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Canberra’s Professor Mick Dodson named Australian of the year.

By johnboy 25 January 2009 50

ANU is congratulating their Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies, Professor Mick Dodson, on being named Australian Of The Year, beating out all the other States’ nominees.

    “We applaud the selection of Professor Dodson as Australian of the Year, and are proud to count him as one of our academic leaders,” ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Chubb said.

    “He has tirelessly combined advocacy, diplomatic and academic roles. He has overcome prejudice and blazed pathways for Indigenous Australians. His record is an outstanding example of the high value we place on combining scholarly research with public engagement. For all these reasons we celebrate him and his achievements.”

    Professor Dodson was the first Indigenous lawyer admitted to the Victorian Bar and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner. He participated in drafting the Native Title Act (1993) Cth, the legislative expression of native title rights recognised in the watershed Mabo case.

    He was a pivotal part of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Bringing Them Home Report, both of which remain highly influential documents that triggered legal reform, heralded a shift in the nation’s awareness of its past and led to an acknowledgement (and recently a formal prime ministerial apology) for the policies of forced removal of Indigenous children from their families.

    At the international level, he campaigned to put the human rights of the world’s Indigenous peoples on the United Nations agenda and participated for over a decade in bringing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to fruition.

UPDATED: One little remarked on part of the furore surrounding Professor Dodson’s “call” for a debate on Australia Day is that he did not raise the issue. He was responding to repeated questioning by the gallery pack who’ve beaten this issue up during a slow January.


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Canberra’s Professor Mick Dodson named Australian of the year.
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Holden Caulfield 1:40 pm 27 Jan 09

Yeah, but Pat Rafter did a photo shoot with Sarah O’Hare in their undies. I’d feel like Australian of the Year if I managed to do the same.

neanderthalsis 1:21 pm 27 Jan 09

calbelsam said :

I do not understand why he is Australian Of The Year. Lets face it he probably does not play cricket and in fact he might have contributed something to Australia. Lets vote Rudd out he actually allows non sportsmen and women to be recognised.

Mmmm, wading through the sarcasm, I get the impression that you’re implying that John Howard only gave the gong to cricketers? Like the 2 cricketers acknowledged during Howards time in office?

Howards Non-cricketers:
1997 Peter Doherty AC
1998 Cathy Freeman 1999
2000 Sir Gustav Nossal
2001 General Peter Cosgrove
2002 Patrick Rafter born 1972 (ok another sporty type…)
2003 Fiona Stanley AC
2004 Steve Waugh AO (Another cricketer, but did a lot of charity stuff…)
2005 Fiona Wood AM
2006 Ian Frazer born 1953
2007 Tim Flannery born 1956
2008 Lee Kernaghan OAM

Holden Caulfield 12:33 pm 27 Jan 09

bigfeet said :

…I would assume that McGrath got nominated this year for his work with the McGrath Fountdation rather than for his cricketing ability…

Of course, my previous post was made tongue-in-cheek. I thought that may have been obvious. Oh well…

The question still remains, how many Test wickets has Mick Dodson taken?

Mr Evil 11:24 am 27 Jan 09

Thumper said :

I just want to know what the fcku is going on with the hat?

Is he channelling Johnny Cash? Is it a pseudo toupee a la Molly Meldrum? Does he take it off to go to meetings? Is he worried about skin cancer?

😉

His full name is “Crocodile” Mick “Dundee” Dodson.

Thumper 9:49 am 27 Jan 09

I just want to know what the fcku is going on with the hat?

Is he channelling Johnny Cash? Is it a pseudo toupee a la Molly Meldrum? Does he take it off to go to meetings? Is he worried about skin cancer?

😉

deezagood 9:13 am 27 Jan 09

Professor Dodson seems like a worthy recipient; and of course every year there are other very worthy recipients who miss out (but there can be only one!). And in our country of free speech, I think the man is certainly allowed to have an opinion regarding the appropriateness of the date chosen to celebrate Australia Day – this doesn’t make him any less patriotic or worthy of the honour. I love celebrating Australia Day and I think this day has really grown in momentum over the past decade – which is just wonderful. To be honest, I have no particular attachment to the actual date though; there are many dates in our history that might also make suitable Australia Days. I like to think that the sentiment and fervour of the day would remain even if the date changed.

– it’s easier to track progress in the target group if programs are segmented

And yet by targeting indigenous groups in the ‘intervention’, it’s racism at work… Isn’t that all about measuring impact on a specific group?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you don’t actually know that his last name is Dodson, and just took your lead from Pandy’s post immediately above.

Nothing so exciting – I’d read the whole post and made a typo.

bigfeet 11:23 pm 26 Jan 09

Holden Caulfield said :

Pandy said :

Glenn McGrath has not done enough as an Australian to get top gong.

