genres: Biography, History, Australian Culture
Paul Richards was born in Brisbane and taught by an education system that ignored the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history of Queensland.
As a law student, he wrote and directed in radical amateur theatre, which led to a chance meeting in 1968 with a powerful Nunukul family who educated him in that hidden history of Queensland. Their revelations of the appalling treatment of Indigenous people caused him to engage in a career spanning half a century in the pursuit of their civil rights and land rights. Initially, he assisted the Brisbane Tribal Council, black theatre and the Black Panther Party. That led to an involvement in the foundation of the Aboriginal Legal Service in 1972.
In the following years he provided legal advice and representation to Indigenous people throughout Queensland in many aspects of the legal system. The later years of his career involved the pursuit of native title rights, which gave some recognition and rights to the First Nations of Queensland.
Retiring in 2015, he then began recording these significant stories of his experience in those battles.
Adventures with Agitators is a tribute to the resilience, determination, patience and tolerance of the Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders of Queensland. The book is not a history, a biography or a legal or anthropological text. It is an easy read for those wanting to understand the recent past.