Australian Woman Reclaims Name After 50 Years

Posted by on Sep 26, 2019 in Latest News | No Comments

1960s Australia and a teacher decides to change a child’s name—simply because she was unable to pronounce it. Here is her story.

More than half a century ago—a baby was born in a barn in a small village called Dolno Srpci, in the then Yugoslavia. She was named Mirjana, her name to mean “Peace on Earth”.

A few years later, she journeyed with her family to a new land, Australia, which would become her home.

In her new country, teachers at the school she was sent to couldn’t pronounce Mirjana, so they decided it was “easier” to call her “Maria”. 

Though the teacher’s decision to change Mirjana’s wasn’t made legal, it was decided she would be called Maria in order to to fit in and be accepted into 1960s Australian society. This name—Maria—remained attached to her for more than 50 years. 

Now, this Australian businesswoman, visionary and changemaker has reclaimed her birthright and no longer assoicates with, or calls herself, Maria—a name forced upon her at a time when being different was widely unacceptable. 

The Maria chapter has closed, and the Mirjana chapter has opened, she says. 

“Though this is my story, what I am certain of is that the symbolism of this story reflects many stories and indeed the story of humanity,” Mirjana says. 

“Perhaps you’ve been told you can’t follow your dream, or perhaps you’ve been conditioned to think a certain way and live a life to please others in order to feel loved and accepted. Awareness is the key: it empowers you to think differently about yourself and others. It is time to rise up and be the light.” 

Mirjana says people won’t always have a choice as to what they experience, but everyone always has a choice as to how they experience it.

“The essence of that choice lies in a certain kind of forgiveness. But not what most people think about forgiveness, which puts us as the victim. It’s a thought system that puts us at cause and not effect of our life and empowers us to think differently about others and ourselves.” 

She adds: “Experience has taught me to be at cause and not effect, and to never again be a victim of the world. This time, the choice was mine.”

Find out more about Mirjana at

For media queries, please email Shannon Dunn.