Telling Stories

Larissa Behrendt

“I was born into a culture that has a tradition of storytelling. Indigenous cultures across Australia have cultural on “Dreamtime” stories that explain our relationship to each other and to our land and also teach us about the standard of behaviour that are expected of us. These stories are like “law stories” or morality tales. Perhaps because I came from this background, I always knew that telling a story is a powerful way to influence people. Even now, as a lawyer and advocate for Aboriginal issues, I find that being able to explain in human terms how an unfair law or policy will affect a person’s life will be much more influential in getting politicians, policy makers, law makers or the general public to understand why we need law reform than sticking to simple, legalistic arguments …”