- 30 September 1869
Goulburn, New South Wales
- 15 November 1930
'Fairvale', Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
- Activist, Pastoralist wife, Poet, Red Cross Worker and War worker
- Alternative Names
- Twynam, Mary Emily (birth name)
Born to English parents, and daughter of the Surveyor General, Mary Emily Twynam married wealthy pastoralist James 'Jim' Cunningham and became an important and formative figure in the developing pastoralist community in the Tuggeranong district. She was a compassionate, sensitive and intellectually curious woman whose capacity for friendship and kindness turned her homestead 'Tuggranong' into the social focal point of the community. Her early married years were taken up with raising eight children and battling with the bouts of serious depression that would shadow her for her entire life. As her children grew she found time to indulge in her love of gardening as well as pursue her passion for poetry and the written word. Cunningham was also an outspoken advocate for conscription during the two referenda in 1916 and was dedicated to fundraising for soldiers in the Great War.