keywords: Mabo

  • RELIGION

    Religious thought in sacred secular Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 March 2016
    6 Comments

    I offer no public judgment of Pell, and unlike many other commentators I'll await the findings of the royal commission. I have however been outspoken about his right to a fair hearing and natural justice, not because I am a priest but because I am a human rights lawyer who cares about the universal application of the rule of law. It is when a representative of institutional religion like Pell taps into the generic religious sensibility or moral consciousness that the real work of Australian religious thought is done.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Contours and prospects for Indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 October 2015
    2 Comments

    I acknowledge those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who insist that they have never ceded their sovereignty to the rest of us. I join with those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who hope for better days when they are recognised in the Australian Constitution. As an advocate for modest constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, I respect those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who question the utility of such recognition. But I do take heart from President Obama's line in his Charleston eulogy for the late Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney: 'Justice grows out of recognition'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Constitutional change that will improve indigenous quality of life

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 July 2015
    6 Comments

    Those Aborigines who are most at home in modern Australia tend to be those with a secure foothold in both the Dreaming and the Market. Those who are most alienated and despairing are those with a foothold in neither. Constitutional change alone won't make things better. But a good Constitution is a better complement to other measures – such as a statutory charter – than a bad one.

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  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 01 July 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • Ambassador of conscience

    • Sean McManus
    • 25 June 2015
    4 Comments

    As much as any other religious figure in Australia, Frank Brennan has maintained a religious perspective while engaging in issues of ethics and justice in contemporary Australia. His book Amplifying that Still Small Voice emphasises the importance of the 'religious sense that the human person is created in the image and likeness of God', while speaking in the language and terms that are understandable to the public square.

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  • Demanding justice for the small, still voices

    • Shannon and Kateena
    • 12 June 2015
    1 Comment

    'In chapter 12 "Respecting Autonomy and Protecting the Vulnerability of the Dying", Frank quoted my grandmother ... "Well there is not much to say about euthanasia is there? Just don't kill people and look after them while they are dying. What more can you say?" Well Grandma, I am not certain that I share your view. Just as Pope Francis did not know all the answers at age 36 years, neither do I.' Frank Brennan's nieces Shannon and Kateena help launch his new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

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  • A crucial time for a discerning voice

    • Michael Elligate
    • 10 June 2015

    'The Institutional Church has so often taken smug refuge in pushing the need for an informed conscience. However this does not certainly mean personal freedom must bow to the stand of the establishment. The rights of partners to be honest in their own sexual matters is given due place in this new book.' Fr Michael Elligate launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at Newman College, Melbourne, 5 June 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 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

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 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

    Too much order with too little law 30 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 July 2014
    1 Comment

    'Undoubtedly there are many challenges confronting our elected leaders in dealing with violent crime and with pathological sex offenders. But long-term sustainable solutions must be based on respect for judicial independence and for the role of the legal profession.' Frank Brennan addresses the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties at The Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth St, Brisbane 8 July 2014.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Wily Harradine delivered for Indigenous Australians

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 April 2014
    18 Comments

    The great Tasmanian Catholic warrior Brian Harradine did wonderful work in the Senate, the chamber Paul Keating described as 'unrepresentative swill'. He successfully negotiated significant improvements to the lamentable Howard Aboriginal land rights package. Seven years after the Wik debate, Democrats deputy leader Andrew Bartlett said: 'The agreement he reached on the Wik legislation was one of the few cases I would point to where John Howard was bested in negotiations'.

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  • MEDIA

    Racial hatred laws 20 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 April 2014
    5 Comments

    In 1994, a year before the Parliament enacted the present section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, I wrote in Eureka Street: 'At this time, in this part of the world, thought-police armed with criminal sanctions are not the answer' to racial discrimination. Senator Brandis has now circulated a proposal to amend the existing provisions. What he has produced is the racial hatred law you have when you don't want a racial hatred law.

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