ACU staff meet “the Meddling Priest”

Published: Monday 14th March 2016

Caption: Fr Frank Brennan, centre, with Tony Hoban (Campus Ministry Team Leader), left, and Patrick Whiteley (Internal Communications Officer) at the North Sydney event.

More than 80 ACU staff attended lunchtime sessions at the two Sydney Campuses last week where Fr Frank Brennan was the guest. This was the first of the ACU Interview Series events, created by Campus Ministry for Staff and supported by the Office of Professor. Marea Nicholson, Associate Vice-Chancellor (NSW/ACT).

Fr Brennan, a Jesuit Priest and professor of law at Australian Catholic University, was once labelled “the Meddling Priest” by former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, when involved in the Wik debate in the late 1990s. When launching Fr Brennan’s book Acting on Conscience, on the place of religion in Australian politics and law, another Former Minister, Kevin Rudd, described Frank as “an ethical burr in the nation’s saddle.”

Fr Brennan covered a range of topics in an interview conducted with two ACU staff members who have previously worked as newspaper journalists, Tony Hoban (Campus Ministry) and Patrick Whiteley (Internal Communications), as well as taking questions from the floor. These ranged from the proposed Constitutional amendment in relation to Indigenous Australians, the topic of conscience, asylum seeker policies and the current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The ACU Interview Series events with Fr Brennan are planned in coming months on other ACU Campuses.