Bri Lee is a Sydney-based author, academic, and activist.
Her first book, a memoir called Eggshell Skull, was published in June 2018 and won several major awards. It explores sexism in the legal industry and justice system, and tells the story of how many barriers women – including Bri herself – face when trying to access justice. She is now a well-known advocate for criminal justice law reform. Together with Prof. Jonathan Crowe (Bond University) Bri co-authored a paper detailing problems with Queensland’s consent and ‘mistake of fact’ laws and after a long campaign the Queensland Attorney-General referred the issue to the Law Reform Commission. She was recognised for this work by being named one of the Australian Financial Review’s ‘Women of Influence’. In 2021, together with the Women’s Justice Network, Bri launched the ‘Freadom Inside’ initiative which gets more and better books to women incarcerated in New South Wales.
Bri has a law degree (Hons), a creative writing MPhil, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney Law School where she has lectured in media law. She is qualified to practice law, but doesn’t. Bri’s doctoral thesis is about defamation proceedings for ‘public interest’ journalism – a topic she has written and spoken about at length.
Bri’s most recent book, Who Gets to Be Smart, was published in 2021 and was the best-selling nonfiction title in Australia the week it was released and received several award listings. The book examines how power and privilege shape access to education and knowledge in Australia. Bri has also written an extended essay for the Griffith Review called Holding the Baby about how early childhood education and care (ECEC) needs reform. These issues coincide and overlap with the important conversation Australia is having about parental leave and discrimination at work.
“Bri was fantastic on Friday, she was such a pleasure to work with and her speech was so powerful; she reflected so many things that are important to us at WLA. Bri was so generous with her time by signing copies of her books and taking photos with participants! There was a huge line at one stage. It was such a joy to work with her.”
“Bri was amazing, the audience were definitely there to see her. The panel conversation was a real highlight and Bri’s contribution to that panel was so on point. Lots of questions were directed to her and she was very eloquent and genuine. The conversation with Linda Black was really well attended and we reached full capacity. The book signing had a big line! Lots of Bri fans wanting to chat, and I really enjoyed meeting her – she was a festival highlight for sure!”
“The event was an absolute success. Bri’s speech was very powerful. We received some fantastic feedback from guests on Bri and the event generally. We hope that Bri enjoyed the breakfast and her stay in Melbourne.
Q & A also went very well – Bri was so articulate in giving her responses which were well-considered.”
“We had incredible feedback from all of our attendees at the event and lots and LOTS of “how did you manage to get Bri Lee to speak! She was so amazing!” It was a powerful and inspiring evening and we were delighted for her to be able to attend – it really was an excellent way to kick off our first major return to in person events. We would be grateful if you could please relay this to Bri and thank her again for taking the time to come down.”