Mary Poppins statue
Public art: Mary Poppins statue
Sculptor: © Rhyl Hinwood
Description: A life size bronze statue of the
children's book character, Mary Poppins (the world's most famous nanny), in her trade mark outfit, umbrella and
travelling carpetbag as described by her creator Pamela L. Travers (and not in the likeness of Julie Andrew's
character from the Disney movie). The statue weighs 100kg and is 1.5 m high.
Date Unveiled: 2005
Funded By: The Mary Poppin's statue was funded in
part by a campaign run by Maryborough's Proud Marys Association, a generous benefactor and from public
donations . Rotary North Club donated $12,500, State Government and the council contributed $5,000, the "generous"
benefactor $20,000 and the Fraser community raised $23,235.
Location: Mary Poppins is located outside the former
bank building where Travers was born and where her father once worked, on the corner of Kent and Richmond
Street, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia.
Trivia: Writer Pamela L. Travers was born in
Maryborough in 1899.
Rhyl sort inspiration for the statue from drawings by Mary Shepard, the woman who illustrated the
original Mary Poppins book, after permission was obtained.
Mary Shepard was given the job of illustrating P.L Travers book at the age of 23, after Travers
discovered her work on a Christmas card. This was after Shepard's father, the famous Winnie-the-Pooh and
The Wind in the Willows illustrator, declined the work because he was too busy.
The model for the statue was Hinwood's friend's daughter.
Despite Poppins often being depicted with her umbrella open it was decided that due to weight ,
balance and other issues with the bronze, the umbrella would be closed. Or as Rhyl put it "The umbrella is closed -
a good thing for many passers-by who might have copped a knock on the head otherwise."
Other Mary Poppins statues:
Mary Poppins in Bowral New South Wales.
References: Fraser Coast Chronicle; Article by Carlie
Walker, Telling tales of the region from whales to Poppins, 3rd November, 2012.