Great response to “Mum Shirl – Black Saint of Redfern”

Elaine and Mum Shirl (c) Elaine Pelot Syron

The exhibition “Mum Shirl – Black Saint of Redfern” has received some rave reviews. The exhibtion is on until the 27 July 2019.

The Sydney Morning Herald said; 

”The Syrons hope their exhibition will play a small part in correcting the tendency for black history to be ignored…

Syron’s wife Elaine Syron has contributed photographs of the “incredible woman” who helped her husband survive prison. She travelled with Mum Shirl to Alice Springs, documenting her interactions with the children she fostered and Dr Roberta “Bobbi” Sykes, who would later help write her autobiography.

“We need to remember Mum Shirl because she was an unusual person,” says Elaine, holding back tears. “She cared about the history of – and what’s going to happen to – her people, culture, language and traditions.”

The exhibition also features in Time Out

”Get to know a prominent Indigenous women and beloved community advocate in this exhibition for NAIDOC Week

Shirley Smith, better known as Mum Shirl, was a Wiradjuri woman brought up by her grandparents in Cowra. Despite epilepsy hampering her ability to participate in Western education, she learned 16 Aboriginal languages and became a hugely influential social worker, humanitarian and community leader for Indigenous people in Sydney and beyond.”

It was also profiled by SBS;

”A new exhibition by Indigenous artist Gordon Syron and his wife Elaine Pelot Syron has paid tribute to the life of Wiradjuri Elder Mum Shirl….

…For all the things that Mum Shirl stood for and fought against to try and help Aboriginal people … I think Mum Shirl would be quite happy and glad that I’m still fighting the fight and I’m still here for Aboriginal people trying to make a difference,” Mr Syron told NITV News. 

Alongside the paintings, the exhibition features historical photographs of Mum Shirl by Mr Syron’s wife Elaine Pelot Syron.

“Mum Shirl meant a lot to thousands and thousands and thousands of people all over Australia,” Pelot Syron told NITV News. “She should be a hero that nobody ever forgets because her spirit will live on forever if people would give comment and say all the things she did for people.”


Two grandsons of Mum Shirl: Peter Smith, Councillor for Mid North Coast, and his brother Richard; gave permission for Gordon and Elaine Syron-Pelot to host this event in honour of Mum Shirl.


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