MS 9140

Papers of Edna Ryan (1904-1997)



Scope and Content Note

  • Papers
  • 1948 - 1993
  • 6m (43 boxes)
  • Available for reference

The Edna Ryan Papers were received in three consignments. In January 1993 several boxes were transferred to the Library. These were once part of the collection of the now-defunct Women's Archive, which was established by the Women's Studies Unit at the Australian National University.

 In March 1993 and January 1995 Edna Ryan donated further material to the Library. The contents of each instalment have been processed separately. The original sequence established by the Women's Archive custodians in respect to the first instalment has been maintained. Their file numbers have been added at the end of each folder description in the following list. Because categories of material such as letters, diaries and cuttings are spread across the three instalments, a careful scan of the entire list is recommended.

 An interview conducted by Sara Dowse with Edna Ryan in 1991 is held in the Oral History Collection at TRC 2742. There is also a copy of an interview conducted by Lucy Taska in 1987 for the NSW Bicentennial Oral History Collection (TRC 2301 INT.156). In 1992 Margot Oliver made a documentary videorecording, released by the Australian Film Institute, entitled 'Edna Ryan: a political life'.

 Some of Edna Ryan's papers are held in the Mitchell Library. These were lodged there by Ms Ryan before she moved to Canberra. See Box 9 for list of some of this material.

 

Biographical Note

Edna Ryan (née Nelson), feminist and campaigner for equal pay, was born in Sydney in 1904 and died in Canberra in 1997.

One of a large family, Ryan had to leave school early to find work as a clerk, but spent many years studying at evening college. She was an early member of the Communist Party and also of the International Workers of the World but left the Communist Party after her partner, Jack Ryan, was expelled. In 1935 the Ryans joined the Labor Party. Later Edna Ryan was an early campaign manager for the future prime minister Gough Whitlam.

Ryan stood unsuccessfully for the State seat of Mosman as an ALP candidate in 1953 and was an alderman and Deputy Mayor of Fairfield Council between 1956 and 1965.

As a foundation member of the Women's Electoral Lobby in 1972, Ryan participated in campaigns to persuade the Whitlam Government to reopen the National Wage Case. In 1974 the Arbitration Commission extended to women the same minimum wages as men. In 1993 Ryan successfully lobbied the Minister for Industrial Relations, Laurie Brereton, to ensure that his legislation guaranteed women would be no worse off under enterprise bargaining.

Ryan wrote numerous articles, conference papers, submissions to government and two books, Gentle invaders (1975) and Two thirds of a man (1984).

She accepted an honorary doctorate from Sydney University in 1985 but rejected an Order of Australia, saying 'They are only giving it to me because I am old'.

Edna Ryan had three children, Julia, Lyndall and Patrick, whom she raised alone after Jack Ryan died at an early age.

 

Series List

Box

Folder

 

 

Instalment 21 January 1993

 

1

1A

Autobiographical Writings 1958, 1972-75

(ms 1/1/1-160)

 

1

Australian Labor Party : 1948-73 (Subseries 1)

(ms 1/2/1-36) (f2)

 

2

Australian Labor Party: 1970;1972-76 (Sub-series 2)

(ms 1/2/37-145) (f3)

 

3

A.L.P.(sub-series 2) cont'd : 1976-77

(ms 1/2/146-268) (f4)

 

4

Abortion: 1969-1978

(ms 1/3/1-165) (f5)

 

5

Abortion: 1980-82

(ms 1/3/166-233a)

 

6

Abortion (New Zealand) : 1978

(ms 1/3/234-287) (f7)

2

7

Women's Trade Union Commission. Child care

(ms 1/4/1-47) (f8)

 

8

Eden Park Child Care Centre

(ms 1/4/48) (f9)

 

9

Eden Park Submission Summary

(ms 1/4/48-49)

 

10

Woodbury Estate Submission

(ms 1/4/50-110a)

 

11

International Year of the Child

(ms 1/4/147-196)

 

12

Children of working mothers

(ms 1/4/198-327)

 

13

Eden Park - Parents working on estate

(ms 1/4/328-472)

 

14

Commission for adoption of child care policy Constitution of women's TUC.

