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Trailblazing former minister Susan Ryan dies age 77

Susan Ryan, the first woman to serve in a Labor federal cabinet and who later became the first Age Discrimination Commissioner, has died aged 77.

Tributes poured in for Ms Ryan on Sunday, attesting to her trailblazing role as a feminist and human rights campaigner and her political achievements as the ACT’s first female Senator, a position she held for 12 years.

Susan Ryan and Bob Hawke in 1984.

Susan Ryan and Bob Hawke in 1984. Credit:David James

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she was shocked and saddened by the news of Ms Ryan’s death, describing her as a “feminist hero and Labor giant”.

“Every Australian’s life has been improved by her leadership on gender equality. She blazed the trail for Labor women, including me. I honour a woman of courage and true believer,” Ms Gillard tweeted.

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