Margaret McDonell has been an editor for more than 25 years. Her interest in the editing of Indigenous voices began during her Graduate Diploma of Publishing and Editing in the late 1990s. She became aware of the barriers to Indigenous voices being heard and the gatekeeper role of the editor: this led her to research the topic.
Since then, much of her work has been as a freelance editor and indexer, for publishers including Aboriginal Studies Press, University of Queensland Press and Institute for Aboriginal Development Press. She also worked in-house for IAD Press, as coordinating editor. It was there that she developed her interest in Indigenous languages and an appreciation of the terrible loss that is the death of a language.