Ailsa Thomson Zainuddin is a writer and scholar who has specialised in the history of education. Born in Melbourne in 1927, Ailsa studied English and history at the University of Melbourne, and received her MA for a thesis entitled ‘The Bulletin and Australian Nationalism’. In 1954, Ailsa travelled to Jakarta under the Volunteer Graduate Scheme, working at the English Language Inspectorate. In 1965 she joined the Faculty of Education, Monash University, where she carried out pioneering work in relation to Southeast Asian history of education, and the history of education for girls and women. Ailsa was awarded a PhD from Monash University in 1983 for her centenary history of Methodist Ladies’ College, Kew, the school she herself attended, and which she maintained an association with for over fifty years. Ailsa’s published works also include A Short History of Indonesia, and an Indonesian cookery book. She retired from Monash in 1992. Ailsa and her husband Zainu’ddin (Minangkabau), whom she married in 1954, have two daughters.