Emma Timberery was born to Betsey, an Aboriginal woman from Liverpool; and Jimmy Lowndes, a Dharawal man. (His may have been a white man, named Lowndes, working on William Macarthur’s estate in Camden. And, it’s said, he’d been hidden rom tribesmen wanting to wipe out “half-castes” like him, by a senior Dharwal man, called Bradbury.)
Emma’s devotion as a mother was legend. It began, naturally enough, with her own children and grandchildren. Even if that meant extreme sacrifice. Take, for example, her love for her daughter Jean, as described by Goodall and Cadzow:
Jean had married a Gandangara lnanJ Henry John Simms, in the 1880s and moved with him to his country in the Southern Highlands. The unhappy marriage collapsed and when Jean died during the birth of her third chi ld in 1890, her mother Emma walked up the river valley to bring her grandchildren, and another young child from the Simms family, back to La Perouse. Their long and difficult journey back, largely on foot, left a rich legacy of stories…”
But more strangely, she could be a mother to isolated whites too. In particular, to Retta Dixon.
Heather Goodall, Allison Cadzow, Rivers and resilience : Aboriginal people on Sydney’s Georges River, Sydney : UNSW Press, 2009.
- Heather Goodall, Allison Cadzow, Rivers and resilience: Aboriginal people on Sydney’s Georges River, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2009. p 106 ↩