Mental Health at forefront of Deadlys

Pat DudgeonIn a night of recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders on the national stage, Professor Pat Dudgeon was honoured with the Deadly Award for Health at the 19th Deadlys® on Tuesday night, at the Sydney Opera House.

Professor Pat Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of the Kimberley in Western Australia. She is the first Aboriginal psychologist to graduate in Australia and is known for her passionate work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and suicide prevention, as well as trauma, loss and grief.

She was among finalists in the Health category from across Australia including:
Craig Rigney and Kornar Winmil Yunti, Country Health SA Local Health Network (CHSALHN), Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palynantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation and Wide Bay Medicare Local – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Team.

Professor Dudgeon was the Head of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University for 19 years, leading the field in providing culturally appropriate education, and is currently a research fellow at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia.

She is involved in many organisations and initiatives and was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Indigenous Psychologist’s Association, and is a National Mental Health Commissioner.

Her most recent work has been through the National Empowerment Program, a universal strategy to promote social and emotional wellbeing and reduce community distress and suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Professor Dudgeon has never lost sight of the need for mental health initiatives and solutions that are driven from the ground up, and to empower her people to create a better future.

Vibe Australia produces the Deadlys Awards, which are supported by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Vibe also produces Vibe 3on3®, InVibe, Deadly Vibe®, Deadly Sounds and Deadly TV. The Deadlys® 2013 will air on SBS ONE on Sunday 15 September at 9.30pm and repeated on NITV on Wednesday 18 September at 9.30pm. You can keep up to date with all the Deadlys® news at and through Twitter @Deadly_Vibe #deadlys. You can also head to and subscribe to Deadly Vibe Wire at

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