Maria Tumarkin is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Social Research at Swinburne University of Technology. She is the author of Traumascapes (MUP, 2005) and Courage (MUP, 2007).
She was born in the former Soviet Union to a Russian Jewish family which immigrated to Australia in 1989. In 1992, only two years after arriving in Australia, she bluffed her way into a Melbourne Journalism course – she was 17, could barely speak English and did not even finish Year 11. Over thirteen years since, she travelled through Australia and the world, living in backwaters and big smokes. For six months, she was the only person on her street in North Queensland to go to work in the mornings. For years, she was the only first-generation migrant to tutor in Australian history at the University of Melbourne.
Her accomplishments have been directing video-clips and commercials, raising a daughter, completing an interdisciplinary Ph.D. and being published in popular and scholarly journals.