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David Trigger

David Trigger is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at The University of Queensland and Adjunct Professor at The University of Western Australia. He is the Principal Partner in David S. Trigger & Associates consulting anthropologists. His most recent works address senses of historical place that both overlap and diverge for people of diverse ancestries. In Australian Aboriginal Studies, Professor Trigger has carried out more than thirty-five years of research on Indigenous systems of land tenure, including applied research on resource development negotiations and native title.

David Trigger reviews 'My Life as a Jew' by Michael Gawenda

December 2023, no. 460 24 November 2023
Michael Gawenda has written a deeply personal story about his Jewish identity. It comes during a period when conflict in Israel/Palestine has been painful for all. While he remains committed to a two-state future that supports the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in their own countries, the author critiques influential sections of the political left where acceptance has come to req ... (read more)

David Trigger reviews 'The Politics of Suffering: Indigenous Australia and the end of the liberal consensus' by Peter Sutton

November 2009, no. 316 01 November 2009
This is a complex book from an anthropologist who has carried out research and established close relationships with indigenous people for four decades. Peter Sutton has lived through and participated in the Aboriginal protest movement from the early 1970s onwards, done extensive studies in support of securing tradition-based rights in land, and faced firsthand the well-publicised tragedies of many ... (read more)

David Trigger reviews 'The Power Broker: Mark Leibler, an Australian Jewish life' by Michael Gawenda

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
Michael Gawenda’s engaging biography of Melbourne lawyer Mark Leibler traverses matters of Australia’s migration history, Jewish identity, and political influence. What has it meant to live a Jewish life in an Australian city? What have been the intergenerational impacts of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and the establishment of the State of Israel? How, if at all, might the balance depicted be ... (read more)

David Trigger reviews 'Finding the Heart of the Nation: The journey of the Uluru Statement towards voice, treaty and truth' by Thomas Mayor

January–February 2020, no. 418 16 December 2019
The ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ emerged in May 2017 from a convention held in Arrernte country in Central Australia attended by 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from around the nation. The Statement called for a ‘First Nations Voice’ to be enshrined in the Constitution enabling, in general terms, a process of influence on future legislation and policy affecting Indigen ... (read more)

David Trigger reviews 'The Tall Man' by Chloe Hooper and 'Gone for a Song' by Jeff Waters

September 2008, no. 304 26 September 2018
Chloe Hooper has written an insightful and intensely personal book about the death of an Aboriginal man in police custody on Palm Island off Townsville in north Queensland. In late 2004, Cameron Doomadgee, aged thirty-six, died after being arrested by Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley. The Tall Man follows the initial internal police investigations, the riot on Palm Island which was prompted by an anno ... (read more)

David Trigger reviews 'Culture Crisis: Anthropology and politics in Aboriginal Australia' edited by Jon Altman and Melinda Hinkson

February 2011, no. 328 04 May 2011
Anthropology’s significant contribution to both academic and applied research focused on Indigenous Australia has intensified over the last four decades. Among Aboriginal people and anthropologists themselves, debates have occurred as to the discipline’s earlier alignments with colonialism, and also its clear distinction among other social sciences as achieving deep understanding of Indigenous ... (read more)