About Mary Poppins
Maryborough, Queensland has a unique link to the world’s most famous nanny that no other place in the world can claim. It is the birthplace of Mary Poppins author Pamella Lyndon Travers, whose beloved novels were brilliantly adapted for the popular Disney movie of the same name and the award winning musical.
Maryborough celebrates its connection to Mary Poppins in many ways and the annual Mary Poppins Festival, now in its 13th year, is believed to be the first in the world to celebrate Mary Poppins and the success of her creator.
Maryborough’s riverside parks and heritage streetscapes provide a perfect setting for the festival with a range of other magical Mary experiences guaranteed to delight both young and old.
The Proud Marys
The Proud Marys are an international association for women whose name contains ‘Mary’ or a derivative. The organisation was formed in Maryborough in 1999 with a small band of volunteers determined to raise the profile of Maryborough as the birthplace of P.L. Travers.
Their annual morning tea was the catalyst for the Mary Poppins Festival. The Proud Marys members were also the driving force behind the Mary Poppins statue, erected in Richmond Street in 2005 outside of the author’s birthplace.
Pamela Travers was born Helen Lyndon Goff in Maryborough on 9 August 1899 to parents Margaret and Robert Goff. Helen’s father was the manager of the Australian Joint Stock Bank and she was born in a bedroom of the second storey residence of the building in Kent Street.
After spending the first few years of her life in Maryborough, her family moved to Brisbane then Ipswich, Allora, Bowral and then Sydney. In Sydney, Helen began a career as a dancer and an actress appearing mainly in Shakespearean plays in Australia and New Zealand. At the age of 25 Helen moved to England seeking literary fame and fortune, adopting the name P.L Travers for her writing.