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Wingecarribee Women Writers
News & events


Charlotte is unveiled

We are so pleased to report that an extraordinary day was had, celebrating the unveiling of our beloved Charlotte Atkinson Statue. In the heritage village of Berrima on Saturday December 9.


A bronze statue of Australia’s first published children’s author has been accepted on behalf of the Southern Highlands community by Council Administrator Viv May.

Around 300 community members came along for the occasion at Marketplace Park. Unveiled by her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC Governor of New South Wales.


The Charlotte Project Chair, Lynn Watson. “We are thrilled that residents and visitors will now be able to share in the story of a remarkable piece of our local history by enjoying this beautiful statue of a true pioneering spirit and inspiration to women everywhere.”


The Charlotte Project attracted the interest of many local women from all walks of life who joined in the journey of bringing this project to life. Enjoying a slice of celebration cake together was the icing on the cake for all who took part in the unveiling.


The Wingecaribee Women Writers extend a most sincere thank you to all who have contributed to the Charlotte Project. 



Unveiling Of Cahrlotte



A statue of  Charlotte Atkinson, who is Australia’s First Children’s Author, Trailblazer in the fight for women’s legal rights and champion for the education of girls. Is to be unveiled by her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC Governor of New South Wales

9 December 2023
Berrima Market Place Park

Join us for tea and cake afterwards

A children's show about Charlotte Atkinson
will be performed by Piccolo Ponies

Created by local sculptor Julie Haseler Reilly, this statue was made possible by the generosity of the Southern Highlands community.

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Charlotte's Story is being told at local primary schools in the Southern Highlands in an effort to share her story with the younger members of our community. 


Erin Reedie is a committee member and owner of the children's entertainment company, Piccolo Ponies. She has devised a 45 min one-woman (and one-pony show). Re-telling the story of Australia's first children's author in a fun, imaginative and inspiring manner.

This show is aligned with the current NSW curriculum. 

Plans have been fast-tracked to erect three new statues of prominent Sydney women in the CBD.

Sydney City Council last night voted to expedite delivery of the statues, after concerns the city's monuments are mostly dedicated to men. 

Julie spoke about her work on the Charlotte Project and the female gaze used to create her art.  


A joyful day was spent unveiling the plaques of Charlotte Atkinson, Louisa Atkinson, Jane Emily Atkinson and James Atkinson. The local community and descendants of Charlotte gathered at All Saints Chruch in Sutton Forrest to unveil the plaques and enjoy an afternoon tea celebrating that Charlotte and her family are no longer lying in unmarked graves. 

Charlotte Atkinson was the very first children’s book writer in Australia and the first woman in Australia to receive legal custody of her children. She was a pioneer for woman’s rights and education. Her daughter Louisa went on to be a writer herself. 

Thank you to all who contributed to this appeal. The Wingecaribbe Women Writers appreciates your support. 

unveiling of the plaques.

Southern Highlands Arts Trial

The progress of the Charlotte Atkinson statue was showcased in this year's Southern Highlands Arts Trail. The Arts Trail showcases Southern Highlands' creativity. Where locals can visit the artists at their own studios, and see where they create their work.


Julie has only a few more days of refinement and then the statue will be sent off to the foundry for the next stage in its creation.

Southern Highlands Writer's Festival

A successful event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Stella Prize, The launch of  The Charlotte Appeal and the 100th anniversary of the Country Women’s Association of NSW. Participants enjoyed hearing the words of award-winning panellists including Professor Clare Wright, Dr Kate Forsyth, Belinda Murrell, Paula McLean, Jaclyn Booton and Tracey Spicer. Set at Fairground Follies (Bowral's famous antique mechanical museum) we concluded with a celebratory party with canapés and a glass of bubbles. A wonderful event that successfully introduced Charlotte Atkinson to the local community. 

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