Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung, Dr Lou Bennett AM is a former member of the internationally acclaimed trio Tiddas. Bennett is a consummate performer, playing audiences worldwide. Bennett is a prolific songwriter/composer and during her ten years with Tiddas (1990-2000) penned some of the group’s signature songs.
Bennett’s work stretches over a vast area within the arts industry including her various roles as Performer, Songwriter, Musical and Artistic Director, Composer, Actor, Soundscape and Music Designer and Educator.
In 2006 Bennett was a co-founder of the iconic Black Arm Band and was an instrumental force in the company’s transformative journey from being a one-off ‘special project’, becoming an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governed, not for profit major performing arts company.
Bennett completed her PhD by project at RMIT Melbourne in October 2015. Bennett’s dissertation discusses the importance and relevance of Aboriginal language retrieval, reclamation and regeneration through the medium of the Arts to community health and wellbeing and explores the importance of Indigenous epistemology, methodology and pedagogy in artistic and academic contexts.
Bennett uses her own languages of Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung, extending to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that can be retrieved, reclaimed and regenerated through songs, stories and performances.
Bennett received the McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the University of Melbourne and was inducted onto the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for 2017. In 2018 Bennett accepted a member of the Order of Australia. Bennett received a Westpac Research Fellowship in 2021 and completed her research in Sovereign Language Rematriation through Song Pedagogy at the University of Melbourne’s School of Social and Political Science in
January 2023. Bennett has been appointed an ongoing position as Senior Lecturer Indigenous Studies (Partnerships) delivering the flagship course On Country Learning created by her skin father Dr Wayne Atkinson and continues to work closely with First Nations communities supporting their endeavors in Sovereign Language Rematriation. Bennett was ministerially appointed to the RISING board in 2020 and in 2022 was appointed as the Chair of the Australia Centre at the University of Melbourne.