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Bri Lee

Author, New Speakers, Social Issues

Bri Lee is an author, writer, speaker, and editor based in Brisbane.

Bri graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Law (Hons) and Arts (Mandarin) degree in 2014, and entered vocational law in 2017. Her first book, a memoir called Eggshell Skull, has been published by Allen & Unwin in 2018. Eggshell Skull explores sexism in the legal industry and justice system, and tells the story of how many barriers that women — including Bri herself — face when trying to access justice.

Bri has spoken on Radio National: Late Night Live with Phillip Adams, and been published in Griffith Review. She is also currently a Research Assistant to Prof. Jonathan Crowe at Bond University where together they research potential legislative updates to improve the way the law treats women.

As the Founding Editor & Co-Director of the quarterly feminist publication Hot Chicks with Big Brains, Bri has produced independent print for almost three years, and is an experienced interviewer and editor. Hot Chicks with Big Brains is a publication “for women who work” and champions all kinds of women and all kinds of work. Bri is currently working on her second book – a collection of personal – essays while completing her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Queensland.

Bri is ideal for senior secondary students about overcoming obstacles in the workplace.

Where were you born?

Brisbane. I lived in the same house for the first twenty years of my life!

What other jobs have you had?

I waitressed from age 14 to 24 at all kinds of restaurants (hence my love of food and food writing). When I finished law school, I got a job as a judge’s associate in the Queensland District Court. The role took me all over regional Queensland and I saw a new criminal trial and several new sentences every week. It was gruelling and eye-opening, and made me believe that change needed to happen because I saw how many barriers women face when trying to access justice. I started writing about it at the end of that time and never looked back.

What themes are recurring in your work?

My memoir is about being honest with ourselves and honest with others. All my work around women’s interests is about how our existence in the world is challenging – the objectification of women and the focus on women as aesthetic beings instead of intellectual ones is directly connected to workplace discrimination and inequality, which is directly related to harassment and eventually assault. Women in court are cross-examined about what they wear. Girls are sexualised years before the age of consent. It’s all connected.

What have been the highlights of your career?

I took a man to court and got him convicted for sex crimes the day before I turned 26. Everything else comes in silver. I go to the grave clutching that gold.

Where have your works been published?

The Guardian, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings, VICE, Vault Art Magazine, Time Out, and elsewhere. I’ve also spoken on ABC Radio National, and on Late Night Live with Phillip Adams.

Haven’t I seen you before?

I am the “tall lady with long red hair who wears loud clothes” so perhaps!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I have two pet guinea pigs and they are the best.

 

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