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Professor Pat Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of the Kimberley in Western Australia. She is a professor at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and is also a commissioner on the National Mental Health Commission.
Pat is a psychologist and is well known for her significant involvement in psychology and Indigenous issues, and for her leadership in Indigenous higher education. She is passionate about working in ways that empower and develop Indigenous people. In 2008, Pat was the first Aboriginal psychologist to be awarded the grade of Fellow in the Australian Psychological Society. She was the first convener of the Australian Psychological Society Interest Group: Aboriginal Issues, Aboriginal People and Psychology, and has been instrumental in convening many conferences and discussion groups at national levels to ensure Indigenous issues are part of the agenda in the discipline. She has many publications in this area and is considered one of the ‘founding’ people in psychology for Indigenous people.
Her current projects include an Australian Research Council (ARC) project Cultural Continuity and Change: Indigenous Solutions to Mental Health Issues. She is also a Chief Investigator (CI) on the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence Grant - Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing: From Marginalised to Empowered: Transformative Methods for Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing at the Telethon Kids Institute, Perth Western Australia and is the Project Leader of The National Empowerment Project. In response to Indigenous suicide and building upon the Kimberley Empowerment Healing and Leadership Project, funding for a national project was awarded to UWA. Eight sites (an additional three in the following year) undertook consultations and developed local empowerment, healing and leadership programs as suicide prevention.
Pat is a CI and Research Node Leader (Health) on the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN). She is the lead editor and author of the revision of Working Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principals and Practice. She is also the Project lead for an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Grant Curricular approaches to increasing cultural competence and Indigenous participation in psychology education and training - a collaborative project between: University of Western Australia; the Australian Psychological Society (APS); Charles Sturt University; Macquarie University; the University of New South Wales and the University of Notre Dame.
Her involvement in other committees includes: Commissioner - National Mental Health Commission; and Co-Chair with Dr Tom Calma - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group (ATSIMHSPAG).