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 must-read for all Australians and should be a mandatory set text ... for all law students at every tertiary institution in the nation. Paul's fearless legal advocacy ... provides an unambiguous view ... of Australia's collective failings in its treatment of the First Australians.Dr Stephen Hagan, former senior public servant and NAIDOC Person of the Year ---The 1970s and 1980s were heady times for anyone working in Aboriginal affairs, particularly in the legal area. Paul Richards did this with aplomb and earned the trust of those around him ... His book reflects enduring tales of overcoming adversity, and the highs and lows of traversing the courts and justice system.Dr Jackie Huggins AM, Co-Chair, National Congress of Australia's First Peoples---Paul was an integral part of the Aboriginal Legal Service in Brisbane and the first person everyone looked for, not only if they had been arrested, but when they needed someone to help with the discrimination and injustice so commonplace in everyone's lives.Dr Valerie Cooms, CEO, Queensland South Native Title Services---Thank you Paul Richards for sharing your chronicle of some of the moments in the lives of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders ... that needed to be recorded, and ought to be remembered and understood by all Australians.Tony McAvoy SC, the first Indigenous Australian barrister appointed as a Senior Counsel