Notre Dame puts its faith in history

Lecturer Martin Drum. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d418665
Lecturer Martin Drum. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d418665

Even lecturers and professors at the University of Notre Dame find themselves drawn into the almost 200 years worth of history, which is a good thing for those hoping to learn more about how things used to be in this year’s Fremantle Heritage Festival.

The university has put together nine talks centred on key moments and themes in Fremantle’s past, including Fremantle’s Criminal Women, Thomas Peel and the Problem of Empire, The Round House: Crucible of Empire and Conflict and Objects of War: Fremantle Since 1914.

Notre Dame Politics and International Relations lecturer Martin Drum has one such talk, linking the faith of locals with politics since 1945.

Dr Drum said the influences of faith on politics was often forgotten or ignored and that his lecture will show how religion and faith in the local community has shaped members of parliament.

‘I was writing a paper in 2012 about the future of politics in Fremantle, and the issue of changes in religious belief came up, so I thought it would be fun to delve in a bit further,’ he said.

‘I’ll be looking at it through the eyes of our elected representatives, not focusing on their own faith or lack of it, but how their approach has echoed community views on contentious topics.

‘Fremantle people have a strong interest in the past and religion has played a prominent role in this shared experience. It has brought people together and pulled them apart.’

Dr Drum’s free lecture The Faith of Fremantle: Politics since 1945 runs from 10.30am to 11.30am on May 17 at the Fremantle Hotel.

For more information about Notre Dame’s Fremantle Heritage Festival lecture series (May 9-18), visit www.nd.edu.au/events/heritage2014.