The First Step Feb. 2011 - Page 14

Mick Dodson Dodson was the first indigenous man to graduate with a law degree in 1974 from Monash University and was awarded Australian of the year in 2009. A noteworthy leader, both he and his brother Patrick are a part of the Yawuru peoples in the Broome area. He was the first Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity. He served as Commissioner from April 1993 to January 1998. He is a prominent advocate of land rights and other issues affecting Indigenous people and extensively involved with the United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues. Tania Major Originally from Cairns, Queensland, Tania became the youngest person elected to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in 2004 at the age of 25. She came an advocate for domestic violence in Aboriginal communities and has spoken publically to the government about various issues. In 2007, she was named Queensland Young Australian of the Year and Young Australian of the Year. She currently liaises with Generation One, a movement working towards ending the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. I have been very fortunate, and had many wonderful opportunities. The tragedy is though, that so many other young indigenous people have never had and probably never will have similar opportunities unless things change pretty quickly in our country.