NSWALC Congratulates NSW Australian of the year

26 November, 2010

NSWALC Congratulates NSW Australian of the Year

The State's peak Aboriginal representative organisation today congratulated human rights lawyer, advocate and author Larissa Behrendt on being named NSW Australian of the Year 2011.

The Chairwoman of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, Bev Manton, says the award is the pinnacle of individual professional excellence and achievement.

"The announcement by Premier Kristina Kenneally will be welcomed by all Aboriginal people who continue to fight for recognition of our rights," Ms Manton said..

"Larissa, a proud Eualeyai and Kamillaroi woman, is a passionate and articulate advocate for our people.

"A Professor of Law and Indigenous Studies at the University of Technology, she has worked closely with the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council to advance our right to self determination through ongoing constitutional change.

"This is, perhaps, best illustrated by her work for NSWALC on a draft Charter of Aboriginal Rights which was presented to the land rights network at our State conference last year.

"She has been particularly outspoken in recent years about the denial of rights inherent in the so-called emergency intervention in the Northern Territory.

"It is well known in political circles that her fearless public advocacy in this regard, and her work on a Charter of Aboriginal Rights, cost her an appointment as Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner when Tom Calma's five year term ended last year.

"She was clearly the stand out candidate.

"There is no doubt she was considered too controversial an appointment by a Federal Labor Government which has continued the Howard Government's intervention in the face of mounting evidence it is doing more harm than good."

CONTACT: Chris Munro 0438 760 242


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.