MaryAnn Bin-Sallik

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MaryAnn Bin-Sallik in 1962

MaryAnn Bin-Sallik AO is Djaru Elder and Australian academic, specialising in Indigenous studies and culture. She was the first Indigenous Australian to gain a doctorate from Harvard University.[1]

Early life and nursing[edit]

Bin-Sallik was born in Broome, Western Australia. She moved with her family to Darwin at age nine. On leaving school she trained as a nursing sister at Darwin Hospital, where she was the first indigenous person to graduate.[1] She then spent 17 years nursing in Aboriginal settlements in the Northern Territory.[2]

Academic career[edit]

In 1975 Bin-Sallik moved to South Australia where completed an Associate Diploma of Social Work in 1979. She then became Coordinator of the Aboriginal Taskforce at the South Australian Institute of Technology from 1980 to 1985. She left to study at Harvard University where she commenced a Masters degree in Education Administration and later completed a Doctorate in Teaching and Learning from the same university.[1][3]

Returning to Australia she became Senior Lecturer in Aboriginal Studies at South Australian College of Advanced Education, 1989-1990. Bin-Sallik was then made Head of the School, Aboriginal Studies and Teacher Education at the University of South Australia in 1990. Eight years later she became its Dean of the College of Indigenous Education and Research.

Bin-Sallik delivered the Eighth Frank Archibald Memorial Lecture on “Aborigines and Universities : Are They Compatible?” at the University of New England — Armidale in 1993.[4] In 2001 she returned to live in the Northern Territory and was appointed Ranger Chair and Dean of Faculty of the Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies at Charles Darwin University.[5] She retired in 2008 and was awarded the title Emeritus Professor "for services to Indigenous Higher Education in Australia".[3]

In retirement, Bin-Sallik became Chair of the Vice Chancellor's Indigenous Advisory Council at Charles Darwin University from 2013 to 2015. She was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership at the University of Western Sydney in 2015 and has been a member of its Board of Trustees since 2016.[3]

In March 2016 Bin-Sallik was appointed a non-executive director of Aboriginal Hostels Limited, a not-for-profit organisation which provides temporary accommodation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are away from home.[6] She has also served as Co-Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission's Enquiry into the Forced Removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children.[3]

In October 2017, the University of Wollongong announced Marcelle Skimmings and Jacob Stephenson as winners of the inaugural MaryAnn Bin-Sallik Cancer Council NSW Indigenous Health scholarship. The scholarship was set up by the Woolyungah Indigenous Centre at the University and Cancer Council NSW to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students studying for medical careers. Its name recognises Bin-Sallik's achievements in health and academia.[7]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Victorian Honour Roll of Women, 2001[8]
  • Female Elder of the Year, NAIDOC Awards, 2016[1]
  • Member of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2017 Australia Day Honours "For distinguished service to tertiary education as an academic, author and administrator, particularly in the area of Indigenous studies and culture, and as a role model and mentor"[3][9]
  • Honorary Doctor of the University (DUniv), University of South Australia, conferred 29 March 2017 "in recognition of her distinguished service to the community"[10]


  • Bin-Sallik, Mary Ann (2000), Aboriginal women by degrees : their stories of the journey towards academic achievement, University of Queensland Press, ISBN 978-0-7022-3147-6


  1. ^ a b c d "NAIDOC 2016: Female elder of the year - Mary Ann Bin-Sallik". NITV. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  2. ^ Melbourne, National Foundation for Australian Women and The University of. "Bin-Sallik, Mary Ann - Woman - The Australian Women's Register". Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia" (PDF). Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  4. ^ Bin-Sallik, Mary Ann; University of New England-Armidale (1994), Aborigines and universities : are they compatible?, University of New England, ISBN 978-1-86389-093-9
  5. ^ "NTU's new Dean an old friend of Darwin" (PDF). Northern Territory News. 6 September 2001. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Our Board & Executive | Aboriginal Hostels Limited". Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  7. ^ CRABB, BRENDAN (2017-10-05). "UOW student aiming to be an advocate for indigenous health". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  8. ^ "Tenth Anniversary Victorian Honour Roll of Women" (PDF). Her Place: Women's Museum Australia. 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  9. ^ "BIN-SALIK, MaryAnn". Australian Honours Search Facility, Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  10. ^ "2017 award recipients". University of South Australia. University of South Australia. Retrieved 26 April 2019.