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Shirley Smith ('Mum Shirl') (1921–1998)
Shirley Smith was an Aborigine who was born in Cowra, New South Wales. She was not able to go to an ordinary school because she suffered from epilepsy and was taught at home by her grandfather.
Shirley began to visit Aboriginal people in prison when one of her brothers was there and found other people also enjoyed having someone to talk to. She also went to court sometimes to help people who had been charged with a crime. People began to call her 'Mum Shirl'. Some of her time was spent finding homes for children whose parents could not look after them or helping children to find their own parents again.
With some other people, she set up the Aboriginal Medical Service and the Aboriginal Legal Service to give proper service to Aboriginal people who needed it. Shirley could not read or write, but could speak 16 different Aboriginal languages.
Her work was commemorated with an Order of Australia and an Order of the British Empire.
My daughter is doing a high school power point project on Mum Shirl. One thing I've noticed is the discrepency with her birth year the majority of the information (online) states that Mum Shirl was born in 1924 not 1921. Also although she was mother to over 60 foster children, any information about any biological children or her husband is missing. Also there is no access to online archive video of Mum Shirl which is a shame.
shirley smith this is a very nice story about her and i love how much efert is in it
it is really informative thanks
this has great information about Shirley Smith.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|