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Mary grew up in South-East Queensland, and is a Kombumerri person through her father’s heritage and a Wakka Wakka clan through her mother’s heritage.  With a career spanning more than 30 years, Mary has worked across several government agencies, community organisations and universities including:  Department of Community Services, Aboriginal and Islander Childcare Agency, the University of Queensland and the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action.

In 1992 Mary also served as the Commissioner for Queensland Corrective Services.  Mary has been a dedicated lecturer with the University of Queensland, teaching Aboriginal history, politics and comparative philosophy.  Mary has also lectured nationally on these subjects, and developed and implemented the core university subjects of ‘Aboriginal Perspective’s’, ‘Aboriginal Approaches to Knowledge’ and at the post-graduation level ‘Aboriginal Politics’.

Mary has written and published many prominent works, including – publications in the Aboriginal Encyclopaedia, training modules for Cross Cultural Awareness and a host of academic papers.  Mary has worked extensively for the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action, as a Native Title Researcher and was also a Regional Counsellor for the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

Mary has worked on scripts for Murriimage and executively produced the documentaries ‘Same place, my home’ and ‘Makin’ Tracks’.  Mary is a proud member of the Ethics Council for the National Congress of Australia’s First Nations and for the past two years she has been teaching across the country with The BlackCard. In 2015 Mary was appointed Associate Adjunct Professor (POLSIS) at UQ and was awarded an Honourary Doctorate at QUT for her lifetime committment to Scholarship and Community.

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