Patrick Dodson, 2004
mixed media on canvas (frame: 188.0 x 137.0 cm, support: 185.5 x 134.0 cm)
Patrick Dodson (b. 1948), Indigenous advocate and senator for Western Australia, is a Yawuru man who was born in Broome but spent most of his childhood in the Northern Territory. Orphaned in 1960, in 1961 he was sent (with his brother, Mick) to Monivae College in Victoria where he became school captain and a top footballer. In 1975 he became Australia’s first Aboriginal Catholic priest, but left the priesthood in the early 1980s. Appointed director of the Central Land Council in 1985, he played a key role in negotiating the return of the Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park to traditional owners. In 1989, he served as one of the commissioners of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and in 1991 he became the first chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (now Reconciliation Australia). In 2010–12, Dodson co-chaired the expert panel on the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Currently chair of the Yawuru native title company Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd, Dodson was the inaugural director of the Indigenous Policy, Dialogue and Research Unit at the University of New South Wales and is the first Indigenous Australian to be appointed to the council of the Australian National University. His many accolades include honorary doctorates from the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales.
Gift of the Lingiari Foundation 2015
Accession number: 2015.60
More about the artist and subject
Permanent collection catalogue
On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.