Maryanne has been on the BRAMS Board for 24 years and was the NAIDOC Patron 2008, nominated by the BRAMS committee as the first Aboriginal nurse/midwife in the Kimberley region.
Maryanne was born in 1941 at the then Beagle Bay Mission. She was one of 9 children born to Urusla Grace and Vincent Martin. After several years her family moved to Broome where Maryanne attended St Mary’s primary school where her teachers were the St John of God nuns.
From an early age Maryanne’s interest in health was encouraged and became a reality when the then Matron of the Broome Hospital (Sr Allie Evans) commented ‘I want you girl’ and arranged her recruitment into Enrolled Nurse Training at Mt Henry Hospital for the elderly and the Merridin District Hospital.
Graduating in 1959, Maryanne returned to the Kimberley for a short stint at the Broome Hospital, before deciding to undertake her General Nurse training in the Victoria District Hospital in Geraldton. Completing this in 1964, Maryanne further graduated in Obstetrics at St John of God Hospital in 1969. Maryanne worked at the Broome Native hospital where leprosy was still a common condition. Her nursing experience developed further through working as an emergency relief nurse travelling from hospital to hospital she worked at Laverton, Wongan Hills, Kellerberrin, Southern Cross, Onslow and Derby hospitals, living out of a suitcase.
Maryanne was a strong and determined woman; she refused to obtain her citizenship papers and through her nursing work crossed boundaries and allocated curfew times.
Maryanne has one child.