(ms 1/4/473-570)

 

15

WEA - Mothers' & children's residential schools

(ms 1/6/389-413) (f22a)

3

16

Trade union matters 1967-1970

(ms 1/5/1-165)

 

17

Trade union matters 1970-1974

(ms 1/5/166-353)

 

18

Trade union matters 1968 - 1975

(ms 1/5/354-388)

 

19

Union publications 1968 - 1974

 

4

20

Press clippings: equal pay: Dec 1968 - July 1972

 

 

21

Press clippings: women: 1966-1970

(f23)

 

22

Press clippings: women: 1971-1972

(f24)

 

23

Press clippings: women: 1973

(f26)

5

24

Newspaper clippings: women: 1973 (few 1974, 1975)

(f25)

 

25

Correspondence for WEL Conference 1973

 

 

26

Appendices for WEL Conference 1973

 

 

27

WEL Conference 1982

 

 

28

Newspaper clippings

Personal correspondence, jottings on book, amendments to Social Services Act 1974

 

 

29

Personal correspondence 1974-76

Establishment of Children's Commission

 

 

30

Various newsletters and publications, women's groups, 1971-1976

 

6

31

Press clippings: various women and issues: Jan-April 1976

(f27)

 

32

April - December 1976

(f28)

 

33

January - June 1977

(f29)

 

34

July - December 1977 (+few 1978)

(f30)

7

35

Press Clippings: General trade union matters from 1962, 1970-71, Jan-Nov 1973

(f31)

 

36

Industrial : Sept 1978 - May 1979

(f32)

 

37

Industrial : Jan - March 1981 (some 1979 & '80)

(f33)

 

38

Industrial: April - June 1981

(f.34)

 

39

BLF : 1981

(f22c)

8

40

Press clippings: Film submission

(ms 1/4/111-146)

 

41-42

Death duties

(ms 1/6/261-387) (f21)

 

43-45

Statistics (workforce)

(ms 1/6/1-260) (f20)

 

46

WEL, industrial law, etc

(ms 1/7/1-30)(f22b)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instalment 17 March 1993

 

9

Pocket diaries

1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985

 

 

Desk diaries

1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986

 

 

Notebooks

May 1980-1981

March 1981

November 1981 - June 1983

March 1983

14 March 1984 - 7 June 1985

June 1985

July - November 1985

September 1985 - April 1986

February 1986 - August 1986

October-November 1986 (Notes on tour of Greece & Israel)

November 1986 (after tour notes)

List of material sent to SLNSW 1986

 

10

 

Press clippings:

 

 

47

Federal election 1987

 

 

48

Women, social security, etc 1987

(f1)

 

49

Women, society etc, June 1987

(f2)

 

50

Women, society etc, May 1987

(f3)

 

51

Gallery of women

 

 

52

Women & Anglican Church 1987 (also women generally)

 

 

53

National Wage 1988 and women's wages

 

 

54

Issues for women (interviews) 1988

 

11

55

Early papers written by Edna Ryan, 1973 - 1982

 

 

56

NSW Bicentennial Oral History Project - 1987 Transcript of Tapes 1 & 2

'One Pub's Enough' - A drama in three acts by Edna Ryan

 

 

57

Miscellaneous mss and correspondence 1973 - 1987 (draft submissions)

 

 

58

Miscellaneous:

Some useful bibliographies & biographical dictionary

Profiles: Wendy McCarthy

Wendy Fatin

Mum Shirl

SMH article on Ann Summers, Sandra Yates and Jane Pratt 'Owning a magazine'.

Three papers by EMC., June 1987

'Reflections on Beauty and the Beast' - Pamela Denoon

Memorial Lecture delivered by Pat O'Shane, March 1990

Paper: 'The crisis of Australian unionism' by Haydon

Manning 1990

'Female convict workers' by Deborah Oxley

 

 

59

Miscellaneous:

Speech by Gough Whitlam: opening of Women & Politics Conference August 1975

National Women's Conference, Sept/Oct 1990

 

 

60

Women: Employment & training (pay rates) 1982

'Peace by Order: the resignation of Mr Justice Higgins, President of the Commonwealth Conciliation & Arbitration Court', Edna Ryan, 1981

Women & Unions: Pilot study by Monash Uni Union, 1979

 

 

61

Film Australia correspondence, 1980 - re 'Decade'

