Posted on 01 Sep 2019

Kudnartu

Kudnartu (1831-1855) was born in the Crystal Brook area to a Ngadjuri father and Kaurna mother. Her name means a girl who is third-born.

After her marriage in 1848 to Thomas Adams, a local shearer, she was known as Mary Anne Adams. Theirs was the first legal union between an Aboriginal and a colonist making Kudnartu the first Aboriginal woman to marry under British law in South Australia.

She learned to read and write at the Native Establishment School on Kintore Avenue in Adelaide, skills she taught her husband and sons. She was granted a landholding near Skillogalee however this property did not transfer to her descendants.

In 2003 Wellington Square was renamed Wellington Square/Kudnartu to honour this Kaurna woman. The square also recognises Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), who led the allied armies to victory at the Battle of Waterloo, and served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Celebrating 125 years of women's suffrage in South Australia.

Image: S Burnett photographer