Lawyer, academic and advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Michael Dodson worked with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service before becoming a barrister in 1981. He was senior legal adviser for the Northern Land Council in 1984 and director in 1990. He worked with the United Nations as an advocate for the indigenous peoples of the world and was a founding director of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, and a member and chairman of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.
From 1998 to 1990 Dodson was Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and in 1993 he was appointed Australia's first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, a position he held until January 1998.
In 2003 Dodson was appointed inaugural Professor in Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University and convenor of its Institute for Indigenous Australia and in 2010 Dodson was appointed co-Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University. Michael Dodson is the brother of Patrick Dodson and nephew of Patrick Djiagween (qq.v.). (Source: Monash University Website; HREOC Website)
In November 2010, Dodson was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra in recognition of his contribution to human rights, social justice and Indigenous affairs in Australia and around the world.
2008Sydney Peace PrizeFor courageous advocacy of the human rights of Indigenous people, for distinguished leadership of the reconciliation movement and for a lifetime of commitment to peace with justice, through dialogue and many other expressions of non-violence.