Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and Advocacy Training Program

Program Dates: 26 – 30 August (2013)

Location: Torres Strait


Although DTP has been working with Indigenous Australian advocates since it was established in 1989, this was the first training program to be delivered in the Torres Strait. In 2011, while developing and facilitating a program in Townsville, Queensland with Amnesty International Australia DTP became aware of the strong interest in the Torres Strait in the training. A request was made for DTP to bring a program to the region. In 2012 The Fred Hollows Foundation acknowledged the importance of making the training accessible to Torres Strait Islanders and agreed to partner the DTP in delivering this in 2013. The participants noted that it was the first human rights training to be delivered in the region and that they were very appreciative of the support from The Fred Hollows Foundation in enabling this.

The program brought together representatives from a number of the Torres Strait Islands - Darnley, Mabuiag, Moa, Badu, Saibai, Horn and Murray Island and each of the four regions of the Torres Strait was represented. There were also participants from Bamaga on the Queensland northern peninsula and from mainland Northern Queensland. The participants were all actively involved in working to protect the rights of Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal Peoples, and protecting culture and traditional tribal structures and sovereignty were unifying concerns.

“I enjoyed all parts of the course – everyone brought their own personal experience and knowledge to the groups and felt comfortable to share it with us.”

 In the course of the training, the participants engaged in discussions about their issues of concern and worked with these topics in a number of practical advocacy and campaigning exercises. In this way the training afforded the group an opportunity to raise their concerns, to identify the possibilities of utilising human rights standards and mechanisms to seek just outcomes and to develop action plans for concerted lobbying and campaigning on their concerns. The program was evaluated positively by all participants and hopes were expressed that there would be future opportunities for the training to delivered  in the Torres Strait.

See Report