Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr (AO) is an Aboriginal elder from Nauiyu (Daly River), where she served for many years as the principal of the local Catholic primary school. She is a renowned artist, writer and public speaker.
In 1975, Miriam became the Territory's first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher, holding the position of Art Consultant with the Professional Services Branch of the Northern Territory Department of Education. During this time she visited schools throughout the Territory thus gaining the opportunity to advance her commitment to the inclusion of visual art as a part of every child's education. In 1993 she became the Principal of one of the schools in Nauiyu. And in 2004 her abilities saw her appointed as a member of the Federal Government’s advisory body, the National Indigenous Council. Her achievements have been recognised in the awarding of an honorary PhD in Education and being made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1998.
Besides her success in teaching and school administration, Miriam has become a renowned artist, writer, activist and public speaker. She advocates for experiences that allow Indigenous youth to learn to ‘walk in two worlds’, those being Aboriginal culture and mainstream Western culture.
Her many contributions have greatly benefited both local Aboriginal and broader mainstream society in numerous ways.