Fighting for Equality
Today is the birthday of the botanist Sarah Hynes who was born on this day in 1859,
Hynes was born in Danzig, Prussia, and she immigrated to Australia in the mid-1800s. After graduating from the University of Sydney, she and Georgina King brought in fresh flowers for a botanical display at the Sydney Technological Museum. This is how Haynes came to know the director of the Museum, Joseph Henry Maiden. Maiden hired Haynes as a botanical assistant, and when he was promoted to be the director of the Sydney Botanic Garden, he hired Hynes to be in charge of the herbarium.
Once Hynes arrived at the botanic garden, she ran into difficulties with her male bosses. She was pointing out disparities between herself and her male counterparts; she had requested better pay. In 1905, Hynes was suspended and cited for 39 counts of insubordination, including the use of "unladylike" phrase "lowdown, dirty larrikin trick."
Hynes stood her ground and denied the charges, which were ultimately dismissed. But, five years later, it happened again. After this suspension, Haynes had had enough; she transferred to the Department of Public Instruction.
After this position, Haynes spent the rest of her professional life teaching science to high schoolers.
William Fitzgerald named the (Acacia hynesiana) for her in recognition of her work with Joseph Henry Maiden in his book Forest Flora.