Family stories

The following books were written by my mother, Dorothy Bremner (nee Kinny) over a 40 year period.

It all started when she began typing up her diaries from our trip to Europe in 1973 and the subsequent research into the family history - firstly on the Kinny/ Yabsley side and then later on the Smythe side. For many years as a teenager, I can recollect falling asleep to the tapping of a typewriter as she diligently typed up her notes, with reams of carbon paper, on her old red Olivetti Valentine.

She graduated to a computer in the 1990's and once connected to the internet, never looked back. She was a prolific and pedantic researcher and would go to great lengths to track down a detail and ensure accuracy in all she did. She always intended to rewrite Magdalen with updated notes even though it was originally written as a fictional story based around factual information.

She started her own auto-biography a few years ago but sadly never completed the manuscript. I have done the best I could, piecing the drafts together into a coherent story.

Mum passed away after a short illness in December 2011 leaving me with the task of editing and publishing her life's work. It is my pleasure.
Jacqui Kennedy


number 2

The Far Cuillins

Travelling and camping through Europe in a Kombi van with three young children and no adult male - in the 1970's.
number 1


The story of William and Magdalen Yabsley who settled on the Richmond River in the 1800s
number 3

Spotty Dotty

The life story of Dorothy Kinny
number 4

Ian's Story

Early Bremner history in Scotland as well as the story of the life that Ian and Dorothy built together, through his illness and death.

The Smythe Family History

From the English, Irish and Scottish roots to WWI and beyond.

Advance Care Directive

The importance of having clear, written instructions for your family.
written by Jacqui Kennedy about the last week of Dorothy's life



Mum and dad's blood ran green. They were lifelong supporters of conservation in all its forms. A bulk of their estate was donated to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and used to protect Bowra in western Queensland.

Bowra is a hotspot for Australia's threatened birdlife. It is renowned as one of the country's most rewarding birdwatching destinations, featuring iconic species such as Hall's Babbler, Chestnut-breasted Quail Thrush and the Grey Falcon.
Located in the heart of the Mulga Lands, on the Warrego River plains, Bowra is a vitally important property for the conservation of Australia's wildlife.



They were also avid volunteer workers at the Lady Denman Heritage Complex*, Huskisson for over 20 years. They were instrumental in planning and implementing the grand vision of a world class museum for the South Coast. Both worked tirelessly in the grounds; restoring the ferry and cataloging the museum collection. Their legacy will live on.
[*Now called Jervis Bay Maritime Museum ]