Kristin Weidenbach with Alison Brown

Published by Cygnet Bay Pearls

Available from sales@pearlsofaustralia.com.au


About a Girl, About a Pearl

This is the story of Alison Brown whose husband and father in law  and his brother who began the now well known Aussie Pearl Company Cygnet Bay Pearls in WA and now more recently Broken Bay Pearls in NSW.

However this fascinating family story of penniless pioneers who started a small pearling enterprise that has grown into the successful Cygnet Bay South Sea pearl business, is also very much a woman’s adventure romance!

John Boxer packing pearl shell
The purpose-built DMB which brought in many bountiful harvests of cultured pearls.

For a 19 year old bride leaving her home in WA’s wheatbelt country to move to far flung Cygnet  Bay 200kms north of Broome on the Dampier Peninsula WA to live in a rough paperbark shack shows Alison’s determination and spirit of adventure.

Having visited the Browns at Cygnet Bay pearl farm (now run by Alison and Bruce’s son James) some years back I can attest to its remoteness but also its astounding beauty and how one can become caught in the lure of the pearl.

Alison drying pearl meat

Australian South Sea pearls (as they became known) are unlike any other pearl in the world, and their story is as swashbuckling, romantic and dangerous as any book or movie.

Alison’s story of the Brown family’s involvement in establishing a cultured pearl industry with its dramas and highlights in an extraordinary area of Australia is fascinating in itself but add in the excitement, tragedies and highlights of family life, a unique business in a wonderland wilderness, well, it all sounds more like a novel!

Alison Brown her daughters and granddaughters

Alison’s story reinforces the knowledge of so many intrepid, indomitable and strong women who have been pioneers in our country side by side with their menfolk and continue to do so. It’s good to hear the story from an intrepid female point of view as told to biographer Kristin Weidenbach!


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