Professor Larissa Behrendt

Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning | University of Technology Sydney

Professor Larissa Behrendt


Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt AO is a Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman and Laureate Fellow at the Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a graduate of the UNSW Law School and has a Masters and SJD from Harvard Law School. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Founding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. She has published numerous textbooks on Indigenous legal issues.

Larissa won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for her novel Home. Her second novel, Legacy, won a Victorian Premiers Literary Award. Her most recent novel, After Story (2021, UQP) won the 2022 Voss Literary prize. Larissa is an award-winning filmmaker. She won the 2018 Australian Directors Guild Award for best Direction of a Documentary Film for After the Apology and the 2020 AACTA for Best Direction in Factual Television for her documentary, Maralinga Tjarutja.

She is a trustee of the Australian Museum, Chair of the Cathy Freeman Foundation, now Community Spirit Foundation, Chair of the Australia Council’s First Nations Arts and Culture Strategy Panel, a board member of Sydney Dance Company and a member of the NSW Literature Board. She is a former Chair and Board Member of the Bangarra Dance Theatre and has previously held board positions on the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers Festival and the Sydney Community Fund. With Lindon Coombes, Larissa co-authored the Do Better report for the Collingwood Football Club. She chaired the 2011 review of Indigenous Higher Education. Larissa was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year. She was awarded an Order of Australia in 2020 for her work in Indigenous education, the law and the arts. Larissa received the Human Rights Medal 2021 from the Australian Human Rights Commission. She is the host of Speaking Out on ABC Radio.


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