Sun, 18 Sept|
Miegunyah House Museum
Early birds: Those magnificent ladies and their flying machines
During the glorious pre-war decade of aviation in Queensland, women took to flying as a fashionable hobby and future career. At the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, this hopeful age of women in aviation crashed. Who were these women and what are their untold stories?
Time & Location
18 Sept 2022, 1:30 pm – 19 Sept 2022, 4:00 pm
Miegunyah House Museum, 35 Jordan Terrace, Bowen Hills QLD 4006, Australia
About the event
Speaker: Sharyn Merkley
Time: 1.30 pm for 2 pm start
Cost: $10 Members/ $15 non-Members. Afternoon tea is included.
While we remember national heroes such as Lores Bonney and Nancy Bird Walton, Queensland had its own group of daring and ambitious women pilots. Newspapers and magazines celebrated their youth, enthusiasm, talent and glamorous fashions. At the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, this hopeful age of women in aviation crashed. For many of these women, it was a turning point in their lives. Flying careers were no longer possible. Their husbands and fiancés left for combat, some never to return. Who were these women and what are their untold stories?
Sharyn Merkley, a Brisbane resident from birth, is a family historian with a life-long passion for history. As well as being involved in the archives at Miegunyah, Sharyn has done extensive research for the Genealogical Society of Queensland, including undertaking specialist research projects focused on early Queensland settlers. She has worked on the Annie Wheeler Project looking at the lives of over 2500 World War I soldiers and is currently working on an index of Battle of Waterloo veterans who settled in Australia after the conflict. Her book, Brisbane Burns: How the Great Fires of 1864 Shaped a City and its People (2017) traced the impact of the devastating fires on both the ordinary and well-known citizens of the early settlement city.
Sharyn is currently writing about the early women pioneers of flying and will introduce some of her work during this lecture. Sharyn volunteers at Miegunyah in the archives and is one of the team who runs Archive Discovery Day, where members can find out more about the archive’s hidden stories. She also regularly volunteers as a library research assistant and is currently completing further studies on family history through the University of Tasmania.
Image courtesy of State Library of Queensland. neg. 61826: Aviator Ivy May Pearce Hassard dressed in overalls and goggles taken in the cockpit of an aeroplane for the front cover of the Queenslander Pictorial 1936.
Ticket price includes afternoon tea.$10.00
Price of ticket includes afternoon tea.$15.00