The Bookends Project

The Province is seeking to deepen its engagement with First Nations peoples, refugee communities and people seeking asylum through the Bookends Project.

The Bookends Project is an initiative of the Australian Jesuit Province which expresses our commitment to justice for Australia’s First Nations peoples and for the country’s most recent arrivals, refugees and people seeking asylum.

In post-colonial Australia, displacement, dispossession and detention continue to block hospitality and justice where it is needed most.

The ‘bookends’ symbolise the intention of the project; to ‘bookend’ that which disconnects us from a fair and truthful relationship to these communities and their rights to unmediated dignity, justice, and reconciliation.


The Bookends Project involves three overlapping stages:

Step 1: Get to know

The objective of this stage is to create opportunities for personal engagement with First Nation peoples, asylum seekers and refugees.

Step 2: Come to understand

The objective of this stage is to engage minds as well as hearts by circulating information that helps to deepen understanding of the issues and policy challenges that are critically important to these communities.

Step 3: Get to work

The objective of this stage is to identify steps towards local action that advance the interests of First Nations peoples, asylum seekers and refugees.


These three stages are then aligned to three points of intersection for First Nations communities, refugees and people seeking asylum:

  • Hospitality (attentive listening)
  • Justice (inclusivity)
  • Makarrata (interconnectedness) (the coming together after a struggle)


The role of the Bookends Project Officers is to listen and be led by Province ministries and communities, as well as to listen, accompany and advocate in the spaces where diverse experiences of injustice interconnect.

People across the Province are invited to engage with the project and to offer suggestions on how this space might be used in meaningful ways.




For more information or to contact the project:

Fr Frank Brennan SJ:


For more about the Province’s work with asylum seekers and refugees, visit Jesuit Refugee Service Australia.