Citizen Advocacy Stories

Neville and David

The titles of these two Gouache and Oil Pastels Prints, by Emeritus Professor David Allbrook, represent the changing nature of a citizen advocacy relationship. David was a citizen advocate for Neville through the Citizen Advocacy Eastern Suburbs office in Perth, WA, from 2000 to 2014.

STS Leeuwin - Race in Stormy Weather

David was born in London on 4 September 1923. He was an academic, anatomist, general practitioner, hospital administrator and palliative care specialist, with interests in archaeology and contributions to Amnesty International.

He held medical positions at Makerere University College, Kampala, Uganda, Washington University, St Louis, USA, University of East Africa, University of Western Australia, and at Calvary Mater Hospital at Newcastle.

After retirement, David filled his spare time as a hospital chaplain, and attending art classes and painting.

He was a man of compassion, energy and character, and had the capacity to make friends wherever he went, regardless of who they were or what they were doing


The citizen advocacy office staff met Neville in Prison, in 2000. When we were introduced to Neville, he approached us with his head down, shuffling, and would not look at us for the 10 to 15 minutes of our time with him. We met Neville several times, and this did not change. A large percentage of Neville’s body had been badly burnt and scarred and he would only shower when there was no-one around. He would not communicate with anyone and was very alone and isolated. He was about to be released from prison, but the supervisor would not permit this until we had found Neville a citizen advocate.

We had known David Allbrook for some time, having been introduced to him by a relative of mine, who was also a doctor. David listened intently to the life of Neville as it had been, and how it currently was, affected adversely by his past. Not surprisingly, David wanted to become Neville’s citizen advocate and contribute to his life.

STS Leeuwin - Full Sail in a Good Breeze

David met Neville in prison several times and was involved in his release and accommodation for his future. David met with Neville and staff of his new home, many times over the following months and years and was instrumental in David being employed in a workshop, and many other significant areas of Neville’s life. Gradually, over the years, the change in Neville was astounding. He went from being a shy, reticent person who would not look anyone in the eye, to a happy, outgoing individual who wore brightly coloured clothing and was involved in almost all he could be. The staff at Neville’s home was amazed at the change and were pleased to consult David regarding all aspects of his life.

David remained actively involved, and made a significant contribution to the well-being of Neville right up until his health began to decline. David passed away on 1 August 2016, at the age of 93. Neville’s life had held very little, prior to David’s involvement: an involvement that was to last 14 years.

Miriam Perkins – Former Co-ordinator

Watch the Advancing Citizen Advocacy Conference

A wonderful amount of richly informative content was presented by many people from across the world at the Advancing Citizen Advocacy Conference, held in Melbourne Australia in February of 2023.

Now, through the efforts of the Citizen Advocacy Trust of Australia, you can watch the presentations from the conference completely free, on YouTube.


Advancing Citizen Advocacy Conference

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