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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Mick Dodson

2010
Ricky Maynard

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

Michael (Mick) Dodson AM (b. 1950) is a Yawuru man from 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 Generations. Dodson is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University and was Director of the ANU National Centre for Indigenous Studies from its establishment in 2005 until 2018. '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 an Indigenous Tasmanian photographer who was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to create this portrait of Dodson in 2010. 'I wanted the portrait to express a quiet strength and dignity. One thing that comes through in all of my work is the indomitable spirit of Aboriginal people. I do not strive for it, but it always presents itself in some way … Here you have two strong Aboriginal men involved in the picture-making act and as well as having culture as a bond we are both humanitarians.'

Commissioned with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2010
© Ricky Maynard

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Ricky Maynard (age 57 in 2010)

Mick Dodson (age 60 in 2010)

Supported by

L Gordon Darling AC CMG (38 portraits supported)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Chet Baker, singer, New York City, January 16, 1986 by Richard Avedon
Chet Baker, singer, New York City, January 16, 1986 by Richard Avedon
Chet Baker, singer, New York City, January 16, 1986 by Richard Avedon
Chet Baker, singer, New York City, January 16, 1986 by Richard Avedon

The existential lens

Magazine article by Stephen Zagala, 2013

Stephen Zagala discusses Richard Avedon’s work from an Australian perspective.

Mick Dodson
Mick Dodson
Mick Dodson
Mick Dodson

Indomitable spirit

Magazine article by Ricky Maynard, 2010

Photographer Ricky Maynard talks us through the creation of the portrait commission of Mick Dodson.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency