ACU (Australian Catholic University)

ACU Alum

Issue 1, Spring 2011


Frank Brennan Father Frank Brennan SJ

Father Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest and Professor of Law at Australian Catholic University's Public Policy Institute.

A passionate campaigner for social justice, Father Brennan spent many years working with Indigenous communities around Australia. In 1995, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to Indigenous Australians and was named a Living National Treasure in 1998 for his work on the Wik native title debate.

Father Brennan has worked with refugees in East Timor and chaired the Government's National Human Rights Consultation Committee.

"The best piece of advice I ever got was…you'll get every opportunity in life, but not necessarily much encouragement, so don't let your critics get you down.

"My favourite childhood memory is…boating back down the Noosa River at sunset after a family fishing trip."

"My path in life was set when… I decided, after studying politics and law, to join the Jesuits who insist on a strong relationship between faith and justice."

"I wish I had never…thought that the Howard Government's Pacific solution for asylum seekers was as bad as it could get."

"As I get older I …delight even more in the opportunities and optimism of young people."

"The talent I wish I had is…being able to play a musical instrument well, or even badly for that matter."

"The best decision I ever made was…making myself available to serve the Queensland bishops as an adviser on Aboriginal affairs when the political going was tough in the early 1980s."

"The biggest challenge I've ever faced was…getting over kidney failure on the Kokoda Trail."

"My proudest moment in life was…being ordained a priest in St Stephen's Cathedral Brisbane in 1985 with ecumenical church leaders, Aborigines from all over Australia, and family and loved ones filling the cathedral."

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