Berrima Market Place

Don’t miss the Charlotte Atkinson bronze statue In the Market Place Park in Berrima.

Charlotte was one of the most remarkable women of our pioneering era.

She set out alone for the Colony in 1826 to take up a position as a Governess for the Macarthur family. On the long and arduous journey, she met and fell in love with land owner and respected agriculturalist, James Atkinson.

They married and he built Oldbury House – between Berrima and Sutton Forest – as a wedding gift for her.

James died suddenly in 1834, leaving Charlotte with four small children and a vast estate to manage. She survived an attack by bushrangers, a disastrous and violent second marriage and attempts to remove her right to live at Oldbury and raise her own children.

Charlotte was passionate about the education of girls and a fierce champion for the rights of women.

She wrote children’s stories and became the country’s first published children’s author. She fought a Supreme Court battle for custody of her children and the right to an income from the estate and her successful action became a landmark case in Family Law.

The beautiful bronze statue of Charlotte is the work of local sculptor, Julie Haseler Reilly. A group of local women ran a fund-raising campaign and raised the money through overwhelming public support and also assistance from the Wingecarribee Shire Council.

The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of NSW, unveiled the statue in December 2023.

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