I live in Melbourne, Australia. I have devoted a large part of my working life to the promotion and protection of human rights, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and am still involved as a volunteer and occasional consultant, but am now ‘enjoying’ (the UN term) my rights to freedom of expression, leisure and the arts, as spelled out in Articles 18, 24 and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by trying my hand at writing and other creative activities.

In 2011 I published At The Scene of the Crime: Essays, Reflections and Poetry on East Timor, 1999-2010 (Mosaic Press) and am currently scoping a memoir (or two), besides dabbling in verse, history, photography, travelling, public speaking, a spot of vegie gardening and working on my drive and backhand.

I was formerly director of the human rights office of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid (now ACFID) which worked on human rights with civil society in the Asia-Pacific region (including Indonesia, East Timor, Sri Lanka and Burma). I co-founded Inside Indonesia magazine in 1983 and previously worked as a priest, teacher and advisor to the Australian branch of an international student movement.

I worked in East Timor (Timor-Leste) 1999-2010 where I was seconded by the UN to help establish and advise the Timor-Leste truth and reconcilation commission (CAVR) and subsequently served as senior adviser to the Post-CAVR Technical Secretariat.

I am currently involved in the publication in Indonesia of the English language print version of the CAVR monumental report Chega!, in the CHART archival project in Australia, and with plans to establish an Institute of Memory in East Timor.

My wife Annie Keogh and I have three wonderful daughters and one grandson. In addition to human rights awards from ACFOA and Video-Education Australasia, I was made a life member of ACFOA in 2000, awarded the Ordem de Timor-Leste in 2009 and the Order of Australia (AM) in 2012 formy contribution to international human rights and reconciliation.

Email: padiwalsh[at]