PATON, Doris

2022 Distinguished AlumnaDoris Paton


Bachelor of Arts (Social Science)

Graduation year


Dr Doris Paton is an accomplished academic and respected Aboriginal Elder with a passion for the advancement of First Nations People through education, and the reclamation and revival of Aboriginal languages across Australia.

Doris graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Social Science) from Monash University, Gippsland campus in 1993, and went on to complete a Graduate Diploma Education (Secondary); Master of Education Studies (Aboriginal Education); Master of Education (Aboriginal Education); and a PhD Philosophy (Education).

Speaking Gunai and Monaro Ngarigo languages, Doris has been teaching language for over 20 years. Her skill and expertise have been acknowledged through roles as Director Vice-Chairperson of the Victorian Aboriginal Languages Corporation (VACL) and as Chairperson of the Victorian Indigenous Languages Implementation Reference Group, Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority, where she developed the framework to accredit “Indigenous Languages of Victoria: Revival and Reclamation”, a VCE accredited subject contributing toward the preservation of Indigenous languages across Australia.

Doris’s cross-cultural awareness programs have enhanced communication in the community and with groups including Parks Victoria; the Department of Sustainability and Environment; Latrobe Community Health Service; Berry St; Latrobe Hospital; Bairnsdale Hospital; East Gippsland Shire; and Lifeline.

A Federation University Council Member since 2020, Doris is also long-serving Director of the Nindi Ngujarn Ngarigo Monero Aboriginal Corporation; and has served on boards for Parks Victoria, the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council, and the East Gippsland School for Aboriginal Health Professionals, amongst others. Her work has been presented at conferences including the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education, and recognised with several awards including the GippsTAFE Staff Excellence Awards in the Community Development, and Personal Achievement categories, The Wurreker Award for Community Based Employee, and the Parks Victoria Regional Achiever Award.