Diana Wyndham

PHA NSW Accreditation

Professional Member


Dr Diana Wyndham is a historian and author who began her career as a librarian, setting up libraries for architects and for the Family Planning Association of NSW.  She and fellow FPA Board member Stefania Siedlecky wrote Populate and Perish: Australian Women's Fight for Birth Control.  Diana was Head of Research and Information at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and Chief Librarian for the Commonwealth Institute of Health.   She has a Masters Degree in Librarianship (UNSW), and a PhD  in History (USyd) - read the thesis online .  After winning a Norman Haire Fellowship from the University of Sydney,  her biography of this pioneering birth control crusader was published by Sydney University Press in 2012.

Diana spoke on the Hindsight program 'Sex and Sin: How Sexologist Norman Haire Shocked Australia' on ABC Radio National, 24 January 2010 - http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/sex-and-sin-how-sexologist-norman-haire-shocked/3079050

Diana was the featured author at the Writers at Stanton Library talks series  in North Sydney on 26 February 2013.

Norman Haire and the study of sex was reviewed in the February edition of the Australian Book Review and Phillip Adams discussed the biography with Diana  on ABC Radio National on 7 February 2013. You can listen to the podcast of the LNL talk - Diana Wyndham on Late Night Live with Phillip Adams

For Diana's  Sydney Institute  12 November 2013  speech – 'Norman Haire - Studying Sex in the Early 20th Century' - [speech, paper and podcast] see: http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/speaker/diana-wyndham/

For 'Missing portrait of sexologist Norman Haire returned to Sydney University library', by Stephanie Woods,  Sydney Morning Morning Herald, 3 July 2014 see:  http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/missing-portrait-of-sexologist-norman-haire-returned-to-sydney-university-library-20140701-zsobf.html

 For 'Returned portrait sheds light on forgotten sexologist', Sydney University News, 3 July 2014,  see:  http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newscategoryid=1&newsstoryid=13725

Contact Details

Home phone number + 61 2 9954 1217
Mobile number: 0417 121 458
Email: diana.wy@bigpond.net.au

Qualifications and memberships

ALAA (Library Association of Australia, 1966)
BA (UNE, 1977)
MLib (UNSW, 1982)
PhD (USYD, 1997)

Honours and Awards

J H Bell Sociology Prize, University of New England, 1977

Bicentennial Grant (with Stefania Siedlecky), 1987

Norman Haire Fellowship, University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine, 1998 and 1999

Area of Expertise

Medical history, particularly reproductive health, birth control; eugenics; sexuality

Publications/Past Work


Norman Haire and the Study of Sex by Diana Wyndham with foreword by Michael Kirby, Sydney University Press, 2012.  For comment see the website below  http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=10678

Populate and Perish: Australian Women's Fight for Birth Control, by Stefania Siedlecky and Diana Wyndham, Allen & Unwin, 1990

Eugenics In Australia: Striving for National Fitness, London: Galton Institute, 2003 - read the review or the book here or read the thesis online

Published Articles and Book Chapters

‘Forget Population Control – All You Need is Love’, review of Matthew Connelly, Fatal Misconception:  The Struggle to Control World Population, Boston: Harvard University Belknap Press, 2008,  Australian Review of Public Affairs, vol 9, no 2, 2009  www.australianreview.net/index.html

Norman Haire Writes for Woman - A Battle for Sex Reform and Civil Liberties, History, September 2006, 8-9.

Versemaking and Lovemaking – W B Yeats’ ‘Strange Second Puberty’: Norman Haire and the Steinach Rejuvenation Operation, Journal of History of the Behavioral Sciences, vol 39 (1), 2003, 25-50

Misdiagnosis and Miscarriage of Justice? Dr Norman Haire and the 1919 Influenza Epidemic at Newcastle Hospital, Health and History, vol 2 (1), July 2000, 3-26.

Plans for Producing Better Babies, History, no 54, December 1997, 25-28.

Dr Isobel Bennett, AO – Oral history interview for Stanton Library, North Sydney Council, January 1997 and WISNET Journal, no 44, July 1997, 13-15.

(with Adam Graycar and Michael Horsburgh) Welfare – Chapter 43 in Australians: A Guide to Sources: (Fairfax, Syme & Associates), 1987, 356-64.

Medical Mystification. But we Keep Taking the Tabloids, Medical Journal of Australia, vol 22, (8), December 1984, 832-835.

Why Study Working Mothers and Ignore Working Fathers?  The Impact of Parental Employment on Children, Australian Quarterly, vol 55, Autumn 1983, 14-18.

Fair Sharing? [Job Sharing], Australian Society, 1 October 1983, 10-12.

No News and Bad News:  A Brief History of Sex Education for Children, in Teaching About Sex:  The Australian Experience, Wendy McCarthy (ed) (Allen and Unwin), 1983, 1-10.

My Doctor Gives Me Pills to Put Him Out of His Misery:  Women and Psychotropic Drugs, New Doctor, no 23, March 1982, 21-25.

Sexism as it Affects Consumers and Providers of Health Care, in Women, Class and History: Feminist Perspectives on Australia, 1788-1978, Elizabeth Windschuttle (ed) (Fontana/Collins), 1980, 558-91.

Conference papers

Misdiagnosis and Miscarriage of Justice, Royal Newcastle Hospital: An Australian Icon Conference, 11 March 2006.

‘Dr Wykeham Terriss’ Writes for Woman:  Norman Haire’s Sexuality Challenges to Wartime Australia, 8th Biennial Conference of the History of the Australian Society of the History of Medicine, Melbourne, 24 April 2003.

7th Biennial Conference of the History of the Australian Society of the History of Medicine, Adelaide, 21 April 2001 – paper published in Journal of History of the Behavioral Sciences, vol 39 (1), 2003, 25-50

History and Sociology of Eugenics Conference, Newcastle, 28 April 2000 – paper in Health and History, vol 2 (1), July 2000, 3-26.

Dr Norman Haire and the 1944 ABC Population Unlimited? Debate:  A Fight for Free Speech and Sexual Reform, 6th Biennial Conference of the Australian Society of the History of Medicine, July 1999.

Ad Men, Subtract Women:  Profit Without Honour, Media Images of Women Conference, Perth, 8 November 1986

Remotely Visible?  How Lobbying and the Media Can Help, Council of Remote Area Nurses Conference, Perth, September 1987