Luise Hercus (née Schwarzschild) was born in Munich in 1926 and was educated in England from 1939. She was a Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford, having studied both Modern Languages and Oriental Studies. In 1962 she began working independently on salvage work in Aboriginal Languages, studying languages that were on the brink of extinction. She has continued this work ever since with help from the ARC and AIATSIS. She was Senior Lecturer and then Reader in Sanskrit at The Australian National University from 1969 to 1991. Since then she has been Visiting Fellow in the Department of Linguistics, School of Language Studies, ANU, writing up grammars, dictionaries and traditional texts, and continuing fieldwork mainly in the north of South Australia and adjacent areas of New South Wales and Queensland.