An Essay On Wheather Or Not Mary Reiby Should Be On The $20 Note.

1235 words - 5 pages

Mary Reibey, born Mary Haydock, may not be one of the most recognised Australian icons, but in her lifetime certain achieved many great accomplishments. She came out to Australia as a convict on the ship "The Royal Admiral" after being convicted of stealing a horse and being sentenced to seven years in Australia. She arrived in Sydney in October 1792 and two years later was married to Thomas Reibey (An Irish officer on the "Britannia") whom she met on her voyage out to Australia, this however is questionable as new evidence suggests that they did not come over on the same boat but instead meet thorough Major Francis Grose. This marriage to a free man meant that she was considered to be a free woman. After her husband's death in 1811, Mary was left not only to run her family of seven children but also his quite profitable import business. Mary soon proved to be very good at the business and financial sides of things and ended up owning a warehouse, many ships, seven farms, numerous buildings in Sydney and a sizable amount of money. She was obviously well respected in the colony and came a long way from her convict background. It was hard enough times for a woman to become successful in a male dominated world and she achieved so much and came so far that she deserves to be on our twenty dollar note.As said before, Mary Reibey came to Australia in 1792. This is only four years after the First Fleet's arrival in 1788. Due to the enormous task of building a colony and the time it would take to establish such a place, it can be expected that the conditions when Mary arrived would not have been that much better than they were in 1788. Therefore to get a better idea of what it was like for Mary, we can look at how the colony was at the time of the First Fleet. At this point the colony was set up with tents and very small huts. The men were trying to grow crops for food however this was very difficult to do as they had no ploughs or animals very little equipment and after the long voyage from England, did not have has much strength as they used to. One of the first crops they did manage to sow was a corn crop at the sight of what are now Sydney's Botanical Gardens. Conditions were very basic and rough, as Lieutenant Clarke stated in his journal, "what with the hard cold ground, spiders, ants and every vermin you can think of was crawling over me"(Taken from, "The Fatal Shore" by Robert Hughes). Convicts and their officers dominated the colony and a large majority of the population were male and therefore created a very male dominated society. This type of society was perhaps a little scary for a young woman convict such as Mary Reibey and shows a lot about her character, as she was obviously brave and strong enough to stand up for herself.It is for the following reasons that I believe Mary Reibey should be recognised by the people of today and be a symbol of Australia on the twenty-dollar note:Mary Reibey's greatest achievements and that which she became...

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