CATHOLIC peace and justice groups have welcomed the appointment of Aboriginal man Patrick Dodson’s as senator for the Australian Labor Party.
Mr Dodson (pictured) was endorsed by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to replace Senator Joe Bullock, who resigned over his opposition to same-sex marriage. Leaders from Brisbane archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and Edmund Rice Centre praised Mr Dodson, a former priest, and said he would fill the role admirably.
“Patrick Dodson’s appointment to replace Senator Bullock is very welcome,” CJPC executive director Peter Arndt said.
“He is regarded as the Father of Reconciliation and will bring a lot of wisdom and insight to the Parliament on what is needed to promote genuine healing and reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“He will be one of three Aboriginal senators in the current Parliament, I think, and the more Aboriginal voices we have in our Parliament, the more likely Government will hear the concerns Aboriginal people have about the way policy on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples affects them.
“He has also been playing a leading role in moving discussions about constitutional recognition in a constructive direction and, as a senator, he will be well placed to assist in moving our country towards a successful referendum.”
Edmund Rice Centre director Phil Glendenning said: “At a time when Australians are becoming increasingly cynical about politics and politicians, Pat will bring a new approach that focuses on bringing people together in the spirit of reconciliation and unity.”