Skip to content
Professor Pat Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of the Kimberley in Western Australia. She is a Professor at the School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia. She is a psychologist and is well known for her significant involvement in psychology and Indigenous issues, and for her leadership in Indigenous higher education. Pat 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. This project is to develop Aboriginal understandings for improved social and emotional wellbeing in the Aboriginal communities of Broome and Perth. Concepts of cultural continuity and social and emotional wellbeing will be compared and validated by the Aboriginal communities of Perth and Broome through a series of focus groups and community meetings. She is also a Chief Investigator (CI) on the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence Grant Aboriginal health and wellbeing: from marginalised to empowered: transformative methods for Aboriginal health and wellbeing at the Telethon Institute of Child Health Research, Perth Western Australia.
Pat is a CI and Research Node Leader (health) on the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN) - a multidisciplinary hub and spokes model network of Indigenous researchers at various stages of their career from over 20 collaborating universities, including Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). The aim of the network is to establish a coterie of skilled, qualified Indigenous researchers, creating pathways from undergraduate to postgraduate studies to establish a regenerative pipeline of new researchers, across institutions and fields of critical research importance.
Her other projects include:
Editor and author:
Revision of Working together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principals and practice. The widespread and ongoing dissemination of the book has been and continues to be a key strategy to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific initiatives of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) mental health reform over five years. Since it was published in July 2010, over 45,000 hard copies of the book have been distributed to a broad range of target audiences. The book is currently being revised. Its editors also include Helen Milroy and Roz Walker.
Community consultation and developing an innovative, culturally responsive leadership, empowerment and healing program for Aboriginal people living in the Kimberley region Western Australia. This project is now in development and delivery stages funded by the state government through the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council. This has led to the National empowerment project, University of Western Australia, (UWA) that intends to roll out the project nationally. Eight sites will undertake a consultation and develop local empowerment, healing and leadership programs. Pat is currently the project leader of this national project.
Pat's committee involvement includes Commissioner, National Mental Health Commission; Chair, Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Advisory Group to Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA); National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Advisory Group; the National Indigenous Health Equality Council; the Research Advisory Committee for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation; Co Chair, Australian Psychological Society, Reconciliation Action Plan; and the Steering Committee and Founding Member of the Australian Indigenous Psychologist Association (AIPA).