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Vale June Factor

Folklorist, social historian and author June Factor has died, aged 87.

Factor was the compiler of a list of 1980s children’s schoolyard rhyming books published by Brolly Books, including Far Out, Brussel Sprout!All Right, Vegemite!Unreal, Banana Peel!Real Keen, Baked Bean! and Roll Over, Pavlova!.

Her 1988 social history book Captain Cook Chased a Chook: Children’s folklore in Australia (Penguin) was awarded the Opie Prize in the United States and the same topic was used for her PhD submitted in 1989. She is author of Kidspeak: A dictionary of Australian children’s words, expressions and games (MUP, 2000), as well as the history book Soldiers and Aliens (MUP, 2022), which received the Anzac Memorial Trustees Military History Prize.

Factor was graduate of the University of Melbourne and the University of London and had been working as an honorary senior fellow at the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, and an honorary associate atMuseums Victoria.

At the Australia Day 2024 honours, Factor was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) ‘for significant service to literature, to history, and to the community’.

Australian Society of Authors (ASA) wrote: 

‘We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of ASA member, author, mentor, and social historian, Dr June Factor AM. June was a prolific author with a special interest in children’s folklore and language, known for anthologies such as Far Out, Brussel Sprout! and All Right, Vegemite! June made significant contributions to the literary community and we know her loss will be deeply felt. Vale June.’


Category: Obituaries