Mary has researched and documented Warlpiri language since 1975. From 1975 to 1993 she was employed by the NT Department of Education to carry out linguistic research in support of bilingual education programs in Warlpiri community schools. Between 1993 and 2009 she taught linguistics at the University of Queensland while continuing to document Warlpiri and support language and culture programs in community schools. As the chief compiler of the Warlpiri Encyclopaedic Dictionary published by Aboriginal Studies Press in 2022, Mary collaborated with hundreds of Warlpiri speakers and with fellow linguists, educationalists, and researchers in other fields. Since 2009 Mary is an honorary senior research fellow at the University of Queensland. Her current project is a dictionary and grammar of the Waanyi language.