Vale Wendy Way: Obituary by Frank Bongiorno

It is with great sadness that I inform Australian Historical Association members of the passing of Dr Wendy Way. Wendy was best known in the profession for her wide-ranging and meticulous scholarship on the history of Australian foreign policy. Having researched an outstanding Master’s thesis (1980) at the Australian National University on clothing rationing during the Second World War under the supervision of Dr John Merritt (One examiner apparently wanted to know why it wasn’t being submitted for a doctorate), Wendy joined the Historical Documents Projects Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs, as it was then called. She later served for many years with great distinction as head of that unit, overseeing the publication of significant work in the Documents on Australian Foreign Policy series, most volumes covering the critical years of the 1940s, but also including a volume dealing with Australia and the Indonesian incorporation of East Timor. Foreshadowing a major project she would undertake after her retirement from the department, she also edited Letters from a ‘Secret Service Agent’: F.L. McDougall to S.M. Bruce, 1924–1929 (1986) with W.J. Hudson.

Wendy was a fine scholar and, as I can attest personally, a conscientious, collegial and caring supervisor of the many historians who worked with her in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. After leaving the department, Wendy undertook a PhD thesis at the ANU with Dr Tim Rowse, on the work of F.L. McDougall, a significant figure in Australian international economic diplomacy, agricultural policy and global food politics. A version of her thesis was published in 2013 as A New Idea Each Morning: How Food and Agriculture Came Together in One International Organisation. It is a pioneering study of Australian internationalism. I know AHA members will join me in extending sympathy to Wendy’s husband John and her family. A commemorative service will be held at 1.30pm on 24 November at University House, The Australian National University.

Frank Bongiorno, School of History, The Australian National University