Pat Dudgeon is Bardi woman from the Kimberley in Western Australia. She was Australia’s first Aboriginal psychologist and has had an outstanding career in Aboriginal mental health and wellbeing, developing innovative methodologies to include deep Indigenous knowledge in health and medical sciences research and services. She has showede how the specific historical, socio-economic, political, cultural and racist factors interact and contribute to mental health problems in Aboriginal populations. Her main focus has been on the prevention of suicide – aiming to reduce its causes, prevalence and impact in First Nations people of all ages and in all jurisdictions across urban, regional and remote Australia.
Professor Dudgeon’s vision, innovation, leadership, and stamina have seen her found the discipline of Indigenous Psychology in Australia, develop a framework of social and emotional wellbeing, pioneer research methodologies that empower community self-determination and engagement, and establish international networks committed to de-colonising health and psychology. This has transformed policy and practice in health and medical sciences for Indigenous peoples in Australia and worldwide.