This image is the cover for the book In Search of Mina Wylie

In Search of Mina Wylie

In 1912, against a backdrop of growing feminist and national movements, the Australian public united behind a fundraising campaign to send two female swimmers to Stockholm to compete, for the first time, at an Olympic Games.  Coogee resident, Mina Wylie, was one of those women, and after winning silver at the 1912 Olympics she went on to become one of the greatest swimmers Australia ever produced.  Her career coincided with a growing view of beach culture and swimming as essential to a unique Australian way of life, and Mina became a role model for the vigorous and healthy ‘Australian Girl’.   As one of the first female sporting celebrities, she typified the new modern woman as she travelled to Europe and the USA, maintained an independent lifestyle and disregarded societal conventions.  In 1975, Mina was selected as an Honoree to the Florida based International Swimming Hall of Fame.  When her request to the Federal Government for expenses to attend the induction ceremony was denied, a nationwide fundraising campaign launched Mina back into the spotlight.  Sixty years after the Australian public had sent Mina to the Stockholm Olympics, the populace re-embraced the forgotten champion and sent her to Florida to take her place amongst the Greats of international swimming.   The book rediscovers Mina Wylie, a woman who twice inspired a nation, sixty years apart.  And a woman who was determined not be written out of Australian sporting history.

Grace Barnes

Grace grew up in Scotland and has lived in Australia for over two decades. Her professional life has been spent as a theatre director and playwright and she has written two books on musical theatre: Her Turn on Stage: The Role of Women in Musical Theatre (McFarland 2015) and National Identity and the British Musical: From Blood Brothers to Cinderella (Methuen Drama 2022). Grace has a PhD from the University of Technology Sydney. Grace loves to swim at Wylie’s Baths.

Austin Macauley Publishers