Professor Pat Dudgeon
Professor Pat Dudgeon was born and raised in Darwin and her tribal affiliation is with the Bardi people.
She was the first Indigenous Australian to graduate with a psychology degree, and is currently the Director of the University of Western Australia’s Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP), funded under the Commonwealth Government’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program. She is also a Chief Investigator on an NHMRC Million Minds Mission Grant investigating Indigenous mental health.
Professor Dudgeon led the highly influential Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP). The 2016 ATSISPEP report Solutions That Work: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us, systematically documented for the first time the role of colonisation and trauma in Indigenous suicide, and the central role of Indigenous-led cultural responses in suicide prevention. This work remains the key text in Indigenous suicide prevention and policy.
Professor Dudgeon has published extensively in Indigenous mental health, social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention. She is a board member of Indigenous Australian Psychologists Association and Fellow in the Australian Psychological Society. She is a former Commissioner of the Australian National Mental Health Commission, completing her five-year term in July 2017, and is Deputy Chair of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association and a Board Member of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia.
Professor Dudgeon is actively involved with the Aboriginal community and has a strong commitment to social justice. She always works in ways that empower and develop Indigenous people.
Pat has spoken frequently with the ABC, Croakey and other outlets that report in a serious, empowering way on Indigenous issues.
- BAppSc. GDip (Psych). PhD. FAPS.
- Mental ill-health
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Regional and remote communities
- Lived experience
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Recent Media Commentary
The rate of suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is double that of non-Indigenous people in Australia, and it’s reached a crisis point – particularly amongst the young.
Strong messages on the importance of self-determination, decolonisation and Indigenous governance featured among Indigenous suicide prevention resources profiled by Professor Pat Dudgeon when guest tweeting.
Aboriginal groups across the remote Kimberley region say the Western Australian Government's response to record suicide rates will do very little to save lives and must change.