Professor Michael Dodson AM

Aboriginal Leader and Advocate for Reconciliation

2009 Australian of the Year

Mick Dodson is a Yawuru man from the Broome area in Western Australia. He was the first Indigenous Australian to receive a law degree following studies at Monash University in Melbourne. A proud, courageous and humble Aboriginal leader, Dodson has served in a wide range of challenging roles and has been an enthusiastic advocate for social justice. He joined the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service in 1976 and became a barrister at the Victorian Bar in 1981. He assisted the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in the late 1980s and was appointed Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner in 1993.

Dodson subsequently pursued an academic career and is Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. Professor Dodson is a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and continues to pursue positive progress in Australian Indigenous affairs as Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia.