Professor Mick Dodson is a member of the Yawuru peoples, the traditional Aboriginal owners of land and waters in the Broome area of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. He is currently Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. He is a Professor of law at the ANU College of Law.
Professor Dodson is also currently a Director of Dodson, Bauman & Associates Pty Ltd - Legal & Anthropological Consultants. He is formerly the Director of the Indigenous Law Centre at the University of New South Wales, Kensington.
Commissioner: Mick Dodson was Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity. He served as Commissioner from April 1993 to January 1998.
Education: Born in Katherine, Northern Territory, Mick was educated in Katherine, Darwin and Victoria. He completed a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Technology Sydney in 1998. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of NSW. He worked with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service from 1976 to 1981, when he became a barrister at the Victorian Bar. He joined the Northern Land Council as Senior Legal Adviser in 1984 and became Director of the Council in 1990.
Counsel: From August 1988 to October 1990 Mick was Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He has been a member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Advisory Council and secretary of the North Australian Legal Aid Service. He is a member and the current Chairman of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. He is the former Chairman of the National Aboriginal Youth Law Centre Advisory Board. He is a former member of the National Children’s & Youth Centre Board and is a former member of the Advisory panels of the Rob Riley and Koowarta Scholarships. Mick is presently a member of the Publications Committee for the University of New South Wales Indigenous Law Reporter. He is a member of the New South Wales Judicial Commission and a former special commissioner with the Western Australian Law Reform Commission. He is a board member and Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia and a board member of the Lingiari Foundation. He was a founding member and chairman of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre.
Advocate: Mick Dodson has been a prominent advocate on land rights and other issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Mick Dodson is a vigorous advocate of the rights and interests of the Indigenous Peoples of the world. He was the Co-Deputy Chair of the Technical Committee for the 1993 International Year of the World’s Indigenous People. He was also chairman of the United Nations Advisory Group for the Voluntary Fund for the Decade of Indigenous Peoples. He served for 5 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Indigenous Voluntary Fund. In January 2005 Prof Dodson took up a 3 year appointment as a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He was recently reappointed for a further 3 years to December 2010.
Declaration: Mick participated in the crafting of the text of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nation Working Group on Indigenous Populations and the Inter-sessional Working Group of the Human Rights Commission adopted overwhelmingly in 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly.