THE DIVERSITY CONFERENCE 2000

National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights


Mick Dodson
Chair, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Mick Dodson was Australia's first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner appointed under the provisions of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Legislation Amendment Act (No 2) 1992.

The position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner was created as a result of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the National Inquiry into Racist Violence. Commissioner Dodson has been a prominent advocate on land rights and other issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Born in the Northern Territory township of Katherine, Mick was educated in Katherine, Darwin and Victoria. He completed a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University. He worked with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service from 1979 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.


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, Treasurer of the North Australian Legal Aid Service. He is a member of and Deputy Chair of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. He is currently the Chair of the National Aboriginal Youth Law Centre Advisory Board.

 


Image courtesy of AIATSIS website

 

Commissioner Dodson is a vigorous advocate of the 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. Mick is also Chair of the United Nations Advisory Group for the Voluntary Fund for the Decade of Indigenous Populations. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United National Indigenous Voluntary Fund.

Mick's most direct contribution has been in the elaboration of International standards for Indigenous rights through crafting of the text, of the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Now that the Draft Declaration has left the Working Group on Indigenous Populations - on its way to the General Assembly - Mick will follow its passage through the United Nations system, endeavouring to preserve its integrity.

Information courtesy of Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission website


University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Plenary Speakers

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