Professor Mick Dodson AM

Professor Mick Dodson AM
  • Title: Commisioner| NT Aboriginal Treaty Commission
  • Company: NT Aboriginal Treaty Commission

Mick Dodson is a Yawuru man from the Broome area in Western Australia. He was the first Indigenous Australian to receive a law degree following studies at Monash University in Melbourne.

A proud, courageous and humble Aboriginal leader, Dodson has served in a wide range of challenging roles and has been an enthusiastic advocate for social justice. He joined the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service in 1976 and became a barrister at the Victorian Bar in 1981. He assisted the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in the late 1980s and was appointed Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner in 1993. Dodson subsequently pursued an academic career and is Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University.

Professor Dodson is a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and continues to pursue positive progress in Australian Indigenous affairs as Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced in February 2019, Professor Mick Dodson as the Northern Territory’s first-ever Treaty Commissioner.


The RAP program was launched in 2006 by Professor Mick Dodson and former Prime Minister John Howard, as a forward-looking aspect of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. The 1967 referendum was a momentous turning point in Australian history, altering the Australian Constitution to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census and giving the Australian Government the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. More than 90 per cent of Australian people voted ‘Yes’ for the Australian Government’s proposition.

Through the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program, organisations develop plans that document what they will do within their organisation and/or sector to contribute to reconciliation in Australia. Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) outline practical actions organisations will take to build strong relationships, enhance respect and create opportunities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

The RAP program has a strong emphasis on organisations across Australia to turn their good intentions into real action. Reconciliation Australia are there to support and guide the organisation through the RAP program process.