We need to find common ground: Dodson

Patrick Dodson

Aboriginal Senator and former Daramalan College teacher, Patrick Dodson, spoke at the St Thomas More Forum in Campbell, ACT, earlier this year.

‘CHANGING the national agenda for First Nations and the role people of faith can play’, was the topic when Aboriginal Senator and former Daramalan College teacher, Patrick Dodson, spoke at the St Thomas More Forum in Campbell, ACT, earlier this year.

Senator Dodson, was introduced by Zarah Mason, Daramalan Mission captain and vice-captain.

He reflected on his links to College where he taught in the 1970’s and said we need to search for the principles that can unite people of faith.

“We need to remind ourselves that we hold more in common as human beings than what divides us,” he said.

“To try and find the com­mon ground amongst us. As human beings there is that commonality.”

Forum President Bill Mason said the Forum is very appreciative of the contribution Senator Dodson made to their May gathering.

“He was a passionate advocate for the case that Australians of faith should support recognition in the constitution of Indigenous Australians,” Mr Mason said.

“A distinctive feature of the Senator’s presentation was the lengths he went to draw on the life of St Thomas More, the Patron of Statesmen, in his address.

“Of the nearly 100 people in attendance, it is my assessment that Senator Dodson won many supporters for his position on the night.”

Who is Senator Dodson?

A former priest with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (ordained in 1975), Senator Dodson is the Shadow Assistant Minister Indigenous Affairs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Senator for Western Australia.

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He was both appointed by the Parliament of Western Australia and elected to the Senate in 2016.

He has held many significant positions including as a Royal Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, 1989, and Chair of the Council for Aborigi­nal Reconciliation, 1991 to 1997.

Based in Broome, he is a for­mer director of the Central Land Council and the Kimberly Land Council and former member of the Council of the Australian National University.

Most recently, he was the Co-Chair of the Expert Panel for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians which reported in 2012.

He is now the Co-Chair of Joint Select Committee on Con­stitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. He is now the Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Aborigi­nal and Torres Strait Islanders.

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