Jobs Events Advertise

‘A remarkable legacy’: Heartfelt tributes flow following news of Pat Dodson’s Senate resignation

Jarred Cross -

Parliamentarians are expressing their thanks to 'father of Reconciliation' Pat Dodson after the federal Senator for WA and lifelong advocate for Indigenous rights announced his retirement from the upper house amid health battles with cancer.

Senator Dodson has informed his parliamentary colleagues of his intention to step away on January 26.

After serving as a commissioner on the Royal Commission into Indigenous Deaths in Custody in the 1980's, and decades advancing the lives of First Peoples, Dodson was appointed to the Senate in 2016 on nomination from then-Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said "his courage and wisdom has been a powerful source of support" through her career, and thanked Dodson for being a "staunch advocate for justice".

"It was an immense privilege to work with him as the Special Envoy for Reconciliation and Implementation of the Uluru Statement," Minister Burney said in a statement.

"That he returned to work after serious health challenges, to be part of the Yes campaign, is a great testament to his strength and dedication.

"Patrick has a long history of advocating for justice for First Nations peoples...He has carried the stories of those who died in custody with him into Federal Parliament, where he has been a staunch advocate for justice - seeking to turn around the rates of Indigenous incarceration and deaths in custody that remain a national shame."

Senator Dodson began an extended leave of absence as he battled with cancer earlier this year.

Minister Burney said "he leaves a remarkable legacy which we all have a responsibility to continue".

The Prime Minister extended his own thanks for the work of his colleague and friendship formed.

"I have benefited time and time again from his wise counsel, and he has taught me so much over the years," Mr Albanese said of Dodson.

"Patrick is such a generous man. Through 7 years he has gifted every member of our Caucus his wisdom, his courage, his fearless conviction and his eternal good humour.

"Through the powerful example of his own life, he has given so many of us the gift of a greater sense of perspective.

"There are few more reassuring sights in Parliament House than seeing Patrick and his hat coming down a corridor towards you."

Queensland cabinet member and Labor MP Mark Bailey said Senator Dodson "has been a tower of strength and compassion for reconciliation in our nation for many decades", and wished him a full recovery.

Former shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians Julian Leeser, who resigned to the coalition's backbench in response to their official stance against a Voice to Parliament earlier this year, said Senator Dodson had become "a dear friend".

"Pat is called 'the Father of Reconciliation' because that is how he lives," Mr Leeser said in a statement.

The pair worked together as co-chairs of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Recognition.

"During that process, we argued, cajoled, listened and worked to find common ground. I am proud of the work we did together," Mr Leeser said.

"Pat created in my own life, a richer and deeper appreciation of Australia's First Peoples - their frustrations, struggles and pains, as well as their hopes for the future.

"Though I will miss Pat's presence in the building, I am glad his health is improving.

"My hope is that Pat will have a long and healthy retirement where he can savour his contribution to our national life and the enduring cause of reconciliation."


CSIRO grant helps blend Aboriginal traditions with agricultural innovation
In a fusion of Indigenous wisdom and cutting-edge technology, Darryl Lyons, a respected Maiawali man, and inventor Mic Bla...
Zak Kirkup 1 Mar 2024
Rolfe to wrap up evidence in Walker death inquest
An inquest into the death of an Indigenous teenager is set to wrap up after 18 months as evidence from the police officer who sh...
Neve Brissenden 1 Mar 2024
Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation strikes deal for "equal footing in future decision-making" over Murujuga country
Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation has defined a new approach to agreement making in Australia, following the signing Thursday of a...
Giovanni Torre 1 Mar 2024
Court finds Youpla misrepresented itself as an Aboriginal-owned or managed company
The collapsed funeral fund Youpla misrepresented itself as Aboriginal owned or managed, the full Federal Court ruled on Thursday...
Dechlan Brennan 29 Feb 2024

   Jarred Cross   

Football star Mary Fowler aims to break Matildas' trophy drought
Matildas star Mary Fowler says her side are keen to go further and bring home some silverware after last year’s World Cup heartb...
Jarred Cross 1 Mar 2024
"Education is the main vehicle for closing the gap" - Marcia Langton receives women's leadership award
Marcia Langton hopes women future leaders take some inspiration from her latest recognition, which makes a welcome change after...
Jarred Cross 29 Feb 2024
Honours spread across the states in NICC women's awards, team of the tournament
National Indigenous Cricket Championship women's champions New South Wales have dominated the women's team of the tournament wit...
Jarred Cross 29 Feb 2024
Powell-Pepper cops four-match ban for 'careless' scratch-match collision
Sam Powell-Pepper could miss the opening month of the premiership season after being handed a four-match ban for his scratch-mat...
Jarred Cross 28 Feb 2024