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Two months on Fisher Island

6 January 1958

Monday 6 January 1958 to Friday 28 February 1958

Based much of the time alone in a hut on Fisher Island, with a row to the nearest shops, Post Office and people, Mary loved her island life. With the help of local government department staff and fishermen, she was able to visit a huge number of islands: Cat, Great Dog, Little Dog, Flinders, the three islands of Spence’s Reef, Tern Reef, Reef Island, the four islands of Scott’s Reefs, Penguin and Tin Kettle Islands, Puncheon Island and Puncheon Reef, Babel, Chappell and Green Islands. She mapped and recorded local flora and fauna, collected specimens to go into the university herbarium in Melbourne, met many local characters, and enjoyed a lifestyle that she would hanker after and remember with much fondness in later years. The archive contains Mary's diaries for these months and they make fascinating reading.

Mary captions for the photos posted here are as follows:
Me with ‘Half Safe’ [her trusty dinghy] on the Fisher Island slip. Reef Island and Strzecki Peaks in the background.
Above left: Me donning desert boots to explore Big Dog Island.
Aove right: Me and Leila Barrett of Lady Barron back at Fisher Island after a long row to Great Dog Island.
Below: ‘Yolla’ the aboriginal word for muttonbird. [Visitors to the CSIRO hut where Mary spent most of her time on Fisher Island, (L-R): the artist Russell ‘Tas’ Drysdale, CSIRO mutton bird researcher Dominic Serventy, and ‘snake-man’ Eric Worrell.]