Professor David Trigger
Professor David Trigger
Professor of Anthropology
Phone:  (+61 7) 336 53170
Fax:  (+61 7) 336 51544

Room 435, Level 4,
Michie Building (#9), St Lucia Campus


Hons (Anthropology), University of Queensland
PhD (Anthropology), University of Queensland

Professional activities:

Fellow - Australian Anthropological Society
Member - American Anthropological Association
Member - Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Island Studies
Member - Anthropological Society of Western Australia


Head of School of Social Science 2011-2013.
Professor, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland, 2007 - Present
Professor of Anthropology, University of Western Australia, 2000 - 2007
Director, Centre for Anthropological Research, University of Western Australia, 1999 - 2007

Research interests:
  • Land, nature and cultural identity
  • Applied anthropology in Aboriginal Australia
  • Place, autochthony and cultural identities

Please follow this link to find out more about Professor Trigger’s research profile.


Representative publications:

Martin, R., P. Mead & D. Trigger 2014. The politics of indigeneity, identity and representation in north Australia's Gulf Country, Social Identities. 20, 4-5: 330-345. DOI: 10.1080/13504630.2014.997201

Martin, R. & D. Trigger 2015. ‘Nothing Never Change’: Mapping land, water and Aboriginal identity in the changing environments of northern Australia’s Gulf Country, Settler colonial studies

Martin, R. & D. Trigger 2015. Negotiating belonging: plants, people and indigeneity in northern Australia, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Vol. 21, Issue 2.

Trigger, D.
2015. Ancestry and Rights to Country: the Politics of Social Inclusion in Native Title Negotiations. In Native title from Mabo to Akiba: a vehicle for change and empowerment? S. Brennan, M. David, B. Edgeworth & L. Terrill eds. Federation Press: Sydney. Pp. 199-212.

Trigger, D., J. Keenan, K. de Rijke & W. Rifkin 2014. Aboriginal engagement and agreement-making with a rapidly developing resource industry: Coal seam gas development in Australia, The Extractive Industries and Society 1 (2): 176-188.

Trigger, D. (2013) Rethinking nature and nativeness. In Anthropologists Up Close and Personal: Works and Lives that Are Shaping the Discipline,C. Shore and S. Trnka eds., pp. 140-157. Berghahn Books, Oxford & New York.

Peace, A., L. Connor & D. Trigger (2012) Environment, culture, ethnography, Oceania 82, 3: 217-227. [Special issue on Environmental Anthropology edited by A. Peace, L. Connor & D. Trigger]
Trigger, D., M. Forsey & C. Meurk (2012) Revelatory moments in fieldwork, Qualitative Research 12, 5: 513-527. [Special issue on Revelatory moments in ethnographic research edited by M. Forsey, R. Henry & D. Trigger]

Trigger, D. (2011) "Anthropology pure and profane: the politics of applied research in Aboriginal Australia", Anthropological Forum 21 (3): 233-255. [LINK for download]

Wendy Asche & D. Trigger (2011) Native Title Research in Australian Anthropology, Anthropological Forum, Vol 21, Iss 3, pp. 219-232. [LINK for download]

Trigger, D. & Asche, W. (2010) "Christianity, cultural change and the negotiation of rights in land and sea", The Australian Journal of Anthropology 21, 1: 90-109.

Trigger, D. & Dalley, C. (2010) "Negotiating indigeneity: culture, identity and politics", Reviews in Anthropology 39, 1: 46-65. [LINK for download]

Trigger, D. & Head, L. (2010) "Restored nature, familiar culture: contesting visions for preferred environments in Australian cities", Nature & Culture 5, 3.

