Australian Union Mourns Passing of Senior Official Mark Ryan


International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Media,

Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) in mourning the death on December 10 of

the union’s assistant federal secretary Mark Ryan,

after a two-year battle with cancer.


A lawyer by training, Ryan was one of the most influential trade union

officials in shaping wages and working conditions for journalists in Australia over

the past 25 years. Ryan joined the staff of the Australian Journalists’

Association in 1987. After the union merged with other entertainment unions in

1992 to become the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, Ryan became

assistant federal secretary, a role he maintained until his death.



was the prime mover in the copyright campaign of the 1980s and 1990s which,

uniquely in the English-speaking world, won journalists the right to receive

payments for secondary uses of their work.

Ryan also played a key role in restructuring journalists’ awards, including the

establishment of starting rates for journalists that, by recognising

journalists’ professional status, led the way to significant pay rises across

the board.

Despite being diagnosed with bone cancer in June 2009, Ryan continued to work

and was instrumental in the process of award modernisation following the

introduction of the Fair Work Act in 2009.



was in many ways the heart and soul of the journalists’ union,” MEAA federal

secretary Christopher Warren said.



was a tough and shrewd negotiator whose passion for the rights of journalists

coupled with an infectious sense of humour earned him the respect of all those

who worked with him – and in this I include media bosses who sat across the

table from him during negotiations.

“All Australian journalists should reflect on their pay and conditions, for

which they can thank Mark Ryan. He

will be mourned by his colleagues and friends at the Alliance as well as by all those many members

he was able to help.”


Mark Ryan is survived by his wife, Kristine

Neill, and his two daughters Caroline and Georgina.

A funeral service will be held at 11am on Wednesday in Sydney.



For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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