About Me

Prof. Larissa Behrendt is the Professor of Indigenous Research and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a regular columnist for The Guardian.

She has published numerous textbooks on Indigenous legal issues. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law. Her most recent book is Indigenous Australia for Dummies. Larissa wrote and directed the feature film, Innocence Betrayed and has written and produced several short films.

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. Larissa is Chair of the Bangarra Dance Theatre and a board member of NSW Museums and Galleries.

She is the Ambassador of the Guwara Aboriginal Campus at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School in Sydney and a board member of the Sydney Story Factory, a literacy program in Redfern. She was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year.

For more on Larissa’s film work:



Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Jurisprudence (UNSW) 1992

Master of Laws (Harvard Law School) 1994

Doctorate of Laws (Harvard Law School) 1998

Graduate Diploma in Screenwriting (AFTRS) 2012

Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors 2013

Graduate Diploma in Documentary (AFTRS) 2013


Screen Credits:

Director / Writer:





AW Myer Indigenous Award – AFTRS – 2012

NSW Australian of the Year – 2011

NAIDOC Person of the Year – 2009

Victorian Literary Award – Indigenous Writing – 2009

Commonwealth Writers Prize – Best first novel Asia/Pacific – 2005

Queensland Literary Award – David Uniapon Award – 2002


Professional Achievements and Associations

Fellow, Australian Social Sciences Academy

Foundation Fellow, Australian Academy of Law

Member, Australian Writers Guild

Member and Graduate, Australian Institute of Company Directors


Arts Boards

Bangarra Dance Theatre: Board Member 2006; Chair 2010-2014

Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG): Board member: 2013-2014

Museums and Galleries NSW: 2012-present

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia: Board member, 2007-2012

National Indigenous Television (NITV): Inaugural Chair, 2006-2009

Sydney Writers Festival, 2004-2008


Education/Literacy Projects

Ambassador, Guwara Aboriginal Campus, St. Andrew’s Cathedral School,

Founder and Board Member, Sydney Story Factory