• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6442

Ryan, Christina

  • Occupation Feminist, Human rights activist, Leader


Christina Ryan’s leadership is grounded in feminist activism. As the third generation in an extended family of strong, influential women, she has been part of a movement which has brought about significant social change in Australia. Influenced at an early age spending time with her famous grandmother, Edna Ryan, Christina attributes consolidating her thinking about activism to the role played by her mother.

Acknowledged as a skilled networker, Christina’s disability leadership style is embedded in her feminism. When disability became part of her everyday life in her 30s, she developed a practical and theoretical understanding of intersectionality long before the term was a part of UN language or in more common usage.

As delegate to the UN, and in her understanding of human rights treaties, she has demonstrated to other women that UN mechanisms can be used to bring about change for all women world-wide.

Christina identified that while flexible thinking and enhanced problem solving skills are tools of trade for the disabled, employment rates are low and career development poor. In response, she set up the Disability Leadership Institute in 2016, to foster leadership and career development opportunities.

Christina acknowledges that as a committed feminist, with world-wide leadership credentials, one has to take responsibility to challenge what is unacceptable, and lead a collective effort to affect change.

Read an interview with Christina Ryan in the online exhibition Redefining Leadership.

Related entries

  • Aunt
    • Ryan, Julia (1937 - )
    • Ryan, Lyndall (1943 - )
  • Grandmother
    • Ryan, Edna Minna (1904 - 1997)
  • Related Organisations
    • Women with Disabilities ACT (WWDACT) (1995 - )