Lawyer & Advocate

Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts is a proud Bundjalung Widubul-Wiabul Woman and advocate for  Human Rights.

Vanessa is a lawyer, writer, storyteller and survivor of the Family Policing System (also known as the foster ‘care’ system) in Australia, where she was forcibly removed at the age of 10 1/2. Vanessa continues to drive national discourse in the area of human rights, children rights and justice for Indigenous people. Vanessa took out the Australian Human Rights medal awarded by the Australian Human Rights commission which her acceptance speech saw global recognition and responses. This award was recognising the advocacy and work Vanessa continues to do for Human Rights globally and nationally in Australia.

Vanessa is also a 2023 Fulbright scholar where she is building international and national relationships in the field of human rights, and is a recognised speaker and media commentator globally and domestically here in Australia. Vanessa is also completing her PhD at the University of Technology where her research is centred around decolonising child protection in the lives of First Nations people and is currently writing her first Book titled “Long Yarn Short: We are still here”- for the children that didn’t get to come home, those yet to come home and the ones who saw neither. 

Vanessa’s critical lens into the criminal justice and family policing system is pivotal to ensuring self-determination and healing for First Nations Lives.