Australian Government coat of arms

Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Co-chair of the Referendum Council

15 March 2016

Prime Minister

Leader of the Opposition

Ms Pat Anderson AO has been appointed as the new co-chair of the Referendum Council, following the resignation of Professor Patrick Dodson.

The Referendum Council was tasked in December 2015 with providing advice on progress and next steps towards a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution. Ms Anderson has been a member of the Referendum Council since it was formed.

The work of the Council builds upon the extensive work of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians and the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Ms Pat Anderson AO is an Alyawarre woman and the Chairperson of the Lowitja Institute.  Previously Ms Anderson was Chief Executive Officer of the Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and Executive Officer and Chair of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory. Ms Anderson also co-authored the Little Children Are Sacred Report.

In June 2014, Ms Anderson was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the Indigenous community as a social justice advocate, particularly through promoting improved health, educational and protection outcomes for children. Ms Anderson was awarded the Public Health Association of Australia’s Sidney Sax Public Health Medal in recognition of her achievements, and she was awarded the Human Rights Community Individual Award (Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Award).

Ms Anderson joins Mr Mark Leibler AC as co-chair of the Council.