 

 

62

Articles on industrial relations and feminism by P.G. McCarthy, Ann C. Villers, Desley Deacon, Gretchen Poiner, Roberta Burke, Eva Cox, Helen Leonard, Val Marsden, Don Rawson, Mary Owen and others, 1968-89

 

12

63

Article by Susan Magarey, for Silver Jubilee Edition of Women and work, 1988

 

 

64

Pat Richardson, Redress Press and Mary Owen, '86-89 Newsletter: International Women's Day 1992

 

 

65

Labor Women Speak 1981, Labor Women Caucus, 1983

 

 

66

ANU Women's Archives, 1981-90

 

 

67

Network 1982-84

 

 

68

Glebe Society, 1989-90

 

 

69

Retirement Villages

 

13

70

Cuttings and other papers:

Mary Owen correspondence.

Profile on Laurie Carmichael.

Working Women's Information Service.

Report on Labor Women's Conf. Mary Owen 1982.

Women and footballers.

'Forever single' - paper on marriage.

The best companies for women - Portfolio June 1989.

Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty 1990.

RSI policy in Pipeline (Govt) Authority.

Leigh Leigh's murder.

National Museum of Australia brochure.

 

 

71

Examples of claims and awards

 

 

72

Disputes re Federal and State Unions, 1974

 

 

73

Papers:

WEL submission: Computing women's pay in State awards.

Definition and Political Survival. - Charlotte Bunch 1978.

Radio Special Projects: Juliet Mitchell Series 24-27 Feb 1975.

The Forgotten Presence - Lesbians Mislaid, - Dorelle

Punch 1975.

The State, the Law & Us. WEL Conf. Mary Gaudron, 1975.

Report on Women Clerical Staff. NSW Motor Transport, 1974-1978.

Papers from Marxist-Feminist Conf. Act 1977.

ABC radio Guest of Honour. Malcolm Caldwell, 1975.

International Rev. Marxism- Women's Movement

Revolutionary? - D. Gollan, 1975

Labor & the Family, Gough Whitlam, Leader Opposition, 1968.

Emancipation of Women, E.G. Whitlam, PM 1973.

Equal Pay & Equal opportunity, P.A. Riach (Monash) 1968.

Women and the ALP " " 1974.

Equal pay in Australia, - Richard Blandy (Adelaide)

For work equal to that of men. - J.P. Ducker, 'The Radical' 1969.

Employment of women in non-metropolitan areas - Frances Lovejoy 1973?

 

 

74

Press cuttings:

Industrial & Political, from Sept 1985

'Emancipated Women from the Orient', 1930

'Arms trade', 1986

 

 

75

Cuttings:

Industrial, 1987 - 1991

 

 

76

Publications:

Blueprint 1993

ACTION News 1990

NWCC News 1990, 91, 92

OSWOMEN 1990, 1992

various other newsletters

 

 

77

Miscellaneous articles 1990s

 

14

78

ACTU Reports March 1986 - July 1988

 

 

79

ACTU Agenda paper, Sept. 83

ACTU Consolidation of ACTU Policy Decisions 51-82

ACTU Working Women's Charter: Implementation Manual No.2 - Equal Pay

Humanist Viewpoints April and May 1980

Friends of TUTA Newsletter, Jan 1978

Budget Impact Statement: Women 1988-89

 

 

80

Youth '75 and '76 + few other minor newsletters of 70s

 

 

81

Miscellaneous correspondence and newsletters, health issues, 1990s

 

 

82-83

Brochures

 

15

84

Reports:

Backdrop 1972

Another life 1973

The Late Achievers 1974

The Year of the Woman 1975

 

 

85

Reports (records of daily activities)

Jan. 1987 - (pp 1-141)

 

 

86

1987 cont'd (pp141-225)

(f2)

 

87

1989 (pp 1-147)

(f3)

 

88

1989 (pp 148-229)

(f4)

 

89

1989 (pp 230-288)

(f5)

16

90

Jan 1990 - March 1990

(f6)

 

91

April - June 1990

(f7)

 

92

July - August 1990

(f8)

 

93

Sept - Dec 1990

(f9)

 

94

Jan - March 1991

(f10)

 

95

April - June 1991

(f11)

17-18

 

