Mum Shirl memorial rededication


New Mum Shirl memorial plaque

On February 27, the Mum Shirl memorial outside St Vincent’s church was rededicated by Lord Mayor, Clover Moore MP.

The following article appeared in this month’s issue of The South Sydney Herald:

Saint of Redfern remembered ‘Mum’ Shirl (1924-1998)

The City of Sydney lit up Redfern Street on February 27 in an official memorial service for Colleen Shirl Perry, … Continue reading

Biographical entry, Australian Women’s Archives Project

Mum Shirl AM, MBE – Community worker

Born: c. 1924 Erambie Mission, West Cowra, New South Wales, Australia. Died: 28 April 1998.

A Wiradjuri woman, MumShirl was born Colleen Shirley Perry on Erambie Mission, West Cowra, New South Wales, around 1924. Her married name was Shirley Smith.
MumShirl wrote about her life in her book MumShirl: an autobiography. This book tells the story of her life working with Aboriginal people. MumShirl’s welfare work began with visits to Aboriginal people in jail, a commitment which was eventually recognised by the Department of Corrective Services … Continue reading

A great hero

Tribute to Mum Shirl – Williame Deane

In late November 2000 the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in Sydney’s inner city Annandale staged the exhibition, "Mum Shirl: The Sacred Trust of Memory", which subsequently moved to the Powerhouse Museum. It was opened on 22 November by the Governor-General, Fr Ted Kennedy and family members. The packed crowd of Aboriginal and other Australians overflowed and blocked one lane of busy Parramatta Road, one of Sydney’s main thoroughfares.

The text of Sir William Deane’s speech is reproduced below.

White Inhumanity

Tribute to Mum Shirl – Ted Kennedy

In late November 2000 the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in Sydney’s inner city Annandale staged the exhibition, "Mum Shirl: The Sacred Trust of Memory", which subsequently moved to the Powerhouse Museum. It was opened on 22 November by the Governor-General, Fr Ted Kennedy and family members. The packed crowd of Aboriginal and other Australians overflowed and blocked one lane of busy Parramatta Road, one of Sydney’s main thoroughfares.

The text of Fr Ted Kennedy’s speech is reproduced below.

A document for reconciliation

In 1991 the Federal Parliament voted unanimously to establish the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation to promote and guide a formal process of reconciliation. One task Parliament set the Council was "to consult Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and the wider Australian community on whether reconciliation would be advanced by a formal document or documents of reconciliation".
Over several years of discussions, consultations and independent research, the Council determined that there is wide support for such a document.
In June this year the Council launched a Draft Document for Reconciliation. The Council has been seeking the views of all … Continue reading

Freedom fighter #5

Shirley Perry Smith (Mum Shirl) ~ 1924-1998

Colleen Shirley Perry, tireless community worker, died on 28 April 1998 aged 73. Shirley was born on the Erambie Reserve, Cowra, of Wiradjuri descent. Born into a large family, young Shirley received great spiritual and moral guidance from her parents, Isabell and Joseph Perry, elders and grandparents.

Endowed with a prodigious memory and lively wit, she attended the Erambie Mission School, but her education was impaired by epilepsy, at a time when medication for the disease did not exist.