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Biographical entry Swan, Ailsa Macvey (1922 - 1998)

17 February 1922
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
17 April 1998
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Chemist and Conservationist
Alternative Names
  • Lowen, Ailsa Macvey (maiden name)


Ailsa Swan began her scientific career in the area of chemistry. She was later and active member of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, the Bird Observers Club of Australia and was founding member of the Phillip Island Conservation Society. Her passion for nature conservation led to Swan becoming an expert in planning laws. She made submissions, prepared material and appeared at hearings of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, representing the Bird Observers Club of Australia, the Phillip Island Conservation Society and Environment Victoria (formerly the Conservation Council of Victoria).



Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
September 1942 - March 1944
Career position - Research Chemist at Monsanto (Aust) Pty. Ltd.
March 1944 - November 1945
Career position - Junior Scientific Officer in the Operational Research Section of the Australian Army
1946 - 1948
Career position - Research in Physical and organic chemistry at the University of London
January 1949 - March 1949
Career position - Taught chemistry and physics at the Aylwin School in London
Education - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) completed at the University of London
May 1949 - April 1951
Career position - Research Officer in the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Division of Industrial Chemistry

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Ailsa Macvey Swan - Records, MS 13488; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Newspaper Articles

  • 'Island Conservationist', Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser, 6 May 1998. Details
  • 'Obituary - Ailsa Swan - Conservationist', Sydney Morning Herald, 18 May 1998. Details
  • McCulloch, Ellen, 'Obituary - Ailsa Macvey Swan - Conservationist', The Age, 7 May 1998. Details


Ailie Smith