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Australia Maligned NT treaty commissioner resigns

10:01  11 june  2021
10:01  11 june  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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The Northern Territory's underfire indigenous treaty commissioner Mick Dodson has formally resigned amid abuse allegations.

Mick Dodson wearing a hat: The NT's indigenous treaty commissioner Mick Dodson has resigned amid abuse allegations. © Andrew Taylor/AAP PHOTOS The NT's indigenous treaty commissioner Mick Dodson has resigned amid abuse allegations.

Professor Dodson has been under pressure to step down since he was accused of verbally abusing and threatening an Aboriginal woman at an interstate football game in Darwin in January.

The 71-year-old is also alleged to have called a second woman offensive names during an angry exchange at a casino five months before he was appointed to the role.

On Friday, that pressure came to bear and the former Australian of the Year agreed to step down.

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"The NT treaty commissioner Mick Dodson has tendered his resignation from the role," a government spokesman said on Friday.

"The resignation will be effective from the close of business today."

Prof Dodson did not admit the allegations, and through his lawyer previously said he doesn't remember the first incident but agreed the alleged conduct was disgraceful.

Yawuru man Prof Dodson was named the Australian of the Year in 2009 for his work advocating for the rights of indigenous Australians.

As a barrister specialising in native title and human rights, he assisted the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in the 1980s.

In 1993, he was appointed as Australia's first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, a post he held until 1998.

He was appointed NT's Treaty Commissioner in February 2019 and is also a former chief executive of the Northern Land Council.

Prof Dodson's role as NT treaty commissioner was to consult with Aboriginal people and develop a framework for future treaty negotiations.

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