Mick Dobson has done lots over a long time.

Geez, its a tough crowd when 944 international wickets (563 Tests/381 ODI) aren’t considered doing enough as an Australian, haha.

I would assume that McGrath got nominated this year for his work with the McGrath Fountdation rather than for his cricketing ability.

Just like last years Australian of the Year: Lee Kernaghan did not get the honour for his singing ability. He was awarded for his tireless efforts in raising awareness, interest and support for drought relief in rural Australia.

Pandy 11:20 pm 26 Jan 09

I think one Digger saving his mates under gunfire is much more worthy than 944 wickets.

sepi 11:06 pm 26 Jan 09

You’re right – I should’ve put Whinger in capitals too.

Holden Caulfield 10:56 pm 26 Jan 09

Pandy said :

Glenn McGrath has not done enough as an Australian to get top gong.

Mick Dobson has done lots over a long time.

Geez, its a tough crowd when 944 international wickets (563 Tests/381 ODI) aren’t considered doing enough as an Australian, haha.

bigfeet 10:54 pm 26 Jan 09

disenfranchised said :

I just think the handing out of honorary PhDs is overdone these days.(some years ago).

Robert Mugabe has an honoury PHD from Edinburgh University, University of Massachusetts and Michigan State University, and they are all still debating whether they should wihdraw them.

NOTE: This comment is completely off-topic..I was responding to one particular statement. I am in no way comparing Mick Dodson with Mugabe…I was only commenting on the issuing of honorary doctorates…OK”

Vic Bitterman 10:50 pm 26 Jan 09

sepi said :

and for the whingers – abstudy / austudy are less than the dole anyway.

You need to be corrected. ABSTUDY is always spelt in capital letters. Go do some research.

disenfranchised 10:38 pm 26 Jan 09

have met him. Nice enough bloke. No problem with him being nominated. He has been a tireless campaigner on Indigenous issues. Good on him. These days he is of course a professor at ANU. I do have a problem with the two honorary PhDs that he has received. He has legal qualifications. He could therefore have gone on to get a PhD in the usual manner. I just think the handing out of honorary PhDs is overdone these days. I seem to recall Cathy got one too (some years ago).

bigfeet 10:34 pm 26 Jan 09

NoAddedMSG said :

That is not even close to what he said, if you had listened to his actual speech, it was very diplomatic, and it was something along the lines of “we should be talking about whether Australia Day should be held on the 26th or if there is a more appropriate date”. .

Yes, he did not (completely) advocate change of Australia Day… just discussion about changing it. Discussion is a good thing. The unfortunate thing is that any discussion on this topic descends immediately into a racial debate. With the extremists on both sides getting involved

Pandy 9:52 pm 26 Jan 09

Australia Day is the 26th of January. Mick wanting to change the date to January 1st is replacing Australia Day.

When Rudd said “No” today to changing the date, I heard the applause from the audience. Isaw Dodson sitting stony faced.

NoAddedMSG 8:03 pm 26 Jan 09

Pandy said :

JB, The man was reported at length on SBS news saying he wanted to replace Australia Day. On the eve of Australia Day and on the day he gets the award. This *is* a discussion of him as a man, bacause it represents what he is.

That is not even close to what he said, if you had listened to his actual speech, it was very diplomatic, and it was something along the lines of “we should be talking about whether Australia Day should be held on the 26th or if there is a more appropriate date”. He didn’t say that we hsouldn’t have it, or that it should be replaced with a different kind of celebration. Given the prevailing sentiment with which Australia day is celebrated, I would have thought that the day Australia became an independant nation with independant citizenship would be more suitable.

emd 3:15 pm 26 Jan 09

johnboy said :

Those of you trying to drag your sad old axes into this argument for grinding can sod off and I don’t care if you never come back.

Straight to the poolroom! Well put JB 🙂

There’s a lot of Australians who deserve recognition for what they do, but only one person at a time can be Australian of the Year. This guy seems like a good choice. I’m sure there’s lots of other great Australian names on the honours list too. I’m off to search the Canberra list to see who I’ve already heard of and find out about the ones I haven’t.

astrojax 1:34 pm 26 Jan 09

the australian of the year award is populist politics at the best of times and this was telegraphed months ago – i think they even reported they’d stopped taking bets, and in any case had it narrowed down to mick and glenn.

now, that said, he is probably an admirable choice, and certainly the logical one in the circumstances. tim flannery was a populist choice and was supposed to raise the issues of climate change and environmental degradation, but i don’t really recall him having any more sway on these issues than before he got the gong.

australian of the year last year was probably pim verbeek!

Genie 12:56 pm 26 Jan 09

Make a rule,,if your found at a pub during business hours,,,,,you are NOT entitled to any gubby money….You are either working or looking for a job!!!!

I like that rule !

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