Larissa Behrendt: Why is overcoming Indigenous disadvantage so hard?
In this Lunchbox/Soapbox presentation, prize-winning novelist, Professor of Law and 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year Larissa Behrendt addresses the lack of progress on Indigenous issues in Australia.
Behrendt argues for a closer examination of the claim that Aboriginal self-determination is a “failed experiment”. She also interrogates the case of the Northern Territory intervention, citing the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act as a turning point in sidelining the importance of human rights in a politicised, polarising and emotional debate.
Behrendt suggests that the idea of mutual obligation has been plagued by misguided incentivising and a less-than-thorough understanding of Indigenous needs.
Offering some key examples of self-improvement, she laments governments' dismissal of the capacity and creativity of disadvantaged communities.
Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt AO is a Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman the Director of Research and Academic Programs at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning 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 member of the Australian Academy of Law.