Pat Dudgeon is a Bardi woman from the Broome area in the Kimberleys. Her family moved to Darwin where Dudgeon grew up. She completed a psychology degree in Perth and became attached to the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University of Technology. Dudgeon became involved with the Australian Army Reserves where she served as Captain on active and inactive service from 1987-2005.
In 1990, Dudgeon was appointed Head of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies (CAS) at Curtin University of Technology. Under Dudgeon's leadership, Curtin was the first university to adopt a Statement of Reconciliation and develop a university-wide policy on Indigenous governance.
Dudgeon was the first convener of the Australian Psychological Society Interest Group on Aboriginal issues, Aboriginal people and psychology. She has been involved in convening national conferences and discussion groups regarding Indigenous people and psychology and has many publications in this area, as well as in education and women's issues.
Dudgeon has chaired, served as member or trustee of many committees and organisations such as Yirra Yaakin Noongar Theatre Group, Kyanna Festival, Yorgum Aboriginal Counselling Services, WA Parole Board, Western Australian Aboriginal Committee for Higher Education (WAACHE), Western Australia Aboriginal Education Committee (WATEC), National Indigenous Higher Education Network (NIHEN), WA Housing Board Equal Equity Opportunities, Welfare Dependancy Forums, WA Bringing Them Home Committee, Depression, Mental Health Promotions, Perth Indigenous Women's Network Manguri, Black Chicks Talking, as well as numerous others.
Dudgeon was awarded a PhD from Murdoch University for her thesis Mothers of Sin: Indigenous Women's Perceptions of Identity and Sexuality. Dr Dudgeon has served as adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia.