Gilmore, Mary, 1865-1962

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Gilmore, Mary, 1865-1962

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  • Gilmore, Mary, Dame, 1865-1962
  • Gilmore, Mary Cameron, 1865-1962
  • Cameron, Mary Jean, 1865-1962

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Mary Gilmore was born near Goulburn, New South Wales. She completed her education by assisting in small coutnry schools. in 1888-1889 she began teaching in Silverton, near Broken Hill, where her contacts with the working-class community began her lifelong inerest in the Labor movement. In the 1890s she supported the maritime and shearers' strikes and developed assiciations with Henry Lawson, William Lane, John Farrell and A G Stephens. She joined Lane's "New Australia" movement in Paraguay and, in 1897, married fellow colonist and Victorian shearer, William Alexander Gilmore (1866-1945). In 1902 they returned to Australia and, in 1903, her poetry appeared in the "Red Page" of the Bulletin. Gilmore became the first editor of the women's page of the Worker (Sydney) in 1908.

Gilmore's first volume of poems, Marri'd and other verses appeared in 1910. Other publications include: The passionate heart, 1918; Hound of the road, 1922; The tilted cart, 1925; The wild swan, 1930; The rue tree, 1931; Under the wilgas, 1932; Old days, old ways, 1934; Battlefields, 1939; The disinherited, 1941; and Fourteen men, 1954.

In 1937, Gilmore was made a Dame of the British Empire in recognition of her contribution to Australian literature. She was the first woman to receive this award for services to literature. Gilmore was a founder of the Lyceum Club, Sydney; a founder and vice-president, in 1928, of the Fellowship of Australian Writers; an early member of the New South Wales Institute of Journalists; and a life member of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


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US DLC n50033286

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Revised, Linda Justo, 30-Apr-2020




Wilde, W. H. 1983, 'Gilmore, Dame Mary Jean (1865–1962)'. Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, accessed online 30 April 2020.

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