The University of Western Australia has congratulated Professor Pat Dudgeon, the first Aboriginal psychologist to graduate in Australia and one of the first Mental Health Commissioners in the country, on being shortlisted for the 2015 Human Rights Medal.
Professor Dudgeon has been shortlisted along with Muslim leader and anti-domestic violence campaigner Maha Krayem Abdo, marriage equality crusader Rodney Croome, anti-racism supporter Adam Goodes and journalist and freedom of speech advocate Peter Greste.
Australian Human Rights Commission president Professor Gillian Triggs described the five Australians shortlisted for this year’s medal as “exceptional and inspiring individuals”.
“These five outstanding Australians have come from different walks of life but they share a commitment to freedom, justice and equality,” Professor Triggs said.
Professor Triggs said that Professor Dudgeon, who is from the Bardi people of the Kimberley region in Western Australia, has made a significant contribution to promoting and enhancing the mental health and human rights of Indigenous Australians.
“Professor Dudgeon is the project leader of the National Empowerment Project, an Indigenous suicide prevention project working with 11 Aboriginal communities across the country,” she said.
“She has conducted exemplary research aimed at improving outcomes for Indigenous Australians and is one of the first Mental Health Commissioners in Australia.
“The Human Rights Commissioner especially commends Professor Dudgeon for her work on suicide prevention in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities around Australia.”
The Human Rights Commission will present the annual Human Rights Awards on 10 December at a lunch at the Westin Hotel in Sydney where Professor Triggs will deliver a keynote speech on the future of Human Rights in Australia.
“We honour not only these five shortlisted Australians, but all of the people and organisations nominated for this year’s human rights awards,” Professor Triggs said.
“The record number of nominations we received for these awards highlights the wide-ranging support for human rights that exists at all levels of the community.”
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716