Woman Lake, Marilyn (1949 - )

5 January 1949
Kettering, Tasmania, Australia
Alternative Names
  • Lee Calvert, Marilyn (Maiden)

Written by Sharon M. Harrison, The University of Melbourne

Marilyn Lake was born Marilyn Lee Calvert on 5 January 1949 in Kettering, Tasmania. Her parents were (Bob) Reginald Trevor and Noreen Eliza Calvert. Her brother Ashton Calvert AC (1945-2007), one of Australia's most distinguished diplomats, served as Ambassador to Japan (1993-1998) and Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Her sister Pamela Gatenby served as Assistant Director General of the National Library of Australia.

Raised on her parents' apple orchard in Kettering, Lake was educated at Kettering State School, Taroona High School and Hobart High School. At age sixteen, Lake won a Commonwealth Scholarship and University Exhibition at the University of Tasmania. In 1967 she won the Australian/American Prize for American History and graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in 1968. In 1973 she was awarded a Master of Arts by the University of Tasmania. Her thesis, on Tasmanian society in World War One, became her first book, A Divided Society, in 1975. Lake was awarded her Doctor of Philosophy by Monash University in 1984. Her doctoral thesis, The limits of hope: soldier settlement in Victoria, 1915-1938 was awarded the Harbison-Higinbotham Prize by University of Melbourne and became a book with the same title in 1987. The book was short-listed for The Age Book of the year in 1987. In 2000 the University of Tasmania awarded Lake a honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) for her outstanding contribution to scholarship.

Lake's held her first academic job, tutoring in East Asian history at the University of Tasmania, at the age of twenty. In 1986, she was appointed a lecturer in History and Social Theory at The University of Melbourne, moving two years later to a position as Senior Lecturer in History and Founding Director of Women's Studies at La Trobe University. In 1991, Lake was appointed Reader in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University. Three years later she was appointed to a Personal Chair in History. In 1997 Lake was Visiting Professor and Fred Alexander Fellow at the University of Western Australia and Visiting Professorial Fellow at Stockholm University, Sweden. In 2001/2002 she held the Visiting Professorship in Australian Studies at Harvard University. Lake has held two Australian Research Council Professorial Fellowships 2004-2009 and 2012-2016. In 2010 Lake was appointed Charles La Trobe Professor in History, La Trobe University but left in 2013 to take up a position as Professor at the University of Melbourne.

Elected a Fellow of the Academy of Humanities in 1995 and a Fellow of the Australian Social Sciences Academy in 1999, Lake served as a member of the Academy of Humanities Council from 2008-2010. In 2003 she was awarded the Governor General's Centenary Medal for Service to History and was admitted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2006. She has served two terms as the President of the Australian Historical Association: 2010-2012; and 2012-2014, having previously acted as Vice President (2008-2010) and International Secretary (2007-2010). Lake has served on several Boards including: the Sullivan's Cover Waterfront Authority (2005-2009); History Council of Victoria (2001-2004), the La Trobe University Council 1995-1997, Monash University Council 1985-1989 and Museum Victoria (1985-1989). She was the Director of the Board of the Victorian Women's Trust from 2005 to 2011. Lake has been a member of the editorial boards of Labour History, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender State and Society, Australian Historical Studies (2006-2009).

Lake is the author of numerous books including: What's wrong with ANZAC? : the militarisation of Australian history (2010); New explorations in imperial history (2008); Faith: Faith Bandler, gentle activist (2002), which was awarded the HREOC Award for Non-fiction in 2002; and Getting equal: the history of Australian feminism (1999). Her book Drawing the global colour line: white men's countries and the international challenge of racial equality, co-authored with Henry Reynolds (2008), was awarded the 2009 Prime Minister's Literary Award (Non-fiction), the Queensland Premier's Prize for History; and the Ernest Scott Prize for best book in Australian, New Zealand and Colonization History. Creating a Nation, co-authored with Patricia Grimshaw, Ann McGrath and Marian Quartly, was awarded the HREOC Award for Non-fiction in 1994 and short-listed for the Adelaide Writers' Festival Award in 1996.

Lake married Professor (Sam) Phillip Spencer Lake in 1968, they have two daughters.

Additional sources: Personal communication between Marilyn Lake and Sharon M. Harrison.

Published Resources

Edited Books

  • Who's Who in Australia, Crown Content, Melbourne, Victoria, 1927 - 2013. Details

Online Resources

See also