State Library of South Australia logoDownstream, the River Murray in South Australia
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Did you know? : First female captain

Australia's first female boat captain was the River Murray's Pearl Wallace (nee Collins, later Hogg). Pearl was brought up on the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin where her father, William Collins, was a paddle-steamer captain. In 1947, when William became unable to continue as skipper and his sons were otherwise engaged, he convinced Pearl that she could take charge of his steamer. Pearl was awarded a Master Mariner's certificate in October 1947, the first Australian woman to earn the title of captain. Pearl's life was the inspiration behind Nancy Cato's novel All the rivers run which was made into a television mini-series.

Captain Pearl Hogg at the wheel of P.S. Kookaburra
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