Lex Wotton has lamented a lack of Palm Island community support as he assists in distributing a $30 million class action settlement among hundreds of claimants.
The Queensland government last week announced it reached agreement with residents over the police actions in the 2004 Palm Island riots following Cameron Doomadgee's 2004 death in custody.
Mr Wotton led the class action in a landmark racial discrimination case, which saw the Federal Court find police were racist in their response to the riots.
Speaking after his address to former island residents about the settlement in Townsville on Wednesday, Mr Wotton said the struggle he had endured in his fight for justice had gone unrecognised.
Mr Wotton said few had stood up for him or the community despite an endless stream of negative publicity.
"Our community is still being attacked in a negative way and myself and my wife felt there was never anyone from the community voicing themselves, there were a few, but not even a handful, standing up," he told AAP.
"I know there's a lot of bad things on social media but no matter what you say or do it's not going to change what the court of law announced.
"You have to move on and don't look behind because that's not where you're going."
Mr Wotton said Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey failed to adequately recognise the pain and suffering within the community as a result of Mr Doomadgee's death and the response from officials that followed.
"My local leaders don't acknowledge it," he said.
The first in a series of community briefings about the settlement's distribution among 447 claimants was held in Townsville on Wednesday and will be followed by a second meeting on Palm Island on Thursday.
Mr Lacey said he is confident there would be patience around the distribution of the payout, but stressed for recipients to spend the money wisely amid concerns of exploitation.
The settlement needs to be approved by the Federal Court.