Lou Bennett AM

As part of our commitment to capturing and sharing great Australian music stories, the Australian Music Vault asked some of the country’s most influential trailblazers and unsung heroes to open up about their lives in music.

Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung woman Dr Lou Bennett AM is a singer, songwriter, artistic and musical director, actor and educator. In 1990, Bennett joined Gunditjmara woman Amy Saunders, and friend Sally Dastey to form the Melbourne-based, female folk trio, Tiddas. Throughout the 1990s, the band became known for their unique, three-part harmony vocals that have transcended cultural boundaries around the world.

In 2006, Bennett contributed to the establishment of the performing arts company Black Arm Band whose first show, murundak, was an ensemble performance about the history, survival and identity of Aboriginal peoples. In 2015, Bennett completed a PhD on Aboriginal language retrieval at RMIT University, and in 2019 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

In this interview with Jane Gazzo, Lou Bennett talks about the first time she stepped on stage, her time performing with Tiddas, and her work to grow Black Arm Band from a single production into a national performing arts company.




Interviewer: Jane Gazzo

Location: Arts Centre Melbourne, 2017


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