About Liz

Dr Liz (Elizabeth) Rushen is an historian, lecturer, researcher, author and publisher with a PhD in history from Monash University.

An independent scholar, Liz has published widely, mainly in the field of migration history and women in colonial Australia, including Single and Free: female migration to Australia, 1833-1837 and a social history, Bishopscourt Melbourne: official residence and family home.


In 2018-2019 Liz was awarded a Creative Fellowship by the State Library Victoria, to research the life and writings of Edmund Finn (‘Garryowen’), a project which is ongoing. Liz’s first biography was a study of the life of John Marshall, a nineteenth-century shipowner and emigration agent, who was actively involved in the reorganisation of Lloyd’s Register of Shipping. 


Liz a Director of the Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network and regularly speaks at conferences, to community groups and local historical societies. Liz co-hosted a weekly history hour on ABC 774 in 2004 and since then, has appeared on TV, in newspaper articles and has been interviewed for broadcast media.


As Chair of the History Council of Victoria, at the 25th Victorian Museum Awards, Liz presented the Award for Lifetime Achievement to Christine Grayden in recognition of Christine's four decades of volunteer work documenting the history and protecting the heritage of Churchill and Phillip Islands.


Social history of Melbourne

particularly the pre-Separation years, 1835-1851

Migration to colonial Australia

Bounty migration, female migration, Irish migration

Australian Maritime History

Bounty shipping,  Lloyd's of London


Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network

Director, 2019-current

History Council of Victoria

Chair 2016-2019, Board member 2013-2020

Monash University

Adjunct Research Associate, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Faculty of Arts, 2000-current

Professional Historians Association Vic/Tas

Professional Member, 1998-current



1995-1999 Monash University

PhD, School of Historical Studies

1990 - 1994 Deakin University

BA (Hons) majors in Australian Studies and Third World Development