Originally from Perth, Doug worked as a teacher at Yirara College (a residential school for secondary age Aboriginal children from remote communities) in Alice Springs, followed by three years as Adult Educator for the community of Walungurru (also known as Kintore), in the Gibson Desert west of Alice Springs. While in Central Australia he began learning the Western Desert Language and studying linguistics, which eventually led to him taking up the position of Senior Linguist at the Yamaji Language Centre in Geraldton, Western Australia. In this position he worked with speakers of various languages of the Murchison-Gascoyne region (including Wajarri, Badimaya, Nhanda, Malgana, Warriyangka, Ngarlawangka and Wanmala) to document those languages from the remaining speakers and develop strategies for their maintenance and revival.
Following this Doug completed a PhD in linguistics at the Australian National University with a description of Wutung, a complex, tonal Papuan language and member of the Skou language family, spoken on the north-west coast of Papua New Guinea.
Following a period working as a contract linguist, Doug joined AIATSIS in 2010 as the Linguistics Research Fellow. Doug’s primary research interests are across the areas of Indigenous language description, documentation and revitalisation in Australia; he is presently working with the Ngunawal community of Canberra on the revival of their language. He also maintains interests in language revitalisation activities in Brazil, China and Ireland (in particular). His other current interests are the documentation of Ngajumaya, continuing work on Wajarri, and the historical linguistics of the Kartu subgroup of languages in Western Australia.
Doug was co-author of both the first (2005) and second (2014) National Indigenous Languages Surveys and is presently co-authoring the Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages.
- Marmion, D., Obata, K & Troy, J. 2014. Community, identity, wellbeing: The report of the Second National Indigenous Languages Survey. AIATSIS, Canberra.
- Marmion, D., Troy, J. & Walsh, M. 2014. ‘Re-awakening Australian Languages: economic, educational, health and social benefits to the community’. FEL XVIII Okinawa, Indigenous Languages: their value to the community, Proceedings of the 18th FEL Conference. Okinawa International University, Okinawa Japan 17–20 September 2014.
- Marmion, D., McConvell, P. & McNicol, S. 2005. National Indigenous Languages Survey Report 2005. AIATSIS, Canberra.