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About Liz

Dr Elizabeth Rushen AM is an historian, lecturer, researcher, author and publisher committed to community engagement in history and heritage.

Liz currently works in multiple fields as an historian (author, researcher and speaker), publisher (a director of Anchor Books Australia) and community engagement (a director of Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network). Liz is a former executive director of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and a former chair of the History Council of Victoria.
 

An independent scholar, Liz was awarded a PhD in history from Monash University in 1999. Writing under the name Elizabeth Rushen, she has authored, co-authored and contributed to many books, 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. She has had many articles published in national and international scholarly and special interest journals.

 

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 and whose work had a huge impact on the Port Phillip District.

 

Liz regularly speaks at conferences, to community groups and local historical societies. She 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.

 

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021, Liz was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for significant service to community history and heritage preservation,

Dr Elizabeth Rushen AM is an historian and author committed to community engagement in history and heritage.

 

Liz is an Adjunct Research Associate in the Faculty of Arts, Monash University, and on the Editorial Board of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. She is a former Executive Director of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and a former Chair of the History Council of Victoria.

An independent scholar, Liz has a PhD in history from Monash University and has written and contributed to many books, mainly in the field of migration history and women in colonial Australia, including Single & Free: female migration to Australia, 1833-1837 and a social history, Bishopscourt Melbourne: official residence and family home. She has had many articles published in national and international scholarly and special interest journals.

In 2018 Liz was awarded a Creative Fellowship by the State Library Victoria to research the life and writings of Edmund Finn ('Garryowen'), an Irish immigrant, journalist, raconteur and eyewitness to the development of the Port Phillip District. Liz’s biography of this important chronicler of early Melbourne was published by Anchor Books Australia in 2022. 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 re-organisation of Lloyd's Register of Shipping and whose work had a huge impact on the Port Phillip District.

In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2021, Liz was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for significant service to community history and heritage preservation.

Grayden.jpg

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.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

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

PROFESSIONAL 
& BOARD APPOINTMENTS

Editorial Board, Australian Dictionary of Biography

2021-current

Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network

Director, 2019-2023

 

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

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