Lillian Holt
Biography & Resources


Lillian Holt is an Aboriginal educator and public speaker on the subject of ethnicity and race relations in Australia. In her extensive public speaking engagements both in Australia and internationally, Holt engages in the public debate on Australian culture, civil society, and issues of reconciliation. She has over three decades of experience working in indigenous education, and currently holds the position of vice chancellor's fellow at the University of Melbourne. Prior to this appointment in 2003, she was the director of the Centre for Indigenous Education, also at the University of Melbourne.

Holt was born on Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement, Queensland, and was in the first wave of Aboriginal graduates in Australia. In 1962, she became the first Aboriginal person to work for the ABC in Queensland. In 1977, she became the first Aboriginal executive officer for the National Aboriginal Education Committee (NAEC), the inaugural advisory body to the federal government on Aboriginal education. Holt also served for many years as the first Aboriginal principal at Tauondi (pronounced town-dee), an Aboriginal community college in Port Adelaide.

Holt completed her MA at the University of Northern Colorado. She holds a BA in english and journalism from the University of Queensland, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Aboriginal humour at Melbourne University.

She regards her best asset to be her humour and is passionately interested in the healing of race relations in Australia.

selected articles

Pssst ... I wannabe white
On Line Opinion (Aug 15, 2020)

Reconciliation - Rhetoric, Reality, and Racism
(Nov 12, 2020)

articles & interviews

Broadcasts on WIE Unbound

From the Ethnic to the Authentic