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  • Writer's pictureSim Luttin


100 Women 100 Brooches 100 Stories Curated by Kirsten Fitzpatrick Artisan Gallery, 381 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley from 29 Sep to 12 Nov 2011.

The touring exhibition features 100 stories of great Australian women who have broken barriers in arts, sciences, humanities and sports, and 100 brooches were made in response to these stories by 100 of Australia’s women jewellers.

An exhibition celebrating 100 years of International Women’s Day, the exhibition tours Australia until 2014.

I was paired with Mary Reibey, who was a convict sent to Sydney from England to Australia by ship on The Royal Admiral, after posing as a boy and stealing a horse at age 13. Mary went on to become one of the most successful business owners in the Colony. It is thought that her business dealings contributed to the foundation of the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac), in which Mary eventually became a major shareholder. In recognition of her business achievements and contribution to society in the Colony, Mary Reibey, and one of her ships the Mercury is featured on the $20 note.

Mary Reibey was a woman who achieved great things as a businesswoman, mother, partner, and entrepreneur, in a time where issues class, gender and politics were shaping the foundation of a new society. Mary Reibey’s life and achievements greatly inspired me as I created this brooch. And so, for Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor, I created the brooch Mary Mary consisting various elements that together, subtly paint a picture of a various achievements of Mary Reibey’s very full and prosperous life.


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