Dame Mary was a poet and author who was born Mary Jean Cameron at Cottawalla, New South Wales. She sailed to Paraguay, South America in 1895 to join Socialist settlement of Cosme and returned to Australia in 1902. Dame Mary wrote the women’s page for the Worker, Sydney for twenty-three years and her first book Marri’d and Other Verses was published in 1910. Dame Mary was awarded the Australian Journalists’ Association gold medal given to her for being the oldest working woman journalist in Australia. she was the first woman in the Australian Worker’s Union and the only woman to stand on its Committee.