Patricia Rigby (Trish)

Research and Policy Officer at Northern Land Council

Active in Country: Australia (Northern Territory)

DTP Program: 2004 14th Annual Human Rights and Peoples’ Diplomacy Program - Thailand &

2008 Oxfam Indigenous Follow Up Program - Australia


I think the work of DTP is very important, and I will promote its value as much as I can.  It is important that Indigenous youth are introduced to human rights and advocacy concepts so they can build up their capacity and become young leaders.  The professional quality of the teaching staff and materials are much appreciated!


Trish Rigby is a Research and Policy Officer at the Northern Land Council (NLC).  The NLC is an independent statutory authority, established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (ALRA).  Since then approximately 50 % of the land in the NT has become Aboriginal land in addition to 85 % of the coastline.  A large proportion of the remaining land mass is subject to Native Title interests.  Land Councils are important bodies as they give Aboriginal peoples a voice on issues affecting their lands, seas and communities.


At the NLC, Trish deals with government policies and programs that impact on Aboriginal people, particularly in relation to land and water/sea rights. Trish has an extensive experience in this field and has been a Project Officer since 1991. Primarily, Trish’s work has involved negotiation and consultation with traditional Aboriginal land and ensuring their interests are represented and protected fairly. Most of the communities are in remote locations and the majority of Aboriginal people living within NLC’s area region speak an Aboriginal language as their first language. Traditional Aboriginal law is practiced in many communities within our region.


DTP’s training enhanced Trish’s knowledge on human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific region and advocacy skills. When she first participated in DTP’s training in Thailand, she appreciated DTP’s ability to offer a platform that allows various human rights advocates and defenders to come together and share experiences.


It was overwhelming to hear the experiences of delegates from other Asia-Pacific neighbours and their basic human rights impediments. It was great to share experiences and success stories!


More than a decade on, Trish still sees the value of DTP’s training. She believes the training enables human rights advocates to brush up on their human rights knowledge and advocacy skills.


Profile written November 2017. Picture withheld for privacy reasons.