Growing up with a passion for learning and literature Maryanne dreamt from early on of becoming an academic, despite learning most of what she knew about academic life from reading author bio notes in the front of books.
Maryanne went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Queensland, thriving under the mentorship of various academics at there who encouraged her to undertake higher degree studies.
It was during her subsequent PhD at the University of the Sydney that Maryanne immersed herself in archival research and in feminist literary and cultural history – areas that remain the focus of her research today.
Maryanne pursued an academic career in literary studies initially, tutoring at the University of Sydney before landing her first full-time lecturing position at the University of Hong Kong. During this formative experience, Maryanne not only expanded her horizons by working in an international setting but learnt the benefits of experiencing different university environments.
Following her time in Hong Kong, Maryanne secured a position in Women’s Studies at Monash University where she went on to gain valuable experience in managing a small but growing centre. She was able to build her skills in academic program management and budget fundamentals, as well as learning how to navigate university hierarchies. This experience also taught her the value of a strongly collaborative academic unit for building trust and encouraging the kind of robust discussions that can drive a unit forward.
Maryanne has gone onto hold leadership roles at Monash University - where she was Director of the Centre of Women’s Studies & Gender Research - and at the University of Technology Sydney where she was appointed as an Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She is currently Executive Director of the LX Transformation, the University’s program for moving to a new Learning Management System (LMS).
Through her leadership positions, Maryanne’s focus has been on building a culture of collaboration, where women feel supported to develop their careers and are given opportunities to succeed. Throughout her career, Maryanne is most proud of her capacity to be a good team member – an often under-celebrated ability – and to support others around her to do well in their roles.
Maryanne has over 20 years experience as a mentor and provides a unique perspective around navigating a career as a feminist and an academic. She believes great mentors take the time to understand their mentees’ key drivers and qualities, help address barriers and guide decision-making. Maryanne believes mentoring doesn’t need to be a forever journey – citing how sometimes a single meeting can often be beneficial in clarifying a direction or gaining new insight.
Maryanne recognised through her role as co-editor of the journal Australian Feminist Studies that early publishing experiences can be challenging and occasionally scarring. This led her to develop a mentoring scheme through the journal for early career researchers to support the next generation of academic writers. Maryanne wants junior scholars to build confidence in the publishing process, have access to insider knowledge and feel supported through peer review and manuscript revision.
Maryanne is also currently Deputy Chair of Academic Board and Deputy Chair of the University's Teaching and Learning Committee. Roles such as these have reaffirmed to Maryanne the importance of taking senior leaders solutions to challenges, not more problems.
Maryanne is passionate about her work but also loves immersing herself in archival collections or travelling the world and exploring beautiful cities like London, Vienna and Lausanne.