Freotopia > people > Patrick Nicol Troy. See also: Paddy Troy (father).

Professor Pat Troy


Patrick Cornish:
Patrick Nicol Troy was born on 22 January 1936 in Geraldton, first of five children of Mabel (nee Nielsen) and Patrick Troy, always known as Paddy. The couple lived in a frame roofed by hessian, at Youanmi, 120km south-east of the Mt Magnet gold mine where Paddy worked as a rigger. The residence was humble but the Troys were happy, surrounded by friends who “all helped each other,” as their first daughter, Hazel Butorac, recalled in her own memoir in 2015. However, his defiant stand on work safety, and organisation of a strike, after a rock collapse killed a co-worker, cost him his job.

By the time Pat started school the family had moved to East Fremantle. He and Hazel, attending the local primary, endured the wrath of students whose parents tolerated the Labor Party but took not at all kindly to children of a communist. Pat suffered verbal and physical abuse from fellow pupils at Fremantle Boys High. No wonder that wherever and whatever he went on to study in life, formally speaking, it was social equity that fuelled him forward. Nothing those classmates said or did hampered his progress. For the last two years of secondary education he won a place at Perth Modern School, after which he completed a degree in civil engineering at the University of Western Australia.

Historian and biographer Stuart Macintyre, who met Pat in Canberra in 1979 through becoming interested in Paddy Troy, says Pat aimed to plan cities to “integrate housing, transport, employment and social facilities in order to promote efficiency and fairness.” This was seven years after the election of Gough Whitlam’s ALP government had encouraged Pat to return to an Australia much more congenial to someone of his political persuasion. Settling in Canberra for the rest of his life, a new personal chapter eventually opened when his marriage ended and he became the partner of Sandy Mackenzie for 30 years.

Pat advised Whitlam on urban matters, wrote speeches for him and designed the Department of Urban and Regional Development. Pat’s Minister, Tom Uren, was among the speakers at the launch of Macintyre’s biography, Militant: The Life and Times of Paddy Troy. Pat, enjoying the occasion thoroughly, carried his father’s baton, showing constructive agitators that in the rough-house of life the combat is worth the candle. 

Pat wrote 15 books and many papers on cities, energy and water consumption. Most recently he was Visiting Fellow at the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society, Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, Queensland, and Visiting Professor, City Futures Research Centre, Faculty of Built Environment at the University of NSW. An Order of Australia was among accolades.

References and links

Cornish, Patrick 2018, 'Troy, Patrick Nicol (Pat) (1936–2018)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, ANU (excerpts above).

Stubbs, Roger et al. 2016, A Celebration of Contribution: Tales of the Courage, Commitment and Creativity of Modernians 1911-1963, WA Department of Education: 313-4.

Page for Patrick Troy in Wikipedia (from which the following bibliography comes).


1975: The Cost of Collisions (co-written with N. G. Butlin.) ISBN 070151339X Cheshire
1978: A Fair Price: the Land Commission Program, 1972-1977 ISBN 0908094159 Hale & Iremonger
1981: Innovation and Reaction: The life and death of the Federal Department of Urban and Regional Development. (co-written with Clement John Lloyd) ISBN 0868613940 George Allen & Unwin
1981: A Just Society?: Essays on Equity in Australia (editor) ISBN 0868612421 Allen & Unwin
1992: For the Public Health: The Hunter District Water Board 1892-1992 (co-written with Clement John Lloyd & Shelley R. Schreiner) ISBN 0521484375 Cambridge University Press
1992: The New Feudalism Cambridge University Press
1995: Australian Cities: issues, strategies and policies for urban Australia in the 1990s (editor) ISBN 0521484375 Cambridge University Press
1996: The Perils of Urban Consolidation: a Discussion of Australian Housing and Urban Development Policies. ISBN 1862872112 Federation Press
2000: A History of European Housing in Australia (editor) ISBN 1862872112 Cambridge University Press
2004: The Structure and Form of the Australian City: Prospects for Improved Urban Planning Griffith University
2008: Troubled Waters: Confronting the Water Crisis in Australia's Cities (editor) ISBN 1921313846 ANU E Press
2012: Accommodating Australians: Commonwealth Government Involvement in Housing ISBN 1862878749 Federation Press
2012: Equity in the City (editor) ISBN 0868612588 Routledge

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