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At this Fellowship talk, Professor Melanie Oppenheimer will uncover the personal and political lives of Lady Helen and Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson – one of Australia’s most important vice-regal couples.
Born into privilege in Ireland and growing up within an imperial world occupied by her father, Lord Dufferin – one time Viceroy of India – Lady Helen married Ronald Munro Ferguson, a young, aspiring liberal politician and Scottish laird in 1889.
Together through a sense of duty, aristocratic mission and feminist philanthropic liberalism, the pair's union and career manifested itself eventually in the positions of Governor-General of Australia and the foundational President of the Australian Red Cross during the tumultuous years of the First World War.
Professor Oppenheimer's paper will explore the impact Ronald Munro Ferguson, himself a highly experienced forester, had on the development of Australian forestry as well as other little-known features of this important imperial power couple on Australian society and history.
Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential.
For those unable to make it to Canberra for the event, it will be livestreamed online via the Library's facebook page. No bookings are required to watch the online stream.
Professor Melanie Oppenheimer is a 2021 National Library of Australia Fellow supported by the Stokes Family.
Image at top: His Excellency the Governor General Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson and his wife Lady Helen (centre) with family members and Aides, May 1914, Government House, Melbourne [Family Album, Novar, Scotland].