Lisa Bellear
Melbourne / Australia


Lisa (Marie) Bellear (born, Melbourne, Victoria, 2 May 1961 – died, Melbourne, 5 July 2006) was an Indigenous Australian poet, photographer, activist, spokeswoman, dramatist, comedian and broadcaster. She was a Goernpil woman of the Noonuccal people of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), Queensland. Her uncles were Bob Bellear, Australia's first Indigenous judge, and Sol Bellear who helped to found the Aboriginal Housing Corporation in Redfern in 1972.

Bellear was adopted into a white family as a baby and was told she had Polynesian heritage . As an adult she explored her Aboriginal roots.

Bellear died unexpectedly at her home in Melbourne. She was 45 years old.

Published works and photography

Bellear wrote Dreaming In Urban Areas (UQP, 1996), a book of poetry which explores the experience of Aboriginal people in contemporary society. She said in an interview with Roberta Sykes that her 'poetry was not about putting down white society. It's about self-discovery.'

Other poetry was published in journals and newspapers. She was awarded the Deadly prize in 2006 for making an outstanding contribution to literature with her play The Dirty Mile: A History of Indigenous Fizroy, a suburb of Melbourne.

Bellear was a prolific photographer. Her work was exhibited at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and at the Melbourne Museum as part of their millennium celebrations.

Community activities

Bellear was a broadcaster at the community radio station 3CR in Melbourne where she presented the show 'Not Another Koori Show' for over 20 years.

She was also a founding member of the Ilbijerri Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Theatre Co-op, the longest-running Aboriginal theatre troupe in Australia. Ilbijerri produced The Dirty Mile in March 2006 as a dramatised walking trail through the streets of Fitzroy, Melbourne.
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