Browsing round looking for information on the Anaiwan, the Aboriginal people who occupied the New England Tablelands from Gurya south, I came across the following reference on the Bundarra community site:
In the 1890’s a young Aboriginal woman by the name of May Yarrowyck whose mother had died during childbirth, trained in nursing at St Vincent’s hospital. On her return she worked for many years as a midwife in and around Bundarra riding great distances to deliver babies on some of the isolated selections, no doubt many of the people who are in Bundarra owe their existence to May’s competence in delivering their ancestors.
Now this is a rather remarkable story.
Bundarra lies some 80k northwest of Armidale and is, I think, in the divide area between Anaiwan and Kamilaroi. I would in fact have thought that this was Kamilaroi territory.
So what's remarkable about the story? It's the date.
This is the earliest recorded date that I have so far seen of an indigenous person gaining some form of qualification. Further, unlike Emma Jane Callaghan whose work seems to have focused exclusively on the indigenous community, May seems to have provided midwife services to the broader community.
A web search shows just one reference to May, the Bundarra page. So who was she? If anybody knows, please let me know.