Terri Janke

Ms Terri Janke BA LLB UNSW commenced practice in 1995 and established her own law firm, Terri Janke and Company in 2000.

Ms Terri Janke helps clients succeed through the holistic management of their intellectual property. She is a prolific author, an entertaining public speaker and an international authority on Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP). Terri is a UNSW graduate (Laws & Arts), a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and a board member of Tourism Australia. Terri was born in Cairns and has family connections to the Torres Strait Islands (Meriam/Mir) and Cape York (Wuthathi). Terri Janke was awarded NAIDOC Person of the Year 2011 and the Attorney General’s Indigenous Lawyer of the Year 2012.


  • Bachelor of Laws & Arts, University of NSW, 1995
  • Graduate, Company Directors Course, Australian Institute of Company Directors, 2009
  • Graduate, LEADR Mediation Certificate Course, 2009
  • Admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of NSW and High Court of Australia

Areas of practice

  • Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP)
  • Business law
  • Corporate governance, mediation, negotiation
  • Public speaking, conference facilitating, MC, educating

Governance roles

  • National Centre of Indigenous Excellence 2013 – current
  • Tourism Australia, Board Member 2008- current
  • Jawun, Board Member 2012- current
  • National Indigenous Television (NITV), Director and Chair, 2008-2010
  • AIATSIS, Council Member 2007-2010
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Board Member 2003-2005
  • Ngalaya Indigenous Lawyers Association, (NSW Aboriginal Lawyers Association) President 2001–2004
  • NSW DoCS, Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme, Panel Member 2003-2004

Terri is a natural mediator and a popular public speaker who brings a unique perspective to the resolution of legal issues and negotiations. Terri is also a prolific author, Beyond Guarding Ground (2009), Writing Up Indigenous Research (2009), Minding Culture (2003), Our Culture Our Future (1999) and her fictional novel Butterfly Song was published by Penguin Books and translated into French in 2009. She is married with two children and lives in Sydney.

photo courtesy Wayne Quilliam and www.naidoc.org.au

Terri Janke was recognised as NAIDOC Person of the Year 2011

NAIDOC stands for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians. NAIDOC is an annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields.

Terri Janke was nominated for a Woman of Style Award 2013, Instyle Awards, in the charity and community category.

Although she did not win, she attended the event wearing the artwork of Bibi Barba! Bibi is the Indigenous artist whose works are reproduced in the Polish Hotel without copyright permission. Terri’s daughter, Tamina and Terri wore dresses with Bibi’s art . Thedresses were designed by Shane Gates and  Amber Jane Davis, dress made by  Caressa Sengstock. Thank you Amber Davis for all the work you did in coordinating the dresses and keeping our spirits so high!


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