Why I love the story of Mary Bryant



While I probably more than many can completely get around a movie or TV show with a super strong kick ass woman in the lead there is yet to be one that beats the story of Mary Bryant, and while my love with the show started with the fact the main character shares a last name with my mothers side of the family it certainly doesn’t end there, but with a huge amount of respect for what was an amazingly strong woman who never took no for an answer and would not let anyone else tell her how her life should be.


The mini series tells the story of a young woman who was convicted of stealing a bonnet and a small amount of money and was sentenced to transportation on the first fleet. She did what she had to do to ensure her own safety and subsequently lead to her doing the same for the offspring she had as a result. While she used her sexuality to get what she needed at times it her sharp intellect and resourcefulness that helped her many more.


She along with her husband, young child, baby and several men from the settlement become determined to escape as a way to save themselves from starvation. They steal what will be required and make a run for it to Timor where they pretend to be from a merchant boat that was shipwrecked on a reef. As one can image making such a huge journey and with so much at stake there are many occasions when some needed a good clip around the ears and others that need the word of encouragement. But mostly there were times when everyone else gave up and Mary did what needed to be done to save their lives. Of course their story doesn’t end there but I don’t want to ruin it for all of you who hopefully will go and watch the amazing show that it is after reading this.


For me the show significantly more than the real story reminds me that sometimes all that is needed to make something happen no matter how hard it is a woman on a mission. A woman who will stand up fight for what she believes and do what ever it takes to get it done.


It gives me back that sense of ‘girl power’ that most of the drivel on TV takes away from me. That drive, that reminder that I don’t need some dreamy strong man to do it for me- while it is nice to have him as well. I don’t need him to do it for me I can do it myself.


At the end of the two part mini series I feel uplifted and ready to grab the challenges life throws at me and overcome them where as I think I am supposed to feel sad for her, for her husband and for her children which I do must mostly I feel strong and empowered. And I hate the fact that I have to write this about a show because I am like ‘wow what a great show with a strong female lead who is just generally badass. That’s abnormal.’


And I guess I could write very similar pieces about Buffy the vampire slayer or Daenerys Targaryen  I feel that these are both characters that have  been well written about where as Mary I feel doesn’t get enough cred.

So yea I think that if your feeling a bit crappy, had a rough day full of asshats or are even sitting at home sick at any point in the near future have about two hours to kill and are looking for that little pick me up I can’t recommend it enough!


You can find the show on youtube here (frustratingly in ten minute clips but at least its all in a playlist)


You can find out about the true story of Mary Bryant here


‘you will run under blue skies and you will be with strong proud people, and no matter what happens to you, you will never give up its in your blood’


Mikaela Wangmann

National Womens Officer 2013

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