Photograph by permission of the author.
Larissa Behrendt i(61 works by)
Born: Established: 1969 Cooma, Cooma area, Cooma - Snowy - Bombala area, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal Kamilaroi people ; Aboriginal Eualeyai people ; Aboriginal
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BiographyHistory

Academic, lawyer and writer, Larissa Behrendt graduated from Harvard Law School with a doctorate in 1998. Her thesis was later published as the book Achieving Social Justice : Indigenous Rights and Australia's Future ( 2003).

Since 2001 Behrendt has been Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney and has published extensively on property law, Indigenous rights, dispute resolution and Aboriginal women's issues. Other works include Aboriginal Dispute Resolution (1995).

In 2003 she was awarded, with Marcia Langton, the Neville Bonner Indigenous University Teacher of the Year Award. Behrendt has been a director of Ngiya, National Institute of Indigenous Law, Policy and Practice, a council member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, a Judicial Member of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, Equal Opportunity Division and the Alternate Chair of the Serious Offenders Review Board. She has also been a Board Member of the Museum of Contemporary Art and a Director of the Sydney Writers' Festival and the Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Behrendt is the daughter of Paul Behrendt. In 2004 she fictionalised the story of her father's search for his Indigenous heritage in her novel Home.

In March 2011 Larissa Behrendt was named the first Chair of Indigenous Research at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Since April 2011, Larissa's column Pointed View is a regular in Tracker magazine.

Other Works:

Behrendt, Larissa, Hammer, Cathy, (ed.) and Legal Information Access Centre (issuing body) First Australians. Sydney Legal Information Access Centre, 2013.

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

Legacy 2009 single work novel

'Simone Harlowe is young and clever, an Aboriginial lawyer straddling two lives and two cultures while studying at Harvard. Her family life back in Sydney is defined by her complex relationship with her father, Tony, a prominent Aboriginal rights activist.

'As Simone juggles the challenges of a modern woman's life - career, family, friends and relationships - her father is confronting his own uncomfortable truths, as his secret double-life implodes.

'Can Simone accept her father for the man he is and forgive him for the man he's not?' (From the publisher's website.)

2010 nominated Deadly Sounds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music, Sport, Entertainment and Community Awards Outstanding Achievement in Literature
2010 winner Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Indigenous Writing
Home 2004 single work novel

'A story of homecoming, this absorbing novel opens with a young, city-based lawyer setting out on her first visit to ancestral country. Candice arrives at "the place where the rivers meet", the camp of the Eualeyai where in 1918 her grandmother Garibooli was abducted. As Garibooli takes up the story of Candice's Aboriginal family, the twentieth century falls away.

Garibooli, renamed Elizabeth, is sent to work as a housemaid, but marriage soon offers escape from the terror of the master's night-time visits. Her displacement carries into the lives of her seven children - their stories witness to the impact of orphanage life and the consequences of having a dark skin in post-war Australia. Vividly rekindled, the lives of her family point the direction home for Candice.

Home is a ... novel from an author who understands both the capacity of language to suppress and the restorative potency of stories that bridge past and present.' (Source: Publisher's blurb)

2005 winner International Awards Commonwealth Writers Prize South East Asia and South Pacific Region Best First Book
2004 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Indigenous Writing
2002 winner David Unaipon Award
Last amended 3 Jun 2015 10:56:50
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