Vale Dr June Factor

The AHA is saddened to hear of the passing of Dr June Factor AM. June was a historian and highly respected folklorist, who was most widely known for her much-loved series of schoolyard rhymes, beginning with Far Out, Brussel Sprout! For many years she was senior lecturer in English at the Institute of Early Childhood Development in Melbourne before being appointed honorary senior fellow at the University of Melbourne. Her contribution to children’s history in Australia has been especially significant, and her history of children’s folklore, Captain Cook Chased a Chook (Penguin, 1988), remains the authoritative text on the subject. June was also a co-founder of the Australian Children’s Folklore Collection, inaugural co-editor of the International Journal of Play, president of the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties, and founder of Befriend a Child in Detention. Her last book, Soldiers and Aliens: Men in the Australian Army’s Employment Companies during World War II (MUP, 2022), won the inaugural Anzac Memorial Trustees Military History Prize at the 2023 NSW Premier’s History Awards. June continued to mentor young scholars in her final years and was recently recognised on the 2024 Australia Day Honours list for ‘significant service to literature, to history, and to the community’. The AHA offers its condolences to June’s family and friends. A memorial service will be held in Melbourne later this year to celebrate her life.

Emily Gallagher, Research Editor, National Centre of Biography/Australian Dictionary of Biography, School of History, ANU