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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 (b. 1953), an Indigenous Tasmanian photographer, is best known for his photographic essays The Moonbird People (1985– 1988) and Portrait of a Distant Land (2005), assertions of Indigenous culture made while he was living and working on Flinders Island in Bass Strait. His work from the 1990s includes the series No more than what you see, documenting the Aboriginal experience of imprisonment. In 2000 he travelled to Aurukun, Cape York to document the Wik elders in a series titled Returning to Places that Name Us.

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