Trigger, D., Toussaint, Y. & Mulcock, J. (2010) "Ecological restoration in Australia: environmental discourses, landscape ideals and the significance of human agency", Society & Natural Resources 23, 11: 1060-1074. [LINK for download]

Trigger, D. (2008) "Place, belonging and nativeness in Australia." In Making sense of place, F. Vanclay, M. Higgins & A. Blackshaw eds., pp.301-310. Canberra: National Museum of Australia

Mulcock, J & D. Trigger (2008) "Ecology & identity: a comparative perspective on the negotiation of 'nativeness'." In Toxic belonging? Identity and ecology in southern Africa, D. Wylie ed., pp. 178-198. Cambridge Scholars Press.

Trigger, D, J. Mulcock, A. Gaynor & Y. Toussaint (2008) "Ecological restoration, cultural preferences & the symbolic politics of ‘nativeness’ in Australia". In Geoforum, 39: 1273-1283.

Trigger, D. (2008) "Indigeneity, ferality and what ‘belongs’ in the Australian bush: Aboriginal responses to ‘introduced’ animals and plants in a settler-descendant society." In Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (NS) 14 (4): 628-646.

Trigger, D. (2006) "Whales, Whitefellas and the ambiguity of nativeness': reflections on the emplacement of Australian identities." Island, 107:25-36.

Trigger, D. and Mulcock, J. (2005) "Forests as spiritually significant places: nature, culture and 'belonging' in Australia." In The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 16(3):306-320.

Trigger, D. and Griffiths G. eds. (2003) "Disputed Territories: land, culture and identity in settler societies". Hong Kong University Press: Hong Kong. cover

Trigger, D. (2003) "Language, culture and science: reflections of the work of George Seddon." In Thesis Eleven, 72(2):89-104.

Trigger, D. & M. Robinson (2001) Mining, land claims & the negotiation of Indigenous interests: research from the Queensland Gulf Country & Pilbara region of Western Australia, Senri Ethnological Studies (Journal Issue titled: “Parks, Property, Power: Managing Hunting Practice and Identity within State Policy Regimes”, David G. Anderson & Kazunobo Ikeya guest eds, pp. 101-116. National Museum of Ethnology: Osaka, Japan. [LINK for download]

Trigger, D. (2000) "Aboriginal responses to mining in Australia: economic aspirations, cultural revival and the politics of indigenous protest." In Biesele, M., Hitchcock, R. and Schweitzer, P. (eds) Hunters and Gatherers in the modern world: conflict, resistance and self-determination, pp: 192-205 Providence, Rhode Island: Berghahn Books.

Trigger, D. (1999) "Hunter-Gatherer Peoples in Nation States." In Daly, R. and Lee, R. (eds) Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters & Gatherers, pp:473-479 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Trigger, D. (1997) "Land rights and the reproduction of Aboriginal culture in Australias Gulf Country." In Social Analysis, 41:84-106.

Trigger, D. (1997) "Mining, landscape and the culture of development ideology in Australia." In Ecumene: a journal of environment, culture, meaning, 4(2):161-180.

Trigger, D. (1995) "Everyone's agreed, the West is all you need: ideology, media and Aboriginality in Western Australia." Media Information Australia, 75:102-122.

Trigger, D. (1992) "Whitefella comin' - Aboriginal responses to colonialism in northern Australia". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. cover

Trigger, D. (1989) "Racial ideologies in Australia's Gulf Country." Ethnic and Racial Studies, 12(2):209-232.

Trigger, D. (1986) "Blackfellas and Whitefellas: the concepts of domain and social closure in the analysis of race relations." Mankind, 16(2):99-117

Book Reviews

Trigger, D. (2011) 'Interventions', review of Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia by Jon Altman and Melinda Hinkson (eds). Australian Book Review,  No. 328, pp.62-63.

Trigger, D. (2009) ‘Sustaining fictions: challenging the politics of embarrassment’, review of The Politics of Suffering: Indigenous Australia and the end of the liberal consensus by Peter Sutton. Australian Book Review No.316, pp.42-43.

Trigger, D. (2008) ‘Refugees from Wild Time’, review of The tall man: death and life on Palm Island by Chloe Hooper & Gone for a song: a death in custody on Palm Island by Geoff Waters. Australian Book Review No.304, pp.9-10.

Go to top