May O'Dwyer, on 16 October 1863 at Ashberry House, Caraig Hill, County Tipperary, Ireland.
At the age of
twenty-one she travelled on the Almora to Australia for health reasons, not to South
Australia but Townsville in Queensland.
employment as a governess on Fanning Downs Station and on 13 March 1884 married Edwin Henry Murrant,
better known as Breaker Morant. However after stealing a few pigs and paying with unsecured cheques,
or not at all, Daisy told him to get lost. Daisy then remarried John Bates, an Australian born man
of action, breaker of wild horses, bushman and drover, on 17 February 1885. Daisy Bates had become a
Drover's wife. From 1894 to 1899, she worked in London as a journalist while her family remained in
Australia. Subsequently, she was commissioned by The Times to return to Australia and
investigate the alleged cruelty to the Aboriginal population.
Thus began her
life living amongst the Aborigines, for 26 years from 1919 to 1945, all up some 35 years. In this
time she studied customs, languages, rites and legends going back to the Dreamtime. To passengers on
the Trans-Continental train she was a familiar sight, an anachronistic figure in her Edwardian
ankle-length skirts, high starched collar and voluminous fly-veil.
In 1933 she was
created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by King George V.
A Western Australian tribe
gave her the name of 'Kabbarli', the Grandmother. Her book, The Passing of the Aborigines,
published in London in 1938 eared her an international reputation.
When she was more than 80
years of age she went back to live with tribal aborigines at Wynbring, 177 klms east of Ooldea but
illness compelled her to return to Adelaide where she died in 1951.