Biography reveals Father Hayes as a man of God and all people

Father Hayes

A new biography explores the extraordinary life of the late Queensland priest, Father Michael Hayes, reports the Morning Bulletin.

Theologian of The Scrub: A Biography of Father Michael Hayes explores how passionate Fr Hayes was to ensure all were treated as equals. Fr Hayes was a son, brother, leader and a man devoted to God. He was also a voice for the Aboriginal people ever since he began his priesthood in the 1950s.

As a young boy, Father Hayes spent most of his holidays on a cousin's property in Central Queensland.

That time in Clermont saw him become friends with, and respect, the Aboriginal people working in the area.

Father Hayes had a strong connection with the Aboriginal people and fought for them throughout his life.

Now Central Queensland University Adjunct Associate Professor Robert O'Sullivan has delved into the life of Father Hayes to tell his story. After Father Hayes was ordained into priesthood in July of 1950, he was sent to Bundaberg. It was there where he first saw the injustices being done to Aboriginal people; in many cases they had been viewed as outcasts to society.

Dr O'Sullivan explains how Father Hayes had knowledge from his youth about the Aboriginal people and knew they should not be a marginalised group. He saw that they had culture,' Dr O'Sullivan said. 'He was active in intervening in situations where they needed help.'

With the Aboriginal people's 'tenuous relationship' with the law, Dr O'Sullivan explained how Father Hayes devoted his time and energy to ensuring they had assistance when it came to legal matters.

FULL STORY Father Michael Hayes was a man of God and all people (Morning Bulletin)

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