|Senator for Western Australia|
2 May 2016
|Preceded by||Joe Bullock|
20 January 1948 |
Broome, WA, Australia
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
Patrick Lionel Djargun Dodson (born 20 January 1948) is a Yawuru man from Broome, Western Australia, the former chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, a former Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, former Roman Catholic priest and a Senator for Western Australia. He was the winner of the 2008 Sydney Peace Prize the 2009 John Curtin Medallist. His brother is Mick Dodson, also a national Indigenous Australian leader.
On 2 March 2016, it was announced that Dodson would be endorsed as a 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.
Dodson was born on 20 January 1948 in Broome. His father, Snowy Dodson, was Irish-Australian 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 about mixed-race 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 later left the priesthood due to conflict over the balance and blend of Catholicism and Aboriginal spiritual belief.
He lives in Broome where he is also involved in matters relating to the preservation and enhancement of indigenous rights and culture.
Some of the prominent roles and positions Dodson has held include:
- Former Director of the Central Land Council and the Kimberley Land Council
- 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".
- He was the first Indigenous Australian Roman Catholic priest, but left the priesthood in the early 1980s.
- Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame Australia.
- Chairperson, Kimberley Development Commission (his term expires 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 Joe Bullock. He was sworn in as a senator on 2 May 2016 as an Australian Labor senator. He retained his seat in the Australian federal election, 2016 held on 2 July 2016.
- "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.
- 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 - Aboriginal leader". Wandoo Didgeridoo. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- "Mr Patrick Dodson". Australian National University.
- Kimberley Development Commission - KDC Board
- 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