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Crommelin, Minard Fannie (1881 - 1972)


Aston Station, New South Wales, Australia
Conservationist and Postmistress


Minard Crommelin, generally known as "Crommy", was educated at Sydney Church of England Girls' Grammar School at Darlinghurst. She began work at fourteen as an unpaid assistant to the postmistress at Mittagong and eventually became an official member of the Postal Service. She worked as a postmistress for over 25 years and was one of the early operators of the "Morse Telegraph Key". She was the first postmistress at Woy Woy (1906-1910) and it was during this period that she grew to love the bush of the New South Wales central coast area. After her retirement in the mid 1930s she visited England and Europe, contacting many conservation and natural history societies (she was a member of 154 of them). On her return to Australia she bought seven acres of land at Pearl Beach, which she donated to the University of Sydney in 1946 to establish the Crommelin Biological Field Station, known as Warrah. She continued to be interested and active in nature conservation and from 1960 onwards donated a total of $17,768 to the Australian Academy of Science, some of which still exists as the Crommelin Conservation Fund. A road in Campbelltown has been named in her honour. She was appointed MBE - Member of The Order of the British Empire (Civil) - 1 January 1959 for flora and fauna.

Sources used to compile this entry: Teale, Ruth, 'Crommelin, Minard Fannie (1881-1972)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,; The Gazette [University of Sydney] May 1972, pp.36-37; Australian Academy of Science, archived file 6635, Crommelin gift.

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • 'Deed of gift of land and effects' of M. F. Crommelin at Warra to University of Sydney for establishment of Crommelin Biological Station, 1947 - 1954, A 3637; Crommelin, Minard Fannie (1881 - 1972); Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

University of Sydney, Archives

  • Minard Fannie Crommelin - Records, 1881 - 1970, P 51; University of Sydney, Archives. Details

Rosanne Walker

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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