Founding Director of UNSW's Indigenous Policy, Dialogue and Research Unit, Professor Patrick Dodson, has been selected to co-chair the Federal Government's Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.

The panel will lead a public consultation and engagement program throughout this year to build consensus on the recognition of Indigenous people in the Constitution.

The Federal Government is committed to holding a national referendum on the issue during the term of the current government or at the next Federal election.

Professor Dodson, former Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, will chair the panel with former Reconciliation Australia co-chair, Mark Leibler.

Director of the Indigenous Law Centre, Associate Professor Megan Davis, has also been selected to the panel.

A/Professor Davis is the first Australian Indigenous woman to be selected as an independent expert on the United Nations' Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The Panel will report its findings to the government by December 2011.

Media contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 |04294 16070