Friday, 8 August 2014

Mary’s Australia - How Mary MacKillop Changed Australia

Our Stories: Mary’s Australia - How Mary MacKillop Changed Australia by Pamela Freeman (Walker Books)
PB RRP $17.95
ISBN 9781922077905
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Our Stories, the wonderful series published through black dog books, presents the life of Mary Mackillop beginning from the time she was seven years old, until 1909 when she died. It is juxtaposed with the history of Melbourne’s settlement; its progression, growth through population expansion, social and economic change, and the effect of white settlement on the Indigenous people.

Learning about Mary’s life, her strength, determination and her unshakable faith, is inspiring. She worked very hard as a child to support her family when for years her father was unable to get work. As a young woman, all she wanted was to join the order of nuns in Penola, but took up the option to ‘bring education to the far-flung towns of the Australian bush.’ It would take years for her to fulfil her dream of becoming a nun.

Mary Mackillop became the founder and head of the order of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the first religious institute to be founded by an Australian.

This 32 page book rich in Australian history and culture, is a superb resource for educational and reference purposes. Its images from the SLV, the wonderful  presentation, illustrations in pen and ink, and colour fitted beautifully into the text, present an expansive history of our country from the goldfields to Federation and beyond. It includes a Glossary and Index of word definitions and references at the end.  

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