Maria Jolly

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Maria is committed to collaborating with stakeholders to improve education, health and wellbeing.

She has extensive experience in policy and program design in the public sector, where she has enabled practical, implementable, equitable and culturally sensitive solutions. She also has recent experience in leading First Nations’ policy design, health and education policy and programs.

Influential work

  • Delivered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policies and programs, in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, across health, education and rural and remote settings
  • Led engagement with the then-Minister for Indigenous Health and Indigenous leaders through the National Indigenous Health Equity Council to create the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Policy (2013-2023)
  • Led development of the associated National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (2013-2023)
  • Led teams to articulate policy challenges and create realistic solution pathways within existing system design, legislation, budget and regulatory constraints
  • Led the delivery of a 10-year Health Workforce Plan for the ACT Government.

Outside of Nous

Maria worked in government and non-government roles for 28 years, including 10 years as a First Assistant Secretary in the Australian Government. She worked primarily across health and education policy development, design, costing and program implementation.

Maria has worked alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to create policies and programs targeting the social determinants of health. This included using an extensive network to inform system delivery thinking and incorporating innovative ideas into forming solutions; and coaching and mentoring staff to drive optimal performance, support the next generation of policy leaders and create positive workplace cultures.

Maria holds a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) from Flinders University and a Graduate Certificate in Health Economics. She has completed the ANZSOG Executive Fellowship Program and is a Level 1 Organisational Coach from the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership.

In her spare time...

Maria is passionate about live music, travelling and spending time with her family and dogs.


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