A Catholic university in the Kimberley: Reflections on a Catholic identity

Matthew C. Ogilvie, The University of Notre Dame Australia

Copyright © 2018 The Lonergan Centre, Canisius College, Sydney (Australia) and Matthew C. Ogilvie, Ph.D.

Permission granted by The Lonergan Centre and Matthew C. Ogilive for use on ResearchOnline@ND.

Abstract

This book began as a series of professional development sessions held in 2014 for the faculty and staff at the Broome Campus of the University of Notre Dame Australia. Those sessions were given in response to concerns that included: questions about the identity of a Catholic University, the relationship between the Church and Aboriginal people, the place of social justice in a Catholic university, the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, the constitution of the University’s faculty and staff as well as issues of academic freedom. Those concerns made it clear that members of the University community and key stakeholders needed clarification about the mission and nature of a Catholic university, especially one that has a unique campus such as University of Notre Dame’s Broome campus and which has a mandated mission of outreach to Aboriginal people. Since then, and with the encouragement of colleagues both from the Broome campus and Notre Dame’s other campuses, I have refined those presentations and augmented them with other material in order to present this book, which is a series of essays that focus on the common theme of, “A Catholic University in the Kimberley.” Because each essay is mostly independent, some material may be repeated, though this repetition will occur in different contexts and with different emphases. The intention of this book is to provide a series of research papers that will serve as resources for faculty, students and other stakeholders. It is my intention to help key parties to articulate the intellectual tradition that grounds the University, the relationship between the Church and Aboriginal culture, the nature and constitution of the faculty and to outline the theological and social teaching issues that affect the mission of the University. While some of the material in the book may not be entirely new, it is presented in what I trust is a fresh and new perspective, from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and from theology, that can answer questions of the “why” and “how” of a Catholic University in the Kimberley.