or crossed by ferry at Swanport and Wellington, came up river, and then turned-off at Mary Ann’s place for the Adelaide markets.
“Supported by Visions Australia, the Mid Murray Council, History SA and the Office for Women, the Women of the River Country exhibition will conclude at the Australian Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney on the 20th June 2018 through to the 20th September 2019”, said Chairman of the Mannum Dock Museum, Rob Bowring OAM.
“To be exhibited in Sydney at a nationally acclaimed maritime museum is an incredible honour and a real coup for the Mannum Dock Museum volunteers and staff who produced the exhibition 3 years ago”.
“The connections made with families across Australia through the exhibition has been a wonderful experience and it’s widespread appeal is evident with many venues inviting it’s return”.
“The stories are a great read for everyone and showcases the amazing talents of many women over the years from the first women in Australia to gain her Master’s Mariners Certificate, one of the greatest female tennis players in the world to a midwife who delivered 200 babies and 14 of her own.”
The Women of the River Exhibition will be on show at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery until the 10th June 2018, with free admission 27 Seventh Street Murray Bridge. Melinda Rankin, Murray Bridge Regional Gallery Director stated, “This is one of those exhibitions that captures peoples’ imaginations. Visitors are taking the time to read the stories of the featured women and are telling us they are inspired by their strength and courage. They are also enjoying viewing the historical objects and some of our older visitors have been sharing their memories of these items from their childhood”.
For further information visit or
For media information please contact Jenny Calllander on 85692733 or