Author: Frank Brennan

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Through the rough and tumble of politics, Fraser helped the country find true north on issues relating to race and human rights. His friendship with Gough Whitlam has been one of the great signs in Australian public life that human decency and shared commitment to noble ideals can transcend even the most entrenched political animosities cultivated across the despatch box. May he rest in peace.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good race relations is not just an American thing, it's democracy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the voting right marches across the bridge in Selma, Alabama. The movie Selma is a great though imperfect study in race relations, which is still a hot issue in the US following the spate of police killings of young African American men. Good race relations still has a long way to go, as it does in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High Court fails high seas detainees

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 February 2015
    20 Comments

    The Abbott Government had a thumping big win in the High Court on Tuesday. All seven High Court judges have made it clear that there is next to nothing that can be done in the courts to question the government's approach. It is lawful, acceptable to government, and hardly a matter of concern to the Australian community, that 157 asylum seekers, including children, can be kept in windowless detention on an Australian vessel for a month on the high seas in the Indian Ocean.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Another year bites the parliamentary dirt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 December 2014
    27 Comments

    What a dreadful year it has been for parliamentary democracy. Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has taken pride in the number of members she has ejected. Senator David Leyonhjelm has introduced his same sex marriage bill in an orderly fashion, but the decision will rest with the Abbott Government, which won't want to to hand the bouquet for breaking the logjam to Leyonhjelm. To get arrangements for the bearing and nurturing of children right, we need our parliament to be a more considered and dignified place than a battlefield.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The honourable and quirky Wayne Goss

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 November 2014
    10 Comments

    Wayne was a no nonsense fellow with a real commitment to justice for Aboriginal Australians during the difficult Bjelke-Petersen days in Queensland. He put himself on the line, and would always come back to the office with a smile and a joke about the latest put down he suffered at the hands of the unforgiving magistrate not much given to pleas invoking past dispossession. He was irrepressible. He knew there had to be a better way.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Do we have a right to assisted suicide?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 November 2014
    38 Comments

    Physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are back, in the courts of Canada and the UK, and in the parliaments of the UK and Australia. The Australian Senate is considering the Greens' formulation of a broad and fuzzy law that goes further than UK proposals in that it would allow Dr Philip Nitschke to administer a fatal injection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Church legally liable for pre-1996 child sexual abuse

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 October 2014
    47 Comments

    Reviewing Cardinal Pell's evidence to the Royal Commission in August, I have concluded that Catholics need to accept moral responsibility and legal liability for all child sexual abuse committed by clergy prior to 1996, regardless of what might be the moral or legal position after 1996 when improved measures for supervision and dismissal of errant clergy were put in place. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Memories of Gough

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 October 2014
    44 Comments

    What he did for me, he did for countless other Australians who dreamt of a better world and a nobler Australia. Even his political opponents are forever in his debt for having elevated the national vision and for having given us a more complete and generous image of ourselves. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Finding a just oil and gas settlement between Australia and Timor-Leste

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 September 2014
    1 Comment

    There is nothing to be gained for Australia and Timor as neighbours airing dirty laundry in exalted international fora.  It is time for both countries to agree to put the unresolved boundary issue to bed, seeking an agreement or determination by conciliation of the differences between them concerning the Timor Sea.  The situation is similar to neighbours agreeing not to settle the boundary of their back fence.  That is all very fine unless and until there is a problem. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The challenge of a five-year Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 September 2014
    17 Comments

    All church members, and not just the victims who continue to suffer, need light, transparency and accountability if the opaque injustices of the past are to be rectified. Justice Peter McClellan and his fellow commissioners have to do more to bring the states and territories to the table and to get real buy-in by all governments. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mexican border reflections on Australian asylum seeker policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 August 2014
    30 Comments

    We Australians confront none of the complexities of sharing a land border with a poor neighbour. Most Americans, I find, consider our policy morally repulsive and just stupid. They cannot believe that we routinely lock up children, that we recently held 157 people on a ship in the Indian Ocean for almost a month, and that we are now going to send up to 1000 asylum seekers to Cambodia.

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