Bowral - the birthplace of Mary Poppins

Find out why we think Bowral is the birthplace of Mary Poppins

Father-daughter team: Paul & Melissa McShane (Photo: James Brickhill Sydney Morning Herald)

About us

The website has been created and is maintained by BiblioQuest International Pty Ltd as part of its BookTown Australia portfolio of projects.

The website’s editors are father-daughter team, Paul McShane and Melissa McShane, the founders and directors of the Mary Poppins Birthplace Project. Aside from the website and research, the main focus of the Mary Poppins Birthplace Project has been the erection of a life-size bronze statue of Mary Poppins in the town of Bowral to commemorate the literary link with the author PL Travers, who lived in the town for a decade with her family as a child and teenager from 1907-1917. In particular the website promotes what the McShanes believe is Bowral’s compelling claim to the “birthplace” of Mary Poppins – the place where the author first conceived the character as a bedtime story for her younger sisters.
The other major event conceived and directed by Paul McShane, assisted by Melissa, and staged in conjunction with the Southern Highlands Youth Arts Council and its Mary Poppins subcommittee, was the “Welcome Home Mary Poppins” event on 7th May 2011. This event saw the breaking of two Guinness World Records. The first was for the Largest Umbrella Mosaic with 2,115 people (see picture below) and the second was for the Largest Umbrella Dance with 1,216 people.

“Don’t you know that everybody’s got a Fairyland of their own?”

― P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins