Ernestine Hill Collection, UQFL18, Box 32, Folder 1, negative 18/2176
The Ernestine Hill Collection consists of typescript and handwritten drafts, notes and research material relating to published works and also to a wide range of literary projects mostly undertaken during the later part of Hill's writing career, from 1945 onwards. These unpublished works cover a variety of genres: novels, plays, descriptive writing and scripts for radio, television and film. Personal correspondence and a very large collection of photographs taken by Hill during her many long tours of outback Australia. Material on the life of Daisy Bates, and plans for a film based on her life; also two complete unpublished novels.
Born Mary Ernestine Hemmings (1899) in Rockhampton, Queensland, she was educated at All Hallows School and Stott & Hoare's Business College, Brisbane. After working briefly in the public service she joined the staff of 'Smith's Weekly', Sydney, in 1919, as secretary to its literary editor J F Archibald. Hill subsequently became sub-editor of the paper and consolidated her career as a journalist during the 1930s when she travelled extensively across Australia writing articles for Associated Newspapers and other publications such as 'Walkabout'. Her articles were widely read and sometimes controversial: her reporting of a gold strike in the Northern Territory in 1931 contributed to financial ruin for some and was branded irresponsible; another, a front page story for the Sunday 'Sun', 19 June 1932, marked the beginning of a long and sometimes turbulent association with Daisy Bates.
Hill's major published works arose out of her travels during this period ? 'The Great Australian Loneliness' (1937), 'Water into Gold' (1937), 'Flying Doctor Calling' (1947), 'The Territory' (1951) and 'Kabbarli', a personal memoir of Daisy Bates, published posthumously in 1973. Her only published novel was the immensely successful 'My Love Must Wait' (1941), based on the life of Matthew Flinders. Between 1940 and 1942 Hill was editor of the women's pages of the 'A.B.C. Weekly' and from 1941 to 1944 she was a commissioner of the A.B.C. After her resignation from this position she resumed her travels, working constantly on ideas for future novels, plays, travel and historical books and radio and film scripts. Apart from 'The Territory' (1951) and a few articles none of these were ever published. Hill was awarded a Commonwealth Literary Fund fellowship in 1959, which provided her with a small pension but the last years of her life were dominated by financial hardship and ill-health. She returned to Brisbane in 1970 and died there in 1972.
Headstone reads [Inscript in Hebrew, followed by English] 'In Loving Memory of / MAURICE EDWARD ISSACS / SON OF THE LATE / HENRY & KATE ISSAACS. / OF LONDON AND NEW ZEALAND / DIED 27TH JUNE 1910 / AGED 41 YEARS. / LIFE AS A FATHER ? HIS CHILDREN / AS THE LORD ? THEM THAT FEAR ? '.
Negatives originally housed in envelope. Handwritten annotations on envelope 'BROOME - NEGATIVES / Lugger / Pearling / Graveyard / Sheba Lane / Shell Shed'. Title devise d by library staff based on accompanying acquisition information.