Bill Shorten has announced that Pat Dodson is set to replace outgoing Labor Senator Joe Bullock. Bill Shorten has said “His advocacy and perspective will challenge all of us to face up to our shortcomings,” Mr Doson has said that he honoured and surprised by the nomination.
Pat Dodson is a proud Yawuru man from Western Australia. He has served in the follwoing capacity:
- 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, reasons for leaving the priesthood in the early 1980s included Dodson’s understanding that traditional Aboriginal ceremonies and Christianity can be reconciled and his rejection of clergy celibacy.
In 2012, he gave the inaugural Gandhi Oration at the University of New South Wales.
Currently, Dodson works as a consultant, advising government, industry and community groups: he is
- 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