Mr Gooda is a proud descendant of the Gangulu people of Central Queensland and has been involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs throughout Australia for more than 35 years.
Mr Gooda has recently retired from his position as Commissioner for the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory and is the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner for the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2010 to August 2016. As Social Justice Commissioner, he advocated for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia and to promote respect and understanding of these rights among the broader Australian community.
Mr Gooda actively promotes the concept of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples being intimately involved in decisions that affect them. He has focused on the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Immediately prior to taking up the position of Social Justice Commissioner, Mr Gooda was the Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health. For five years as CEO, Mr Gooda drove a research agenda which placed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ‘front and centre’ in the research agenda, working alongside world leading researchers.