Anne McLeod — Marie Byles: The Summit of Her Ambition

Marie Byles was at the forefront of social change as the first woman to be admitted as a solicitor in NSW. She established a successful practice in 1929 and fought for women’s equal rights in law, including that of equal guardianship rights for mothers (1934).

Marie was also a devoted bushwalker and eminent conservationist. As Australia’s first environmental lawyer, Marie helped reserve precious wilderness areas for national parks.

A fearless explorer-mountaineer, she travelled the world in search of virgin peaks and learnt mindfulness meditation in Burma. Her books on Buddha’s teachings influenced a generation of seekers in the 1960s.

Anne McLeod celebrates Marie’s exceptional life as a social activist, environmentalist, mountaineer and early Western Buddhist, illustrated with Marie’s own photographs.


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