Notebooks

 

19

 

Miscellaneous papers

 

 

96

Transcript from Shop Assistants case

 

 

97

Personal odds and ends

 

 

98

Letters about jobs, 1992-93

Posted copies of Overview

Accounts, Enterprise Bargaining

 

 

99

Various papers 1975-85

Labour History Society; paper by ER for seminar etc {list enclosed}

 

 

100

Press cuttings

Women

Sex Discrimination Act

Child care

 

 

101

Press Cuttings: Education - from July 1993

Press cuttings and papers 1992 (women's agenda)

 

20

102-103

Anne Conlon Memorial Lectures, 1980-1983; 85-86

 

 

104

Anne Conlon Memorial Lecture Committee

 

 

105

Resource material on NSW Industrial Arbitration, Act. 1901

 

 

106

Technological change

 

 

107

Handwritten notes taken from documents dated 1901-06 in Archives Office

 

21

108

Miscellaneous. papers - list in folder

 

 

109

FBT and taxation

 

 

110

Articles, including:

'Master Builders and the beginnings of arbitration in NSW' by Alice Coolican

'Gender and Power cont'd' (rough notes)

 'Do electoral systems help or hinder women's Parliamentary representation?' - Wilma Rule

 'Follow me - inspirations - the award'

 

 

111

Articles, including:

'Fanny Furner JP 1864-1938' - P. Richardson

National wage case December 1986

Comments on Jane Inglis

'Is WEL Snobbish?'

 

 

112

Australian historical cuttings, book reviews etc., explorers, painters, first government house

 

 

113

Newspaper articles (1970s - miscellaneous)

 

 

114-115

Letters and ms - 1970s

 

22

116-117

Periodicals:

Work matters 1987-90

The Gazette (Uni of Sydney)

Miscellaneous

 

 

118

'Words' - Macquarie Dictionary Society A/L etc

 

 

119

Australian Dictionary of Biography

 

 

120

Industrial Group

Affirmative Action

Wran's policy on women

Profile of Department of Supply's cleaning service

 

 

121

Human Rights Australia

 

 

122

WEL Action Group

Women's Association

National Foundation of Australian Women

 

 

123

Discriminatory Provisions in NSW Industrial Awards on grounds of sex & marital status in NSW

 

23

124

Broad Left Conference - labour politics - 1986

 

 

125

1990 Election candidates - full list for H of R & Senate

 

 

126

NZ material - articles and book extracts about women 1987-88

 

 

127-128

Letters 1983-1985

 

 

129

Political Awareness Seminars for women

 

 

130

Waterfront - Waterside workers' conditions (Labour History Society)

 

24

131

Draft on Labour Day Oration 1986

 

 

132-133

Letters 1990

 

 

134

Steinem file

 

 

135-136

La Perouse and aborigines and 'my' story

 

 

137

Miscellaneous:

Publishers' Style Manual

Chronology Australian History

Laundry chronology

File of women

Library slips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instalment 17 January 1995

 

25

138

Diaries, 1986-89, 1992

 

 

139

Address books (3)

 

 

140

Notebook used at Archives Office of NSW

 

 

141

Notebooks: 'May 1987'; political notes and information

 

 

142

Notebook of small press cuttings begun 26 June 1986

 

26

143-144

Diaries, notebooks, 1980s +

 

 

145-146

Journal July - December 1991

 

 

147

Journal January - June 1992

 

 

148

Journal July - September 1992

 

 

149

Journal October - December 1992

 

27

150

Journal January - April 1993

 

 

151

Journal April (?) - June 1993

 

 

152

Journal July - September 1993

 

 

153

Journal October - December 1993

 

 

154

Personal letters 1969 +

 

28

155-156

Letters, October 1985 - April 1986

 

 

157

Letters, January 1987-

 

 

158

Letters, April 1987-

 

 

159-160

Letters August 1987-

 

29

161

Letters January 1988-

 

 

162-163

Letters July 1988-

 

 

164-165

Letters March 1989-

 

 

166

Letters October 1989 - January 1990

 

 

167

Papers, etc. by ER

 

30

168

Articles, talks

 

 

169-170

'Two thirds of a man' - original photographs and correspondence

 

 

171-172

'One pub's enough' - play

 

 

173-175

Plays, including 'Saving the Armenians'

 

31

176

Playworks

 

 

177

File on film 'Snakes and ladders': notes on film

 

 

178-179

Research material and articles

 

 

180-181

'Japanese women at work' - drafts and research material

Women at work in Japan, draft by Jurka Yasuda (?)

