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Labor's Pat Dodson, known as the 'father of reconciliation', to retire from Senate


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Labor's Pat Dodson, known as the 'father of reconciliation', to retire from Senate on Australia Day

Labor senator Pat Dodson, known as the "father of reconciliation" after decades of advocacy for Indigenous people, will retire from federal politics on January 26. 

Key points:

  • Pat Dodson is one of Australia's most recognisable Indigenous leaders
  • Known as the "father of reconciliation", he's been a lifelong champion for Indigenous rights
  • The Yawuru man entered the Senate in 2016 as a Labor representative from WA
  • The decision to quit on Australia Day comes after an extended period of medical leave from the Senate. 

Senator Dodson said his recent treatment for cancer had left him unable to continue to serve.

"My health, although slowly improving, has left me physically unable to fulfil satisfactorily my duties as a senator," he said.

"It has been an honour to serve as senator for Western Australia."

At a press conference in parliament house, the 75-year-old added that in the wake of the Voice to Parliament's referendum defeat, his departure was marked by sorrow.

"I do leave this place with some sense of sorrow, in that as a nation we were not able to respond positively to the referendum. I think that would have helped our country," he said.


A very popular political figure to retire (shadow assistant minister for reconciliation and constitutional recognition)  Also, he was first indigenous Catholic Priest in Australia. 


Who is Pat Dodson.

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Well, let's face facts.  Most people leave politics disappointed.  Generally you leave because you lost an election.  Choosing to retire is something of a win.  A pity about the cancer, poor guy.  As to the referendum, well, the Yes campaign was poorly run.  It certainly wasn't Pat's fault.

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Certainly not, couldn't put anything on him about the referendum. He was dealing with cancer treatment at the time by the sound of it. 

I've noticed he is one of those rare politicians people actually seem to like. Not too many have anything bad to say.

Yes it's a shame cancer is forcing him to retire early. I hope he had many years to enjoy it and gets past the cancer altogether. 

Cancer sucks. Took a good friend of mine earlier this year. 

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