The Institute Times

Marcia Langton appointed as the first female chair of AIATSIS

Marcia Langton, first female chair of AIATSIS
Marcia Langton, first female chair of AIATSIS

Marcia Langton is a prominent Aboriginal academic from the Bidjara people in south-central Queensland. Marcia was the first female chair of AIATSIS from 1992-98, one of many influential positions she has held as one of Australia’s most influential leaders.

After completing an honours degree in anthropology at ANU in 1984, Marcia worked on land claims for the Central Land Council in Alice Springs and the Cape York Land Council in north Queensland.

Marcia was a part of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1989 as a member of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Issues Unit. Her submission to the Royal Commission entitled ‘Too Much Sorry Business’ had widespread impact drawing national attention to the mortality rates in Indigenous communities.

Her service as a member of the Aboriginal native title negotiating team helped influence the drafting of the Native Title Act through the federal parliament in 1993. She was also awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her work in anthropology and advocacy in the same year.

In October 1999 Langton was one of five Indigenous leaders who were granted an audience with the Queen in Buckingham Palace to discuss the UK’s unfinished business with Australia’s first inhabitants and their proposed recognition in the Australian Constitution.

Since 2000, she has been the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. In 2001, Marcia became an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Marcia is also a widely published author and historian who completed a PHD in human geography from Macquarie University in 2005.

From 2010, Marcia served as a member of the 'Expert Panel' which was created by government to report on models for constitutional reform to include Aboriginal people in the Australian Constitution.

Source: Women Australia.