Veteran Labor Senator Pat Dodson to Retire in January

Senator Dodson said his recent cancer treatment meant his health had left him physically unable to fulfil his parliamentary duties.
Veteran Labor Senator Pat Dodson to Retire in January
Senator Pat Dodson speaks to the audience during a community forum to discuss The Voice to Parliament referendum held at the Brighton Town Hall in the federal electorate of Goldstein in Melbourne, Australia, on March 14, 2023. (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
AAP
By AAP
11/27/2023
Updated:
11/27/2023
0:00

Veteran Labor senator Pat Dodson is set to retire from federal parliament next year.

Senator Dodson, a respected Indigenous leader who represents Western Australia, said his recent cancer treatment meant his health had left him physically unable to fulfil his parliamentary duties.

“This morning, I informed the Labor Party parliamentary caucus of my intention to resign as senator for Western Australia, with effect from Jan. 26, 2024,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He thanked Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for appointing him as special envoy for reconciliation and to lead the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

A Yawuru man from Broome, Senator Dodson has dedicated his life to building mutual respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Prior to his endorsement by Labor as a WA senator in March 2016, he was a member of the Australian National University Council, Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame, and co-chair of the National Referendum Council.

He was a commissioner in the landmark royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Mr. Albanese described him as a “wonderful Australian and an excellent human being.”

“From the moment he entered parliament, he has made this place a better one,” the prime minister said.

“As a boy, he hid in the long grass while the police and welfare officers took his mates.

“Yet despite what must have been such a traumatic experience as a child, he grew into the Father of Reconciliation—a figure of grace, dignity, and inspiration.”