• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE1163

Bin-Sallik, Mary Ann

(1940 – )
  • Nationality Australian
  • Born 2 November, 1940, Broome Western Australia Australia
  • Occupation Academic, Justice of the Peace, Nurse, Social worker


Mary Ann Bin-Sallik has played a monumental role in the advancement of Aboriginal studies with a proliferation of posts in the tertiary sector. She has been part of government committees of inquiry into Aboriginal employment; discrimination in employment; and the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

In 2017, Mary Ann Bin-Sallik was made an Officer in the General division of the Order of Australia ‘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.


Mary Ann Bin-Sallik, descendant of the Kija people of the Turkey Creek area, was born in Broome, Western Australia. She trained as a nurse in the Northern Territory. After graduation from the Darwin Hospital, she worked in various settlements in the Northern Territory for 17 years. In 1975 she moved to South Australia where she completed an Associate Diploma in Social Work in 1979. In 1980-85 she was coordinator of the Aboriginal Taskforce at the South Australian Institute of Technology. 1985 saw her commence a Masters in Education at Harvard University in Boston, and in 1989 she completed her doctorate in education, also at Harvard.

On her return to Australia, Bin-Sallik was appointed Senior Lecturer in Aboriginal Studies at the South Australian College of Advanced Education. She became Head of the School of Aboriginal Studies and Teacher Education at the University of South Australia in 1990. Since then she has held a number of positions in education, including the Ranger Chair in Aboriginal Studies, Director of CINCRM and Dean of the Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies at Northern Territory University. She was also Dean of the College of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of South Australia, and a Justice of the Peace.

Bin-Sallik has served on numerous national and state committees, including the Commonwealth Government’s Committee of Review of Aboriginal Employment and Training, the National Aboriginal Employment Development Committee and the National Committee Against Discrimination in Employment and Occupation. She has been a member of the National Population Council, and the Council of the Institute of Aboriginal Studies (now AIATSIS). She was a Co-Commissioner for the Human Rights Commissions’ Enquiry into the Forced Removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children.

In 2000 Bin-Sallik edited and published her book, Aboriginal Women by Degree, recording the lives and achievements of 13 Indigenous women.



  • 2001 - 2001

    Inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Published resources

  • Edited Book
    • The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, society and culture, Horton, David, 1994
  • Conference Proceedings
    • Aboriginal women by degrees: their stories of the journey towards academic achievement, Bin-Sallik, Mary Ann, 2000
  • Resource

Related entries

  • Related Concepts
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women