Vale Professor Stuart Macintyre AO

Professor Stuart Macintyre AO stands in the Old Quad at the University of Melbourne. Image credit Shane Green

Professor Stuart Macintyre AO, 1947 – 2021

The Faculty of Arts was saddened to hear of the death of visionary academic Stuart Macintyre AO, Emeritus Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, Professorial Fellow of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies and former Dean of the Faculty.

Professor Macintyre is widely recognised as one of Australia’s most outstanding historians and academics. Throughout his distinguished career spanning over forty years, Stuart made an exemplary contribution to research and scholarship on Australian public policy, the history of labour and social movements, and intellectual history.

"In the Australian historical profession, Stuart Macintyre is irreplaceable. He knew the history of the historical profession in Australia like nobody else, so that with his loss a great slice of disciplinary memory is gone," said colleague and historian, Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick from the Australian Catholic University.

During his time as Dean of the Faculty (1999 – 2006) he was widely regarded as both a teacher and a leader, mentoring students and colleagues alike in pursuit of the Faculty’s vision of academic excellence.

“In addition to his enduring scholarly legacy, Stuart made a profound contribution to our Faculty and to the broader University of Melbourne community. During his time as Dean, he led with a rare combination of vision and integrity, and I have no doubt that the Faculty is all the stronger today for his leadership then,” said the Dean of Arts, the Reverend Professor Russell Goulbourne.

Born in Melbourne on 21st April 1947, Professor Macintyre earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts from Monash University, before completing his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge in 1975.

His passion for academic life would see him hold numerous appointments at Cambridge, Murdoch, the Australian National University and latterly at the University of Melbourne.

He first joined the Faculty of Arts at Melbourne in the 1980s as a lecturer, before his promotion to Professor and appointment to the Ernest Scott Chair of History in 1991. Professor Macintyre formally retired from the History program at Melbourne in 2013.

“Stuart made an exemplary and highly distinguished contribution to scholarship, research, the social sciences and the humanities in Australia. His award-winning books have the hallmark of the best scholarship and have significantly advanced our understandings of Australian public policy, social and political history,” said Professor Joy Damousi, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and former Head of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.

As a scholar, Professor Macintyre had an impressive output of more than 30 books, 80 chapters and 63 articles published by leading academic publishers and journals. His research output was recognised through several awards including the Victorian Premiers’ Literacy Award for volume 4 of the Oxford History of Australia in 1987; The Age Book of the Year for The Reds in 1998; NSW Australian History Prize and the Queensland Premiers’ Literary Award for The History of Wars in 2004 - amongst many other accolades.

Professor Macintyre championed civic values and ardently promoted the humanities and social sciences in Australia.

He served terms on the councils of the National Library of Australia and the State Library of Victoria. From 1996 to 1998 he was president of the Australian Historical Association and from 2002 to 2004 he chaired the Humanities and Creative Arts panel of the Australian Research Council.

He served as President of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia from 2007 to 2009 and was made a lifelong fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor Macintyre’s enthusiasm for education and the humanities went well beyond the walls of the University where he played a transformative role assisting the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority prepare a new national curriculum for history in Australian schools.

Professor Macintyre is one of the finest scholars Australia has ever produced and he leaves an immense legacy as a scholar, teacher, mentor, and former Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne.

Our thoughts are with his widow Martha and his family at this sad time.

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Timothy Walsh