Academic journal article The Economic and Labour Relations Review : ELRR

Obituary: Rut Hammarstrom

Academic journal article The Economic and Labour Relations Review : ELRR

Obituary: Rut Hammarstrom

Article excerpt

This symposium on Nordic industrial relations is dedicated to the memory of Rut Hammarstrom. Rut was a great advocate of Nordic cooperation to which she greatly contributed through her work in the cooperative movement. Rut also helped to foster links between Australia and the Nordic region.

The death of Rut Hammarstrom, who perished on the ferry Estonia when it sank in the Baltic recently, is a loss felt by many in Australian and the Nordic countries. Rut and her husband, Olle, made a remarkable contribution to public life for nearly twenty years in the fields of workplace and industrial relations reform.

The Hammarstroms first visited Australia in 1976 when Olle was the Swedish Labour Attache as the result of an exchange initiated by the Whitlam Government. In this role he worked closely with Ian Macphee, then Minister for Productivity in the Fraser Government, providing advice based on the Swedish experience of labour market co-operation and workplace reform.

The family moved to Adelaide and very quickly Rut began to make her own uniquely warm and wise contribution through her work with the Unit for Industrial Democracy established by the Dunstan Government. In all that she did, Rut Hammarstrom brought a wonderful capacity to be simultaneously clear-sighted, tough-minded, fun-loving and compassionate. All those who met her felt inspired by her commitment, both to friends and the community in general. …

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