Lyndall Ryan (1943–2024)

The Australian Society for the Study of Labour History is saddened by the loss of Lyndall Ryan, one of Australia’s most influential and admired historians. Her major contribution was in Aboriginal history, with an early study of Indigenous Tasmanians, for which she found herself and her work at the centre of the History culture wars in the 2000s. Characteristically, she responded with more research, bringing a team together to compile a digital map that, in documenting sites of massacres of Aboriginal people, will be a wide and lasting legacy. Lyndall also wrote on feminist politics and women’s history. She and her sister Julia generously donated a prize for an article published in Labour History to honour their mother, Edna Ryan, whose labour activism and historical writing continues to influence feminists. Lyndall spoke at a conference organised by the Sydney Branch in 1997 to celebrate Edna Ryan (see Labour History, no.74 (May 1998): 187–89). The Editorial team has been glad to award this prize to a new generation of scholars continuing the important study of women’s labour history. We have valued Lyndall Ryan’s support, her friendship, and her staunch commitment to an engaged and inspiring scholarship.

Diane Kirkby, Editor