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Title: Mary Giles
Date of Death: 1940-04-01
Date of Birth: 1850-04-05
Place of Birth: South Australia
Place of Death: Adelaide (S.A.)
Occupation: Pastoralist
Biographical notes: Mary married Alfred Giles on 26 February 1880 in Adelaide and they arrived in Palmerston (Darwin), by steamer in May 1880. They travelled by horse and buggy to their new home at Springvale Station near Katherine. There the visitor's book became a roll of northern pioneers, overlanders, miners, travellers and government officials. In 1884 Australia's first woman explorer, Emily Creaghe, who spent six months travelling on horseback from Queensland with her husband and Ernest Favenc, spent time on Springvale Station. Mary decided to join the Creaghes as they travelled south, sailing from Palmerston to complete the journey. It was Mary's first break since arriving in the Territory. She was the first European woman to settle on a Top End pastoral property. Mary was a 45 year old mother of four, three sons and one daughter, when she became one of the 82 women who enrolled to vote after the franchise was granted to South Australian and Territory women in 1894. They lived at Springvale, then in 1894 they sold the station and moved to Bonrook Station near Pine Creek where they remained until 1923 making a meagre living from a butchering business, a mail run and spasmodic mining ventures. They retired in Adelaide.
Related link: James, Barbara, Helen J. Wilson, and Joanne Van Os. Occupation, Citizen : The Story of Northern Territory Women and the Vote (1894-96). Darwin, N.T.: B. James, 1995.
"Wedded 50 years." Northern Territory Times, 25 Mar 1930: p.4.
Subject: Women
Northern Territory
Citation address:
Appears in Collections:Territory Women

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