Daisy May BATES

Also known as: Daisy May O'Dwyer

Born: 16/10/1863

Died: 18/4/1951

Additional Information:

Daisy May Bates led a colourful life which included three marriages two of which are presumably bigamous and possible change/changes of name for whatever reason.  Her first marrage was to Breaker Morant the infamous poet and horseman whom she was with for less than a year.  A 5 year stint in England learning the craft of journalism enabled Daisy to use these skills on her return whilst she lived with the Aboriginals. She was interested in the allegations about atrocities she had read about.  

Her life, work and writings on Australian's Indigenous has made her name well known for her self sacrifice in welfare work.  She wrote around 270 articles for newspapers about Aboriginal life and culture although it was presented in the press as unintelligibly bizarre.

Her place in Australian folklore has been formalised by the opera, The Young Kabbarli.  Her achievements remain the subject of sustained controversy.

Social worker, author and scientist


  • Image - Daisy May Bates (1863-1951) by Moore's Studio 1936

    Daisy May at the age of 73.

    Image curtesy of the State Library of Australia SLSA B6799