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Biographical entry Erickson, Frederica Lucy (Rica) (1908 - 2009)


10 August 1908
Boulder City, Western Australia, Australia
8 September 2009
Naturalist, Botanical artist and Teacher
Alternative Names
  • Erickson, Rica (Also known as)


Rica Erickson gained renown as a naturalist, botanical artist, historian, author and genealogist and was awarded many honours. In 1980 she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters for her work in the fields of Literature and Botany, and in the same year was WA Citizen of the Year for outstanding service to the Arts, Culture and Entertainment. She became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1987 for her services to the Arts particularly as an author and illustrator. The Department of Conservation and Land Management named a bush reserve after her (1996), and a commemorative plaque was laid in her honour in St Georges Terrace, Perth (1999). Throughout her life and career her work was strongly linked to the development of the collections at the J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History.



Career position - Monitor and Teacher at Kendenup School in Western Australia
1927 - 1928
Education - Student at Claremont Teachers' College
1928 - 1934
Career position - Teacher at Aurora School then Youngs Siding in Western Australia
1934 - 1936
Career position - Teacher in Bolgart
Career position - Orchids of the West - her first self-illustrated book published
Career position - The Dictionary of Western Australians 1829-1914 published
Education - Honorary Doctor of Letters (Hon Dlitt) received from the University of Western Australia
Award - Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
Award - Rica Erickson Nature Reserve named in her honour by the Department of Conservation and Land Management

Archival resources

J S Battye Library of West Australian History (Battye Library), State Library of Western Australia

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Erickson, Rica, A Naturalist's Life (Crawley: University of Western Australia Press, 2005), 144 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Erickson, Rica, 'Drummond, James (1784-1863), botanist and plant collector' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 1 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1966), pp. 325-326. Details
  • Erickson, Rica, 'Georgiana Molloy (1803-1843) botanist' in 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Heather Radi, ed. (Sydney: Women's Redress Press Inc, 1988). Details

Journal Articles

  • Keighery, Bronwen, 'Frederica (Rica) Lucy Erickson, August 1908- September 2009', Australian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter (2009), 30-32 . Details


Annette Alafaci