Focus on Spirituality and Challenge of Reconciliation

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 19-3-2010

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome Campus

Publication Place



Spirituality and Challenge of Reconciliation was the focus of a visit in March by students, Shellene Gunn, Andrieka Knight and Marcia Friend from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Broome Campus to local Aboriginal advocacy organisation, the Lingiari Foundation.

As part of their studies on the University’s unique Core Curriculum, the students met with Professor Pat Dodson, a prominent Indigenous activist and founder of the foundation. Professor Dodson is a former Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and former Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He also currently works as a Professor within the Nulungu Centre for Indigenous Studies at the University’s Broome Campus and in the School of Arts and Sciences.

All students on the Broome Campus, often referred to as a Campus of Reconciliation, are required to study the Core Curriculum units - An Introduction to Theology, Aboriginal People and The Spirituality and Challenge of Reconciliation which are coordinated by Dr Carmel Posa sgs.

Dr Posa said that the visit provided the students with a wonderful opportunity to converse with one of Australia’s recognised Indigenous leaders and tireless advocate for Reconciliation in this country.

Professor Dodson also spoke on the history of Reconciliation in Australia, pointing out key moments such as the first Aboriginal Conference in 1938, the Referendum of 1967, Vincent Lingiari’s fight for Aboriginal rights at Wave Hill, and the Mabo decision of 1992,” she explained.

“He also shared his recent experience of the Reconciliation process in South Africa which he said still needed a lot of work.”

Third year education student, Andrieka Knight said that Professor Dodson raised the parallels between the pre-apartheid injustices in South Africa and the segregation policy in Australia’s history.

“Professor Dodson talked about South Africa and that to me was really moving because I haven’t heard someone be that passionate about the history of South Africa for a really long time.

“He also shared with us his thoughts on the future direction of Reconciliation and highlighted the need to develop strategies to establish political, economic, cultural and identity reliability in policy development.”

Marcia Friend, a second year Arts student said that visiting the Foundation and hearing Professor Dodson speak, provided a great insight into Aboriginal issues in contemporary society and brought alive his perspective on Reconciliation and the way forward”

Media contact: Dr Carmel Posa sgs - 08 9192 0638.