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Commissioner Dudgeon shortlisted for the prestigious Human Rights Medal

23 November 2015

Commissioner Professor Pat Dudgeon’s unparalleled leadership in working to promote and enhance the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has seen her recognised on the shortlist for the 2015 Human Rights Medal.

Professor Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of Western Australia. She is the first Aboriginal psychologist to graduate in Australia and a founding National Mental Health Commissioner.

Professor Dudgeon is a trailblazer; a tireless advocate for engaging and actively involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in co-designing and implementing programmes and services to achieve better health outcomes. Professor Dudgeon’s distinguished research career and her work alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been instrumental in helping to spotlight Indigenous health issues, especially in relation to mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, and suicide prevention.

The National Mental Health Commission congratulates Professor Dudgeon’s on her due recognition as a finalist for this year’s Human Rights Medal.

Commission CEO David Butt said, “Professor Dudgeon’s leadership in working to Close the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes ensures mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention are on the agenda as national priorities.”

“Professor Dudgeon has been fundamental in shaping the direction of the Commission. She has played an integral role in ensuring that the provision of mental health programmes and services in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are approached, not only holistically and inclusively, but also actively engage the communities.

“Her work towards empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia is inspiring, and her recognition as a finalist for the 2015 Human Rights Medal is fitting acknowledgement of many tireless years of advocacy,” said Mr Butt.

The Human Rights Medal recognises the outstanding contributions of individuals in advancing human rights in Australia. Professor Dudgeon has been shortlisted for the 2015 award alongside Maha Krayem Abdo, Rodney Croome, Adam Goodes and Peter Greste.

The Human Rights Medal will be presented in Sydney by Human Rights Commission on 10 December. For more information, please visit the Human Rights Commission’s website.

"Even the most disadvantaged Australians should be able to lead a 'contributing life,' whatever that means for them and this simple goal will be our touchstone and yardstick."

Chair Prof Allan Fels AO
National Mental Health Commission

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