Catholic educator named Senior Australian the Year

Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann (Miriam Rose Foundation)

A Catholic Aboriginal artist, activist, writer and educator has been named the 2021 Senior Australian of the Year in the annual Australian Day honours. Source: Canberra Times.

Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, 73, from Daly River in the Northern Territory, established the Miriam Rose Foundation in 2013 to bridge the divide between Aboriginal culture and mainstream society, driving reconciliation at a grassroots level.

The Aboriginal elder has been a long-serving campaigner, advocating for the inclusion of visual art as part of every child's education.

Trained as a teacher in Melbourne, Dr Ungunmerr Baumann went on to achieve a master's degree in education and returned as principal to the same St Francis Xavier Catholic school in Nauiyu, her home community, where she had started as a teacher's assistant in 1968.

Dr Ungunmerr Baumann was appointed to the Order of Australia for services to Aboriginal people in 1998, and joined the federal government's advisory body, the National Indigenous Council, in 2004.

She was also awarded an honorary PhD from Charles Darwin University, recognising her outstanding service in the fields of education, visual arts, and Aboriginal affairs.

Meanwhile, many Catholics were among the 845 people whose decades of service were recognised in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List, the Catholic Weekly reports.

One of those was Missionaries of the Sacred Heart priest Fr Paul Stenhouse, who died in November 2019, and was recognised posthumously with an Order of Australia Medal for his services to the Church, scholarship, journalism and migrant families across Sydney.


Born in the bush at Daly River, Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann has been named Senior Australian of the Year (By Peter Brewer, Canberra Times)

Catholics honoured in the Australia Day Awards (The Catholic Weekly)


Australia Day honours: Recognising the good in our community (Melbourne Catholic)

Miriam Rose's clear vision (Eureka Street)

View the full 2021 Australia Day Honours List (Office of the Governor-General)

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