1. Professor Isaac

Updated time

Last updated

28 October 2019

Until his death in September 2019, esteemed academic and former member of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, Professor Joseph Isaac AO was a Sir Richard Kirby Archives ‘living treasure’.

Professor Isaac’s career in economics and labour relations encompassed more than half of the period of operation of Australia’s federal labour relations system, which was established in 1904 with the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904. He had a remarkable depth of knowledge drawn from his long experience.

Still giving lectures at the University of Melbourne into his 90s, Professor Isaac remembered conversing with Sir Richard Kirby in the 1960s, years before his own appointment as Deputy President in 1973. In 2002 Professor Isaac was invited to give the opening speech for the launch of the Sir Richard Kirby Archives. In 2010 he was interviewed for the Archives' Oral History program, and was a regular visitor and contributor to the Archives' programs.

The Fair Work Commission continues to acknowledge Professor Isaac as a treasure of the Sir Richard Kirby Archives.

Go to Professor Isaac's speech at the launch of the Treasures of the Archives exhibition.