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Dodson in 2014
Michael James Dodson
10 April 1950
Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia
|Alma mater||Monash University|
|Occupation||Barrister and academic; Professor of Law at the Australian National University|
|Relatives||Pat Dodson (brother)|
Michael James Dodson AM, FASSA (born 10 April 1950) is an Aboriginal Australian barrister, academic, and member of the Yawuru people in the Broome area of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia.
His brother is Pat Dodson, also a noted Aboriginal leader and a senator to Federal Parliament, representing Western Australia.
Following his parents' death, he boarded at Monivae College, Hamilton, Victoria. He graduated with degrees in Jurisprudence and Law from Monash University in 1974, as the first Indigenous person to graduate from law in Australia. Following graduation, he worked as a criminal solicitor for the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service, and later as a criminal defence barrister at the Victorian Bar, where he still practises as a barrister specialising in native title. He has worked extensively as a legal adviser in native title and human rights, and as an academic in Indigenous law. He is currently Professor of Law at the Australian National University, as the director of its National Centre for Indigenous Studies, and has lectured as a visiting academic at the University of Arizona and Harvard University respectively. Dodson's efforts for the rights of indigenous people around the world in 2005 made him a member of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
He has been a prominent advocate of land rights and other issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Australia and globally and has extensive involvement in the United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues. He is the Chief Investigator for the Serving Our Country: a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence of Australia project, an Australian Research Council-funded research project based at The Australian National University.
On 25 January 2009, he was named Australian of the Year. He now lives and works in Canberra. Apart from human rights Dodson has been active in politics of Australian government, justice and crime prevention.
- Australian of the Year, 2009
- Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
- Distinguished Alumni Award, Monash University, 1998
- Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2009
- Honorary Member of the University of Kingwood Nationals, 2010
- Member of the Order of Australia (AM), 2003
- Member of the Order of Indonesia (PM), awarded on New Year's Day 2003
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