Mary Toliman

Mary Toliman, a Dharawal woman, is widely known as a midwife, “The last full blood aborigine in the valley was Mrs Toliman, who became Mrs John Longbottom. She was a midwife whose services were valued in that isolated valley with the nearest doctor many miles away and she brought many new arrivals into the world.” Another settler writes, “She was held in great esteem as a midwife and bush nurse, … the farmers swore by her herbal remedies. She would never let anyone find what she used for her poultices for drawing out poisons or the healing of open wounds, of the internal doses, ranging from a few drops to a tablespoon all she would say was that they were forbidden by the elders to reveal these things, that had been handed down from mother to daughter since time began and if she told she would not be welcome in the Dreamland where all her ancestors had gone.” Johnson, Sacred Waters, pp. 49-50. Mary Toliman has four children: Selena, Burt, Mary and Fred.