Deposit N390 - Edna Ryan and Sylvia Winters papers

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Edna Ryan and Sylvia Winters papers


  • 1981 - 1993 (Creation)

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14 boxes (13 Type 1 and 1 Type 2)

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Name of creator

(1904 - 1997)

Biographical history

Edna Ryan was born in Pyrmont, New South Wales on 15 December 1904. Edna was a feminist and labour activist credited with campaigns for equal pay for women, maternity leave and work-based childcare, and campaigned around the negative impacts of enterprise bargaining and compulsory superannuation on low paid women workers. Ryan served as a Labor Alderman on Fairfield Municipal Council from 1956-1965, becoming the first female Deputy Mayor in NSW in 1957. In the 1960s she became the first woman president of the Sydney branch of the Municipal Employees’ Union. She was a founding member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) in 1972 and in 1974 presented a breakthrough submission to the Arbitration Commission to grant women the same minimum wage as men. In 1984 she published Two Thirds of a Man: Women and Arbitration in New South Wales 1902-08. The following year she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Sydney, and awarded again by Macquarie University in 1995. In the 1990s Ryan focussed on the implications of enterprise bargaining for women including writing articles, leading delegations to Ministers’ offices and briefing a barrister, Sylvia Winters, to represent WEL at the National Wage Case. Edna Ryan died in Canberra on 10 February 1997.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Sylvia Winters was a barrister at the New South Wales Bar. Winters worked as a barrister for the Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) in 1992-1993 in the National Wage Case engaged on their campaign over the implications of enterprise bargaining on women.

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Scope and content

Papers relating to the Women’s Electoral Lobby campaign on enterprise bargaining; miscellaneous personal papers. Includes files, press clippings, correspondence, pamphlets, leaflets, serials and arbitration case files.


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Researchers must sign an access agreement

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NBAC P12, Jack Kavanagh papers include correspondence with Edna Ryan

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Entered from deposit description on 20 August 2012




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