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John Curtin Medallist named for 2009

Media release

Aboriginal leader Professor Patrick Dodson was announced today as the winner of the 2009 John Curtin Medal at a special ceremony at Curtin University of Technology.

Curtin’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robyn Quin, said Professor Dodson was a worthy winner of the award.

“Professor Dodson has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian community over many years and we are delighted to present the John Curtin Medal to a man known throughout the nation as the ‘father of Australian reconciliation’,” she said.

“He is one of this country’s most respected and influential Aboriginal leaders who has a vision for Australia that is reconciled with and inclusive of all its members, particularly the nation’s Indigenous peoples.

“Following his departure from the church in 1981, Professor Dodson turned his attention to Indigenous matters and reconciliation.  He has led a variety of organisations starting with the Central Land Council which he joined in 1981 and became Director in 1985.

“Other high-profile leadership roles include his appointment in 1989 as one of the Commissioners of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, while in 1991 he became the inaugural Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

“Professor Dodson’s dedication to reconciliation has been acknowledged with various accolades and awards. He is recognised as a National Living Treasure, received the 2008 Sydney Peace Prize — the only international peace prize awarded in Australia — and was recently named the 2009 WA Senior Australian of the Year.”

The annual ceremony marks the anniversary of Prime Minister John Curtin’s accession to the office of Prime Minister on October 7, 1941.

The John Curtin Medal is the highest non-academic award offered by Curtin University of Technology and is presented to outstanding citizens who exhibit John Curtin’s qualities of vision, leadership and community service.

Media Contact: Ann Marie Lim, Public Relations, Curtin, 08 9266 4241, 0401 103 532, ann.lim@curtin.edu.au

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