Title

Well Known Reconciliation Advocate Joins Notre Dame Broome Campus

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 11-28-2006

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome

Publication Place

Broome

Abstract

Patrick Dodson, one of the nation’s well-known leaders in the advancement of reconciliation, and the founder of local Aboriginal advocacy organisation, the Lingiari Foundation will be a permanent guest speaker at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Broome Campus.

Mr Dodson was invited by Theology co-ordinator, Sr Carmel Posa sgs. to initially speak to a class of students enrolled in the unit: Spirituality and Challenge of Reconciliation. All students are required to complete this unit as part of their studies on the Broome Campus.

Mr Dodson’s inspirational lecture was entitled: The Future of Reconciliation, Possibilities and Probabilities. He began by pointing out that, “the possibilities for reconciliation are infinite, but the probabilities are finite.”

The discussion covered an extensive array of topics, ranging from an overview of the political history of the reconciliation, the social implications of these processes to Australian identity and issues of leadership within the process.

Mr Dodson also emphasised the importance of the spiritual dimension of reconciliation talking at length on the deeper meaning of our humanity, “the one aspect of our being that we all have in common,” he said.

He challenged the class to consider some deeply theological questions including ‘How can we get more humanity out of life?’; ‘How can we enhance all of humanity?’; ‘How does humanity fully alive, give glory to others and to God? and ‘‘How do we transcend our prejudices so as to enhance reconciliation?’.

Mr Dodson particularly emphasised the images that the Christian message can contribute to a discussion on reconciliation. He suggested that, “it is easy to be sucked into the ethos of the times, and forget the deeper aspects of life.”

He said Christianity provided images of hope, harmony, balance, reconciliation and love, images beyond our limited finiteness, stressing that this process is not simply about individual responsibility.

“It is about our society. How can our society become more fully alive and human?” he said.

Sr Carmel said, “It is significant that Patrick has agreed to be involved in the teaching of this unit. He brings with him a wealth of experience, years of struggle and an obvious credibility to the presentation of the material of the course. He is also an extremely engaging and challenging speaker and this was evident in the students’ enthusiastic response.”