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Loss of a national treasure: Woman, 92, who was 'murdered by her daughter' revealed to be an award-winning scientist and author who was honoured with the Order of Australia

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 9/08/2018 Joshua Hanrahan

An elderly woman allegedly murdered in her nursing home by her own daughter was an Order of Australia recipient and wealthy conservationist, it can be revealed.

Barbara Mary Eckersley, 67, is due to face Goulburn Local Court today charged with the murder of her 92-year-old mother Dr Mary E White.

It's alleged that Eckersley killed Dr White inside her room at the Warrigal Bundanoon aged care facility in Bundanoon, in southern New South Wales, on Sunday.

a person sitting at a table: Order of Australia recipient and conservationist Dr Mary E White (pictured) was allegedly murdered by her own daughter at a nursing home on Sunday evening © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Order of Australia recipient and conservationist Dr Mary E White (pictured) was allegedly murdered by her own daughter at a nursing home on Sunday evening a person sitting on a bed: Barbara Mary Eckersley (pictured), 67, is due to face Goulburn Local Court today charged with the murder of her 92-year-old mother © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Barbara Mary Eckersley (pictured), 67, is due to face Goulburn Local Court today charged with the murder of her 92-year-old mother

Police were called to the aged care complex at 9.45pm on Sunday. After several days of investigation police arrested Eckersley on Wednesday.

She was charged with murder and refused bail.

'Mary was a great woman, she just loved the planet and she was a leader in her field,' friend Brett Dolsen said.

'She was a champion of conservation and education programs... and just a really good person too.' 

Dr White and her late husband Bill arrived in Australia in 1955, moving their young family from Zimbabwe.

The paleobotanist authored a series of award winning books on climate change and in 2009 was awarded the OAM. 

Dr White began studying Botany and Zoology at Cape Town University at the age of just 16.

After moving to Australia she quickly became a prominent leader in the climate change field.

Daily Mail Australia has been told Dr White was battling dementia and had moved to the nursing home after selling her sprawling ecofarm.

She purchased The Falls Forest Retreat in 2003, before turning much of it into a biodiversity and rainforest sanctuary.

Dr White eventually sold off the remaining area of the farm for more than $1 million in 2014.

The cause of her death is unknown.  

a house that has a sign on the side of a road: Dr White was found dead inside the Warrigal Bundanoon aged care facility (pictured) at Bundanoon, in southern New South Wales, on Sunday evening © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Dr White was found dead inside the Warrigal Bundanoon aged care facility (pictured) at Bundanoon, in southern New South Wales, on Sunday evening

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