Also known as: née Zigenbine, Edna Jessop

Born: 10 October 1926

Died: 15 September 2007

Special Achievements:

Edna was Australia's first female boss drover.  She began working full-time as a drover at the age of 14 and was droving with her family across the Northern Territory on the Murranji Track.  Her father took delivery of 1550 bullocks near Halls Creek in 1950 and then became ill after a fall from a horse.  He called on Edna to take over as boss drover, and with her brother Andy and four ringers, moved the mob 2,240 kilometres across the Barkly Tableland to Dajarra, south of Mount Isa.  She did not lose any cattle on the trip.  This droving trip made headlines around the country and overseas.

Additional Information:

Slim Dusty's song "Give My Regards To Edna" (written by Stan Coster) is a tribute to Edna Zigenbine.


  • Image - Edna Zigenbine

    from NPWHF Edna ZIGENBINE file

  • References

    Edna Zigenbine features in John Andersen's book, Bagmen Millionaires: Life and People in Outback Queensland, Penguin, Ringwood, 1988.

  • References

    Isaacs, Jennifer. (1990).  Pioneer Women of the Bush and Outback.  Sydney:  Lansdowne Publishing, p. 179.

         “Another woman drover to achieve renown in the late 1940s was Edna Zigenbine, who absorbed the skill and techniques of the well-known Queensland and Territory drover, Harry Zigenbine.  She spent much of her childhood on the road with cattle and although she had no formal education, learnt to master horses and cattle.

         She was renowned as a reliable drover with bullocks but had a skill with cows and calves which surpassed any man.

         “She’d mother them up and nurse them along; must have been the female instinct to care for the young.  Give Edna a mob of cows and calves; there’d be calves born on the road, and Edna would deliver more cattle than she started out with.””