Dodson at Clayoquot Sound in 2010
|Senator for Western Australia|
|Assumed office |
2 May 2016
|Preceded by||Joe Bullock|
Patrick Lionel Djargun Dodson
29 January 1948
Broome, Western Australia, Australia
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
|Alma mater||Corpus Christi College, Melbourne|
Patrick Lionel Djargun Dodson (born 29 January 1948) is a Senator for Western Australia. He is a Yawuru man from Broome, Western Australia. He has been chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and a Roman Catholic priest. He was the winner of the 2008 Sydney Peace Prize and the 2009 John Curtin Medallist. His brother is Mick Dodson, also a national Indigenous Australian leader.
On 2 March 2016, Dodson was announced as the replacement for Joe Bullock as a Labor Senator for Western Australia, following Bullock's resignation. The Parliament of Western Australia appointed Dodson to the Australian Senate on 2 May 2016.
Early life and priesthood
Dodson was born on 29 January 1948 in Broome. His father, John "Snowy" Dodson, was born in Launceston, Tasmania and his mother, Patricia, was indigenous Australian. The family moved to Katherine in the Northern Territory when Pat was two, to escape Western Australian laws banning race-mix families.
The Dodson children were orphaned at the deaths of both parents only three months apart in 1960. He and his brother Mick were made wards of the state, but their aunt and uncle decided they should accept a scholarship to study at Monivae College in Hamilton, Victoria, where Dodson became head prefect and captain of football. After completing his schooling, Patrick enrolled to study for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Melbourne, and was ordained in the order of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in May 1975. He was the first Aboriginal person to become a Catholic priest in Australia. He left the priesthood in the early 1980s due to conflict over the balance and blend of Catholicism and Aboriginal spiritual belief.
Dodson lives in Broome where he is also involved in matters relating to the preservation and development of Indigenous rights and culture. Some of the prominent roles and positions he has held include:
- Director of the Central Land Council and the Kimberley Land Council[when?]
- Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, 1989
- Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (1991-1997) (This body was replaced by Reconciliation Australia). He retired stating "I fear for the spirit of this country".
- Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame Australia.
- Chairperson, Kimberley Development Commission (his term expired in November 2010)
- Chairman of the Lingiari Foundation, an Indigenous non government advocacy and research Foundation.
- Inaugural Director of the Indigenous Policy, Dialogue and Research Unit (IPDRU) at the University of New South Wales
- Chairman of the Yawuru Native Title Holders Body Corporate (2010-2013) and Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd (to 2015)
The Parliament of Western Australia appointed Dodson to fill a casual vacancy in the Australian Senate on 2 May 2016, following the resignation of Labor senator Joe Bullock. He was sworn in as a senator on the same day, and sat as a Labor senator for Western Australia. He retained his seat at the 2016 federal election. He has served on a number of Senate committees, notably as joint chair of the Joint Select Committee into Constitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Dodson was added to the shadow ministry in May 2016, as a shadow assistant minister. He was initially appointed shadow parliamentary secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, and in July 2016 has been shadow assistant minister for indigenous affairs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten promised to appoint Dodson as Minister for Indigenous Affairs if the ALP won the 2019 federal election. This did not eventuate, and Dodson did not stand for re-election to the Labor frontbench. As the shadow assistant minister for reconciliation and constitutional recognition, Dodson supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full.
- "Patrick Lionel Dodson (2009)". Curtin University.
- "Pat Dodson elected WA's newest senator". ABC News. 28 April 2016.
- "National Finalist Senior Australian of the Year 2009: Patrick Dodson". National Australia Day Council. 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- Wright, Tony (11 November 2017). "How the citizenship farce ensnared the 'father of reconciliation', Patrick Dodson". The Age. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
- Tony Wright (5 March 2016). "Aboriginal elder Pat Dodson: portrait of the senator as a young man". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- "Patrick Dodson". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- Rolls, Mitchell; Johnson, Murray. Historical Dictionary of Australian Aborigines. p. 64. ISBN 9780810859975.
- "Patrick Dodson - Aboriginal leader". Wandoo Didgeridoo. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- "Mr Patrick Dodson". Australian National University.
- Kimberley Development Commission - KDC Board Archived 1 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Senator Patrick Dodson". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "No frontbench seat for Labor MP Pat Dodson". The Australian. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- Grattan, Michelle (12 July 2019). "Scott Morrison has already achieved one political miracle. Can he achieve two?". ABC News. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Debra Jopson; Phillip Coorey, (31 January 2012) "Practise what we preach: father of reconciliation attacks two-faced Australia." Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney
- Kevin Keeffe, (2003) Paddy's Road: Life Stories of Patrick Dodson" Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra ISBN 0-85575-448-6
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