Daly River, Northern Teritory, Australia
- Aboriginal Artist and Educator
Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann was born in the Daly River area, Northern Territory. Her primary language is Ngan'gikurunggurr, although she also speaks four other local languages.
Ungunmerr-Baumann attended school at Adelaide River, Pine Creek and Mataranka, where she learnt English. At the age of 14, she returned to the Daly River to complete her primary education at the mission where she was baptised and made her first communion. She then completed a teaching assistant course at Kormilda College and worked as a teachers aide at the Daly River mission school. She was sponsored by the federal government to work with art teachers in primary schools throughout Victoria, and became a fully qualified teacher with the Commonwealth Teaching Service in 1974. A year later, she was offered a position as art consultant with the Northern Territory Department of Education. She helped to establish the Aboriginal women's centre in Darwin, and taught at St John's College until 1981, when she returned to the Daly River.
A talented artist and active promoter of Aboriginal culture, Ungunmerr-Baumann has illustrated a number of books, including the revised edition of Alan Marshall's People of the Dreamtime. In 1986 she began teaching back at the Daly River mission school while pursuing higher education, and eventually became school principal.
Sources used to compile this entry: Horton, David (ed.). The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Vol. 2, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1994, pp. 1118-9.