• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE5072

Erickson, Frederica Lucy (Rica)

(1908 – 2009)
  • Born 10 August, 1908, Boulder Western Australia Australia
  • Died 8 September, 2009, Perth Western Australia Australia
  • Occupation Botanical artist, Historian, Naturalist, Writer


Read more about Frederica (Rica) Erickson in our sister publication The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia.


Rica (Frederica) Erickson was born in Boulder in 1908 to Phoebe Cooke and Chris Sandilands, filter press operator. She was the eldest of eight children.

She stated in conversation, ‘I could run as fast as any boy, I could jump further than most…I never ever thought there was any difference to start with, and the men respected me for what I was able to do’.

Rica attended Boulder State School. She won a scholarship to the Eastern Goldfields High School and then studied teaching, at Claremont Teachers College, working in various one-teacher schools in the South West where she painted local flora. She married Sydney Erickson in 1936 and had four children Dorothy, John, Bethel and Robin and worked raising a family, returning later to botanical studies in 1946 and writing history. She is the author of some twenty books on history and botany. In 2006 she was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in Western Australia’s history and in 2007 won a State Heritage Award. She was publishing into her 99th year. Her paintings hang in Pittsburgh, London and Australia. Throughout her life and career her work was strongly linked to the development of the collections at the J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History.

Rica died in Perth on 8 September 2009.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • State Library of Western Australia
    • [Interview with Rica Erickson] [sound recording]
    • Rica Erickson papers

Related entries

  • Related Concepts
    • Environment Movement
    • Women and Botany
    • History and Historians