Professor Marilyn Lake AO

Reassessing women's contribution to the story of the nation has been historian Professor Marilyn Lake's work for decades.

Honour Roll

In the 150 plus years of Victorian self-government and the 100 plus years since Federation, women have been active participants in the creation and development of Victoria. Campaigns such as the struggle for universal suffrage empowered women to be citizens but their stories are not always prominent.

As one of Australia's leading historians, Professor Marilyn Lake has helped develop Women's Studies at universities, museums and schools. She has written on a range of subjects in the academic press and in newspapers, and has been a regular contributor to public discussions on issues including equal pay, work-family balance, constitutional change, racism and the history of the labour movement. She is the author of several books including Getting Equal: the History of Australian Feminism (1999) and Faith, the prize-winning biography of one Australia's most important political activists, Faith Bandler (2003).

In 1988, Professor Lake was the Foundation Director of Women's Studies at La Trobe University and since 1994 she has held a Personal Chair in History at the university. Her academic leadership has helped create new generations of students who have increased our understanding of women's contribution to Australian history. The significance of Marilyn's academic standing is reflected in her appointments as Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University in the United States, Visiting Fellow at Stockholm University in Sweden, Visiting Professor at the University of Sydney and adjunct Professor at the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University.

In arguing for a more comprehensive and sophisticated understanding of the past, she has written that: "Women's history cannot be fruitfully written without reference to men, (and) neither can men's history be properly written without reference to men's relations with women."