The Informer: Susan Ryan, an influencer before the term even existed

Vale Susan Ryan. Photo: Rohan Thompson
Vale Susan Ryan. Photo: Rohan Thompson

You might not know the name, but Australians all owe Susan Ryan an eternal debt of gratitude.

The groundbreaking senator was an influencer before the word had even been invented. She was pivotal in the passage of two landmark Acts - the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity and the Affirmative Action Act.

Ryan served as a senator for 12 years, was Labor's first female cabinet minister, and was to hold the roles age discrimination commissioner and disability discrimination commissioner.

She died today, aged 77.

Ms Ryan called her involvement in the act which outlawed discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status or pregnancy "probably the most useful thing I've done in my life".

The Canberra Times' Katie Burgess has reflected on Ms Ryan's career and legacy. She references an article from 2017 when the politician received an honorary doctorate from the Australian National University for her contribution to the advancement of human rights, just as the Me Too movement was taking off.

"I feel more than disappointed, deeply distressed that women are still battling things that they shouldn't have to battle," Ms Ryan said. "Women need to act collectively and support each other on these big issues."

The biggest issue of today was news that Melbourne's night curfew will end on Monday. And there's a likelihood that coronavirus restrictions may ease faster than expected, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Case numbers will provide the basis for decision-making into the future, he said, and this could mean the state would take its next step towards lifting restrictions as early as 19 October, with an aim for a "COVID-normal Christmas". Whatever that is.

You can learn about all the changes the Premier announced today right here. But know that authorities won't be easing up.

"It will come back with fury. It will run wild if we just let this go, if we pretend it is over when it isn't," Mr Andrews said. And that's why anyone breaching the new restrictions will cop a $5000 fine.

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