 

32

182

WEL and WETTANK files

 

 

183

ER's file: reports to WEL, letters etc.

 

 

184

Pat Richardson's WEL file and other writings

 

 

185-187

Child care and children's services:

Priorities review and recommendation 1974-5

Parents and children: press clippings

D. Brennan: Children's services in Australia: the state of play - a review of Commonwealth and state polices 1972-82 (July 1982)

'A study of work-related children's services' (May 1980)

Early childhood: material of the Australian Early Childhood Association and the Ethnic Child care Development Unit and others

 

33

188-192

International Women's Year Conference, Mexico City, 1975 - papers, correspondence, clippings

 

34

193-198

International Women's Year Conference (cont.)

 

35

199

National Labor Women's Conference, 1982, Canberra: papers and cuttings

 

 

200

Workforce matters

 

 

201-203

General workforce material

 

 

204-205

Workforce file and data

 

 

206

National Wage Case, 1987

 

36

207

Pay equity and other issues; includes correspondence, notes, clippings and circulars

 

 

208-211

Women's work and equal pay: drafts and research notes

 

 

212

Organisation of the workplace: papers and cuttings

 

37

213

Pregnancy discrimination Inquiry Report, 1992

 

 

214

UN material on women

 

 

215

ALP ticket, 1990

 

 

216-219

Miscellaneous papers, including 'How we would run Australia'

 

38

220-222

Miscellaneous papers

 

 

223

Miscellaneous papers, including articles of association of Preterm Foundation

 

 

224-226

Miscellaneous papers, including ms submitted to Penguin, based on WEL newsletters

 

39

227-228

Miscellaneous papers and cuttings

 

 

229

Miscellaneous invitations, badges etc.

 

 

230

Grace Removals

Cards from VIPs

Assorted brochures

 

  231 Wedding photograph  

40

232

Assorted brochures

 

 

233

Cuttings and references, including correspondence, papers and notes

 

 

234

Cuttings on women

 

 

235

Pamphlets, press releases etc.

 

 

236

Cuttings on various issues

 

 

237

Refractory girl (1991), Unity (1991), Women at work (1991)

 

 

238

Books and journals

 

41

239

Publications

Record: University of Sydney Archives, 1985

Current affairs bulletin, vol. 59, no. 1, June 1982

Women at work: a review, 1975

ILO publications, 1/85, vol. 17, 1985

Virago Press. Catalogue, 1985

The Women's Press. Catalogue, 1983

Loose in box Titles include:

WEL-informed. 1990

Australian women's employment strategy: report. 1989-90

Women in management. 1986

Maternity leave in Australia. 1988

Women and technological change. 1982

Half way to equal: report of the inquiry into equal opportunity and equal status for women in Australia. 1992

Office of the status of women: an introduction. 1989

Women and work: issues for the 1990s

Directory of research on women in Australia. 1984

The ACTU: a short history. 1977

Pioneer women graduates of the University of Sydney. 1985

NWCC news. 1991 - 1993

 

42

 

Publications - titles include:

Inkwel. 1990-91

WEL National bulletin. 1988-89

Refractory girl. 1987, 1989, 1990

Herstory of the halfway house: Women's Liberation Halfway

House Collective, Melbourne, Australia, 1974-76.

The NSW women's handbook. 1980

Women and work. 1989, 1990

 

43

 

Publications - titles include:

Facts on women at work in Australia. 1983

From ummm...to aha!: recognising women's skills. 1991

The national housing strategy: framework for reform. 1991

Understanding immigration 1987

Social security journal. 1981, 1982

Women's film and video [catalogue]. 1988

The WEL papers. 1973-4

Weaving community links: the cost benefits of telephones in maintaining the social fabric through the unpaid work of women. 1993

SWOW handbook. 1979

National Museum of Australia. Women's political history: a guide to sources. 1992

The role of women in the economy: position paper, Australia.

OECD High Level Conference on the Employment of Women. 1980