Lyndall Ryan was born in Paddington, New South Wales, Australia in 1943. She earned her B.A. at the University of Sydney and completed her Ph.D at Macquarie University.
Ryan has conducted extensive research into the experiences of Aboriginal Tasmanians. Her first book, The Aboriginal Tasmanians, was published in 1981, offered a compelling viewpoint on the history of Aboriginal and European relations. In so doing, she entered the fray of competing narratives about that shared history, known in Australia as the “history wars”. Future publications of her work stood firm on her interpretations, and even expanded upon them. She fiercely opposed the whitewashing of Australian history and advocated for a critical, honest view at the troubling history of Australian and Aboriginal relations.
She has also conducted significant field work, collaborating with the University of Newcastle to map aboriginal massacre sites in Australia. They discovered 270 distinct sites of violence against the Aboriginal peoples, representing a concerted effort at wiping out those populations forever.
Ryan has been honored for her contributions to women’s and indigenous people’s history by the History Council of New South Wales. She was named a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 for her scholarship and research efforts. Today, she is a Professor for the Centre for the History of Violence at the University of Newcastle.
Featured in Top Influential Historians Today
Australian university founded in 1850view profile
University in New South Wales, Australiaview profile
Public university in Adelaide, South Australiaview profile
University in Sydney, New South Walesview profile