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Larissa Behrendt Larissa Behrendt i(A14355 works by) (birth name: Larissa Yasmin Behrendt )
Born: Established: 1969 Cooma, Cooma area, Cooma - Snowy - Bombala area, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal Kamilaroi ; Aboriginal Eualeyai ; Aboriginal
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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). She is admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW and the ACT as a barrister.

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 2009 she was named NAIDOC person of the year and in March 2011 became 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:

First Australians. Edited with Cathy Hammer, Sydney Legal Information Access Centre, 2013.

Indigenous Australia for Dummies, Wiley, 2012. 



Most Referenced Works


  • In addition to works individually indexed on AustLit, Larissa Behrendt has also published the following :

    After the Apology (documentary with Michaela Perske) (2017)

Personal Awards

2020 recipient Order of Australia Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)  For distinguished service to Indigenous education and research, to the law, and to the visual and performing arts.
2019 joint winner UTS Human Rights Awards UTS Indigenous Excellence Award

with Paddy Gibson and Craig Longman. For their work on a transformative research project addressing the contemporary crisis of Indigenous child removals, providing family and community support alongside advocacy for broader policy change.

2011 national finalist Australian of the Year Awards New South Wales

Awards for Works

form y separately published work icon Barbara ( dir. Larissa Behrendt et. al. )agent Australia : Pursekey Productions , 2017 14375268 2017 single work film/TV

'Since Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen generation in 2008 the number of Indigenous children in out of home care in Australia has risen from 9,000 to over 16,000. Noongar woman Barbara was caring for her grandchildren when in 2013 her daughter Tiara was taken from school by welfare workers and returned to Queensland. At no time did FACS alert Barbara to any issues regarding Tiara’s welfare. Barbara fought for the next seven months to have her returned to her care. With the help of Grandmothers Against Removal (GMAR) Barbara won her case but knows there are possible long term consequences. “I can’t say that the time she was in FACS hasn’t changed her because it has. And I just hope that over time, we can help her deal with all the things she has to deal with. Sometimes I think that it’s too much for one little child.”'

Source: Pursekey Productions.

2018 special mention Sydney Film Festival Awards Yoram Gross Animation Award
2017 nominated Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards Best Short Animation
form y separately published work icon After the Apology ( dir. Larissa Behrendt ) Sydney : Pursekey Productions , 2017 11926129 2017 single work film/TV

'It shocks many people to learn that the number of Aboriginal children being removed today by welfare agencies is much higher than during the time of the Stolen Generations. After the Apology is a landmark documentary exploring the continued practice of child removal and the community response. Grandmothers Against Removal are fighting back and bringing the children home.' (Production summary)

After the Apology was broadcast on NITV on 14 October 2018. It will be available through NITV for sometime following the broadcast:

2018 shortlisted First Nations Media Awards Best Documentary Award – Long
y separately published work icon Finding Eliza : Power and Colonial Storytelling St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2016 9186866 2016 multi chapter work criticism

'A vital Aboriginal perspective on colonial storytelling

'Indigenous lawyer and writer Larissa Behrendt has long been fascinated by the story of Eliza Fraser, who was purportedly captured by the local Butchulla people after she was shipwrecked on their island in 1836. In this deeply personal book, Behrendt uses Eliza’s tale as a starting point to interrogate how Aboriginal people – and indigenous people of other countries – have been portrayed in their colonizers’ stories. Citing works as diverse as Robinson Crusoe and Coonardoo, she explores the tropes in these accounts, such as the supposed promiscuity of Aboriginal women, the Europeans’ fixation on cannibalism, and the myth of the noble savage. Ultimately, Behrendt shows how these stories not only reflect the values of their storytellers but also reinforce those values – which in Australia led to the dispossession of Aboriginal people and the laws enforced against them. ' (Publication summary)

2018 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Indigenous Writer's Prize
Last amended 27 Jan 2020 14:15:52
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