Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Kalantzis, Mary (1949 - )

Born
1949
Greece
Occupation
Director and Academic

Summary

Mary Kalantzis migrated to Australia with her family in 1953. Against the wishes of her husband and parents she continued her formal education in Australia, winning two prestigious scholarships.Today Kalantzis is Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at RMIT University.

Details

Mary Kalantzis was born in 1949 in a village in the Greek Peloponnese, the daughter of agriculturalists without formal education. The family migrated to Australia in 1953, both parents starting life here as wage earners. The eldest of three children (one of whom was born here), Mary entered into an arranged marriage soon after completing high school. Not content with her life as a wife and mother at home, she decided to return to study, a decision that was not well received by her husband nor her parents, Nicholas and Diamondo. She persisted despite their objections, even as a sole parent after her husband left.

Mary's decision to continue with study has been vindicated by the extraordinary career she has since embarked upon. In 1982 she was the recipient of a Commonwealth Postgraduate Research Award and in 1990-91 she was a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at the University of New Hampshire in the United States.

She has since been appointed Director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at James Cook University of North Queensland; Director of the Centre for Workplace Communication and Culture at the University of Technology, Sydney; and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Multicultural Studies at the University of Wollongong. She has been a part time Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and Chair of the Queensland Ethnic Affairs Ministerial Advisory Committee, set up to advise the Queensland Premier on all matters relating to multiculturalism.

Mary Kalantzis is now a Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at RMIT University.

Related entries

Women of Greek Heritage

Barbara Lemon

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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