One of the greatest proponents of Indigenous education in Australia has been honored with an Emeritus Professorship during Charles Darwin University’s end-of-year graduation ceremony.
Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik, the former Dean of Indigenous Research and Education, was honoured with an Emeritus Professorship in recognition for her long-serving commitment and contribution to the University and to Indigenous participation within the higher education sector.
An Indigenous woman from the Djaru Clan of the East Kimberley region, Professor Bin-Sallik has made a major contribution to advancing Indigenous education through being involved in government, university and community advisory and review groups throughout her career which have subsequently influenced government education and equity policies for Indigenous Australians.
Before taking up her position at CDU, Professor Bin-Sallik was Dean of the College of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.
The first Aboriginal to be employed full-time in the Aboriginal higher education sector in Australia when she was appointed at the University of South Australia, Professor Bin-Sallik’s list of achievements is as impressive as it is varied.
Her doctoral thesis, entitled Aboriginal Tertiary Education in Australia from Harvard University, outlined the developments of the Aboriginal higher education sector, and is regarded as the first detailed analysis of Aboriginal higher education by an Aboriginal Australian.
A visiting lecturer at several overseas universities, Professor Bin-Sallik has published extensively in international literature, and has been invited to deliver papers and keynote addresses at international conferences in the USA, Germany, Norway, Mexico, England, and Brazil.
In 2000, Professor Bin-Sallik was awarded the Centenary Medal in recognition for her achievement in being the first Indigenous Australian to be employed full-time in higher education.
During her tenure at CDU, Professor Bin-Sallik was instrumental in establishing various Indigenous support programs for students and staff including: Academic Support; Cross Cultural Awareness; Taste of Uni; Employment and Retention; and Research Strategy.
Professor Bin-Sallik has structured her academic career around attempting to overcome the effects of social and political disadvantage of Indigenous Australians through higher education. And, despite her national and international profile, she considers herself a Territorian with a good understanding of its cultures and peoples.