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Biographical entry Crommelin, Minard Fannie (1881 - 1972)


29 June 1881
Bombala, New South Wales, Australia
14 February 1972
Pearl Beach, New South Wales, Australia
Conservationist and Postmistress


Minard Crommelin, generally known as "Crommy", was educated at SCEGGS at Darlinghurst. She began work at fourteen as an unpaid assistant to the postmistress at Mittagong and eventually became an official member of the Postal Service. She worked as a postmistress for over 25 years and was one of the early operators of the "Morse Telegraph Key". She was the first postmistress at Woy Woy (1906-1910) and it was during this period that she grew to love the bush of the New South Wales central coast area. After her retirement in the mid 1930s she visited England and Europe, contacting many conservation and natural history societies (she was a member of 154 of them). On her return to Australia she bought seven acres of land at Pearl Beach, which she donated to the University of Sydney in 1946 to establish the Crommelin Biological Field Station, known as Warrah. She continued to be interested and active in nature conservation and from 1960 onwards donated a total of $17,768 to the Australian Academy of Science, some of which still exists as the Crommelin Conservation Fund. A road in Campbelltown has been named in her honour. She was appointed MBE - Member of The Order of the British Empire (Civil) - 1 January 1959 for flora and fauna.

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Minard Fannie Crommelin - Records, 1947 - 1954, A3637; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

University of Sydney, Archives

  • Minard Fannie Crommelin - Records, 1881 - 1970, P 51; University of Sydney, Archives. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

  • Teale, Ruth, 'Crommelin, Minard Fannie (1881-1972)' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle, eds, vol. 8 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1981), pp. 155-156. Details
  • Teale, Ruth, 'Minard Crommelin (1881-1972) conservationist' in 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Heather Radi, ed. (Sydney: Women's Redress Press Inc, 1988). Details

Edited Books

  • Radi, H. ed., 200 Australian Women: a Redress Anthology (Sydney: Women's Redress Press Inc, 1988), 268 pp. Details


Resource Sections

McCarthy, G.J.