Public Health and Careers

Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann is 2021 Senior Australian of the Year


Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM from the Northern Territory has been named the Senior Australian of the year for 2021. An Aboriginal Artist and Educator, Baumann was born in the bush near Daly River in 1950 and is a member of the Ngangiwumirr language group. She also speaks four other local languages.

Dr Baumann was recognised for her contribution to children’s education, demonstrating an admirable commitment to making Australia a better place.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said Dr Baumann had gone above and beyond in her service to education in the Top End.

“The Miriam Rose Foundation, which she began, is driving reconciliation at the grassroots level by bridging the divide between Aboriginal culture and wider Australian society,” said Minister Colbeck “The Senior Australian of the Year award is recognition of significant achievement over many years, but it also highlights that dedicated Australians working for their communities come from all walks of life and background,” he added.

Dr Baumann became the first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher in the Northern Territory in 1975 and later served as the principal of the Catholic school in her home community. She is a renowned artist and a strong advocate for visual art to be a part of every child’s education.

Minister Colbeck also paid tribute to the other nominees from across Australia and the winners in each state and territory.

“It must be a difficult task narrowing down the nominees each year, looking through those shortlisted for this honour shows that you can always make a difference.” Minister Colbeck said, “While there is only one Senior Australian of the Year, I am continually impressed by all of those Australians who are nominated – they should all be rightly proud of their achievements.”

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Based on a city where the mountain meets the sea and where antique houses line the streets, my mind is free to wonder, to wander and to write.


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