The federal parliament has approved the installation of a sculpture to honour the late Senator Susan Ryan AO (1942-2020) in the Parliamentary Zone.
Senator Ryan was a senator in the ACT and a minister in the Hawke government. She also worked in senior roles across the private and public sectors.
She was the first senator for the ACT and also the first woman appointed to a Labor frontbench position and the first Age Discrimination Commissioner.
The life-size bronze sculpture of Susan Ryan will be adjacent to the Senate Rose Gardens eastern central entry.
The location is near where she once had an office in Old Parliament House. The artwork will be in an area featuring a curved bench seat, new paving and signage.
The ACT government commissioned the sculpture, which recognises the contribution Ryan made to Australian public life.
Artist Lis Johnson has completed several life-size bronze sculptures. These include those of Dame Enid Lyons and Dame Dorothy Tangney, who stand adjacent to Old Parliament House, and Sir John Gorton (with Suzie Q) in Parkes.
Lis has been working closely with Susan Ryan’s family, ensuring they are involved at every stage of the work.
“We are so thrilled that the sculpture of our mother Susan Ryan will be located in the Senate Rose Gardens at the Old Parliament House,” Justine Butler, Susan’s daughter, said.
“For my brother Ben and I, this was the parliament house. We spent a lot of time there, with our mother, and we have happy memories of those gardens, so close to her office.
“My mother and her colleagues played social tennis games there in the summer, and all year round, the beautiful gardens provided an important place for Susan to think and work,” she said.
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