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Frank Brennan


Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest, professor of law at the Australian Catholic University, and adjunct professor at the College of Law and the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University.

Brennan has been actively committed to Indigenous reconciliation, justice and recognition for over 30 years. He began as a volunteer in 
the first Aboriginal legal service in Australia, was an Ambassador for Reconciliation and was described as ‘the meddling priest’ by Keating in 1998 during his involvement in Wik. His books on Indigenous issues include The Wik Debate, One Land One Nation, Sharing the Country, Land Rights Queensland Style and No Small Change: The Road to Recognition for Indigenous AustraliaHe watched the passage of the first Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NT) in the senate in Canberra in 1976 and his father Sir Gerard Brennan was a High Court Judge on the Mabo case.

Brennan’s most recent books are Tampering with Asylum (2003), which compares Australia’s asylum policies with those of other first-world countries, and Acting on Conscience (2007), which looks at the place of religion in Australian politics and law. In 2009, he chaired the National Human Rights Consultation. Frank Brennan has been classified as a Living National Treasure and 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.

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.