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Dr Terri Janke

Dr Terri Janke

Solicitor Director


Terri Janke is a Wuthathi, Yadhaigana and Meriam woman and an international authority on Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP). She is known for innovating pathways for collaborations using Indigenous knowledge and cultural expression. As the owner and Solicitor Director of Terri Janke and Company, she manages her team to deliver excellent results to a diverse client base. Terri advises on legal matters including intellectual property, business law, shareholder agreements and governance of Indigenous organisations. She has written leading ICIP Protocols and models for various sectors including the arts, museums, archives, film, and business. Terri is also a valued mentor, accredited mediator, and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

​Photo by Jamie James


Terri was admitted to practice in 1995. She holds an Unrestricted Practising Certificate and is a member of the Law Society of NSW. In 2019, she was awarded a PhD from the Australia National University for her thesis True Tracks: Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Principles for putting Self-Determination into practice. Terri is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and Resolve Mediators.

She has held numerous board positions, such as: National Gallery of Australia, Australian Copyright Council, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (Deputy Chair), State Library of NSW, Jawun, Tourism Australia, First Nations Rugby Committee (Chair) National Indigenous Television (Chair) and Ngalaya Indigenous Lawyers Association (Chair). Terri is also an Adjunct Professor for UTS Business School, and the UNSW Faculty of Science.


Recent Projects

  • Co-developed Powerhouse Caring for Country Principles (2022) in consultation with First Nations peoples;

  • Co-chief author of the National State of the Environment Report (SoE) (2021)

  • Lead Author, First Languages, Law & Governance Guide for Department of Communications and the Arts;

  • Lead Author, Indigenous Knowledge: Issues for protection and management (2017) for IP Australia;

  • Team Leader, First Peoples: A Roadmap for enhancing Indigenous engagement in museums and galleries (2019), a nationwide initiative for Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA);

  • Reviewing ACT Legislation: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Act 2008;

  • Consultant for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the Pacific Traditional Knowledge Action Plan.



  • First Nations Leadership Award (Women in AI) 2024

  • Elite Women Award (The Australasian Lawyer) 2023

  • Finalist, Thought Leader of the Year (Women in Law Awards) 2022

  • JG Crawford Prize for Academic Excellence (ANU) 2020

  • UNSW Alumni Award for Social Impact 2020

  • Indigenous Business Leader Award (My Business) 2019 

  • Finalist,  Indigenous Lawyer Award (Lawyers Weekly Women in Law) 2019

  • Community Lawyer of the Year  (NSW Women Lawyers) 2019

  • Finalist, Telstra NSW Business Women’s Awards 2015

  • Finalist, NSW Women Lawyer of the Year 2015

  • Finalist, Indigenous Category (Ethnic Business Awards) 2015

  • Westpac/AFR 100 Women of Influence 2013

  • Attorney-General’s Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year 2012

  • NAIDOC Person of the Year 2011

  • Indigenous Justice Award (Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Awards) 2007

  • NSW Women’s Honour Roll 2005


Terri is an accomplished business woman and property investor. She is married and has two beautiful adult children. To relax she enjoys music, beach walks and exercising at NCIE gym. Terri also writes fiction - Butterfly Song was published by Penguin in 2005 and translated into French in 2009. She has written short stories and poetry in Meanjin, Southerly and Island. She also helped write two books with each of her two children; What makes a tree smile? With Tamina Pitt, and Kin Island with Jaiki Pitt. Recently, she has been working on a memoir.

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