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Mick Dodson
, 2010

by Ricky Maynard

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.5 cm x 50.5 cm)

Michael (Mick) Dodson AM (b. 1950) is a member of the Yawuru people of the southern Kimberley in Western Australia. Orphaned at ten, he was educated by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Monivae College in Hamilton, Victoria. He studied law at Monash University and in 1981 became Victoria’s first Aboriginal barrister. In 1988 he gained national attention as counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. As Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner from 1993 to 1998 he co-authored the Bringing Them Home report that illuminated the history of the Indigenous people who became known as the stolen generation. Australian of the Year in 2009, Dodson has two honorary doctorates and is currently Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies and Professor of Law at the Australian National University. ‘Upholding human rights is about looking out for each other’, Dodson has stated, ‘sometimes we don’t speak up when we should.’

Ricky Maynard is a man of the Ben Lomond and Cape Portland peoples of northern Tasmania. Many of his photographs are assertions of culture, declaring the ongoing importance of traditions such as mutton birding to Indigenous people of the region, whose ancestors had been herded onto Flinders Island to die out in the 1830s. Other works consider issues such as the Aboriginal experience of imprisonment, and Aboriginal deaths in custody. Of these pictures, he said 'I urge you the viewer of my work not just to look, rather, to see into the pictures and see this world as I show you now.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Commissioned with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2010
Accession number: 2010.18