Father Frank Brennan

Fr Frank Brennan

SJ, AO, BA LLB(Hons) Qld, BD(Hons) MCD, LLM Melb., DUniv QUT, Hon. LLD UNSW

Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest, an adjunct fellow in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the ANU, professor of law in the Institute of Legal Studies at the Australian Catholic University, and professor of human rights and social justice at the University of Notre Dame Australia. He was the founding director of Uniya, the Australian Jesuit Social Justice Centre. In 2005, he returned to Australia from a fellowship at Boston College.

His books on Aboriginal issues include The Wik Debate, One Land One Nation, Sharing the Country and Land Rights Queensland Style. His books on civil liberties are Too Much Order with Too Little Law and Legislating Liberty. His book Tampering with Asylum compares Australia’s asylum policies with other first world countries. He wrote the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council’s paper The Timor Sea’s Oil and Gas: What’s Fair?. In 2006, he will publish his latest book Acting On Conscience: When Church And State Collide looking at the place of religion in Australian politics and law.

He is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to Aboriginal Australians, particularly as an advocate in the areas of law, social justice and reconciliation. He and Pat Dodson shared the inaugural ACFOA Human Rights Award from the Australian Council for Overseas Aid.

While Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in East Timor, he was adviser to the East Timorese Church Working Group on the Constitution. He was awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for his work in East Timor and the Australian Centenary Medal for his service with refugees and human rights work in the Asia Pacific Region. During the 1998 Wik debate, Paul Keating christened him the meddling priest. The National Trust has classified him as a Living National Treasure.