Una Yeatman Shaw was an Australian poet from Singleton (north-west of Newcastle, NSW). Her poetry was published in various newspapers and periodicals, including the monthly poetry magazine The Australian Woman’s Mirror and Birth: A Little Journal of Australian Poetry.
Una was born in Singleton, NSW, on 7 October 1900. Her parents were Arthur Batson Shaw and Winifred Gertrude Shaw, (née Hullick). Her father was a lawyer, the son of an Anglican clergyman, Canon Bowyer Edward Shaw. Her mother was the niece of Sir Herbert Maitland (who was considered to be “one of the greatest surgeons in Australia”). Her sister, Winifred Maitland Shaw (born in 1905; later, Mrs. Taplyn) was, like Una, a poet.
Una Shaw was multi-talented; not only was she a poet, but she also co-produced a play (with her sister), and involved herself with stage productions with the Singleton Amateur Dramatic Club. She was also a painter.
Shaw owned horses, and was widely considered to be an expert on horse pedigrees. As well as her interest in the equine field, she kept birds, entered them into competitions, and was involved with the Singleton and District Poultry and Pigeon Club.
During the Second World War, Una showed her patriotic side; she was the district director of volunteers in the Singleton area who were making camouflage netting for the Australian army, as well as being involved in other patriotic activities. After the war, Miss Shaw was nominated by the Singleton returned servicemen’s association for a state award, to recognise her wartime services.
Una Shaw died in Singleton (NSW), on 24 March 1970. She was never married, and did not have any children.
Una was a minor poet; however, her work is worth reading as an example of a type of poetry of her time.
Selected poetry by Una Shaw:
Memories [June 1920]
Helen of Troy [September 1920]
The Blue City [December 1920]
The Traffikers [January 1922]
Witch Fire [February 1922]
The Three Black Cats [July 1922]
Aribadzos [August 1922]
The King of China’s Daughter [11 April 1931]
The Lost Princess [23 May 1931]
Epitah [21 July 1931]
For Remembrance [1 December 1931]