this product is unavailable for purchase using a firm account, please log in with a personal account to make this purchase.

Australian of the Year passionate education promoter


Cite as: October 2009 83(10) LIJ, p13

Australian of the Year Professor Michael James "Mick" Dodson AM told an LIV President's Leadership Lunch he has been spending his year trying to ensure that all children who are not receiving a good education today will get one in the future.

"Many of [those missing out on education] are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

"We have failed these children," he said.

Professor Dodson, 59, has spent his life tirelessly campaigning for Indigenous people to improve their lives through reconciliation, understanding and education.

However, he believes many educational programs targeted at Indigenous children have been inadequately funded and ineffective.

Professor Dodson is co-chair of Reconciliation Australia and director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University.

He also represents Indigenous people of the Pacific region on the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues.

In 1979 he became the first Indigenous Australian to sign the Victorian Bar roll, and he has been a prominent advocate on land rights and other issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Professor Dodson, a member of the Yawuru peoples of the Broome area, spoke to a sold-out audience at the Regent Theatre on 14 August.

He expressed views about how members of the legal profession could include appropriate representation of Indigenous Australians at all levels - including solicitors, barristers and the judiciary.

Professor Dodson also discussed a number of issues surrounding the reconciliation process and his role as Australian of the Year, becoming the eighth Indigenous Australian to win the prestigious award in its 49-year history.

Professor Dodson was Australia's first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Commission and was counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

Mr Dodson's visit was followed by the 14 September launch of the LIV/Victorian Bar Indigenous Barristers Briefing Policy. [For more information, see "Redressing inequity, one brief at a time" on page 18 of this edition of the LIJ.]


Leave message

 Security code
LIV Social