Bruce Veitch Award for Excellence in Indigenous Engagement

Mel works closely with Aboriginal communities in northern Australia where she has an outstanding reputation as a brilliant “gadia” (“whitefella”). She sees herself as being someone who is simply there to support Aboriginal people in managing their own cultural heritage in their own way.  Her results are visible in practical outcomes that have benefited Aboriginal communities.  Her achievements, in concert with various Aboriginal groups, include:

  • The Kakadu National Park Rock Art Monitoring and Maintenance Program;
  • The Fitzroy Crossing Pioneer Cemetery Project;
  • Development of the Kimberley Women Ranger Program;
  • The Nyikina River Stories Project; and
  • Numerous cultural heritage assessments

Wes Morris from the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre says of Mel Marshall:

We are a small organisation with extremely limited resources. Our ability to consistently box above our weight is due in no small part to the huge contribution which Mel has provided to our organisation.  She is someone who is in and of the local community …

Robin Dann of the Wunggurr [Aboriginal] Rangers says:

Mel has been a huge help for us in looking after our cultural values.  Along with her scientific knowledge and our cultural knowledge we make it work together to achieve our goal through a process of two-way learning.