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135 comments on “Dennis McDermott”

  1. Over two decades I was privileged to work with Dennis in developing educational programs that opened up the inclusion of Indigenous life history and contemporary experience into mainstream trans-cultural mental health education. While travelling widely to conferences and delivering programs with Dennis, I was the fortunate recipient of learning about his early life and his remarkable mother’s resilience and courage in educating her children. Her legacy is reflected in his many achievements.
    I will always cherish his wisdom, his humour and the firm friendship we shared.
    My heart goes out to Mel, Sophie and Pearl, comforted in knowing his legacy will continue to inspire and console.
    Love and best wishes always, Diane Gabb

  2. Our family has been so fortunate to know Dennis, Melanie and Pearl in Melbourne. He touched our lives as a sensitive, creative, thoughtful and intelligent parent. Chip and I always looked forward to those opportunities we had to spend time with him and Mel at birthday parties, school events and pick ups. Dennis was so charming, interesting and delightful to be around. He was caring and kind—and will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him. Australian academia was a better place with him in it, and that legacy will survive him. I learned from Dennis and was inspired by his presence. Mel, Pearl and Sophie, our thoughts are with you. Sending our love…Jennifer, Chip, Jakob, Nate and Willa.

  3. I first met Dennis when we started working at Flinders around the same time. He was such a wise man with a gentle spirit; a deep thinker, an articulate speaker and a great sense of humour. I was shocked when I heard that he had died – too young! My thoughts are with his family.

  4. With my deep condolences to Dennis’s family. I so valued the rare qualities he brought to his roles as a teacher, researcher and leader. He was a true scholar who understood and used his poetic sensibility and language to communicate the truth from his heart as well as his mind.

  5. As a child and then adolescent I recall fellow student, Dennis as a very clever, mature person. His focus, maturity and diligence placed us in very different worlds but he found no need to scoff at mine. I believe he began his post school life winning a Myer Scholarship. (Feel free to correct me)
    My recollection is that he was enrolled in elocution, singing and piano lessons with my very talented grandmother. A very hard marker, she often expressed her admiration for Dennis’ talent and achievements. What a joy it is to read the glowing comments of so many eloquent friends and colleagues. And the diversity of his achievement is amazing; the most admirable of which I feel are his engagement, relationships and leadership. An opportunity to know this incredible citizen had been so close and undoubtedly one of my life’s losses.
    Dennis must certainly leave a proud family and forward striding footsteps.

  6. For a moment I breathed that same air as Dennis and for that I am ever thankful. I was watched Dennis talk directly to the whiteness in a room of white people. Although I did not know Dennis very well……I knew enough to know that here was a man who practised kindness, goodness, honour and love. Such a rich life. May you rest peacefully with your ancestors in the perfectness of the Dreaming. Dearest love and condolences to Dennis partner and children, his friends and colleague, including the dear Ms Sjoberg.

  7. My deepest condolences to Dennis’ family. I feel so honored to have known him and will always remember his kindness, gentleness and of course, strength. I am so grateful that he was a part of our larger Pacific family and that he was able to share his teachings around confronting racism while embracing “deep listening” and “holding” with so many, including those of us in Hawaii. We will all miss him very much (and his huge smile) but it is comforting to know that his legacy will live on in the work toward indigenous health equity and rights and in the colleagues and students that he has inspired along the way. Aloha oe, Dennis……

  8. I met Dennis only a few times, but each time I was astonished by how kind and friendly he always was; an open man with an open heart. I am heart-broken for his loss, and for his family. His loss is so huge because he was such a huge part of so many people’s lives. He made so many beautiful memories, and made so many happy. I hope that his family knows how many people knew and loved him, how many people are there to support his family and cherish his memory.
    Pearl, we haven’t known each other for all that long, but your father ALWAYS made me feel welcome, and I will miss him and seeing you and your family with him. I’m always behind you, as are the many people who respected, admired and loved Dennis. It’s a dark time for you, but there are always people there to help fill you with light.
    My most heartfelt condolences to Maureen, Pearl, Melanie, Sophie, and all the people who Dennis loved and who loved him in return.

  9. I only had the privilege of knowing Dennis for a short time but in that time I did have the gift of knowing a man who was truely present, who was warm, generous and who was a human in the most profound sense of the word. I feel a deep sense of the enormity of his loss to the world at large and to those who knew him, especially to his beautiful family. To Mel and Pearl and Sophie, my deepest sympathies for your loss. Thank you so much for the chance to attend this service via live stream, I could not imagine not being able to gather to mark the life of Dennis.

  10. Feeling again deep gratitude to Dennis for stepping in at short notice to deliver his inspiring opening keynote address at the 2018 Speech Pathology Australia National Conference and for the wisdom he shared that has made a continuing impact. His kindness and gentleness were immediately apparent. My sincere condolences to Dennis’ family.

  11. Condolences to your family and loved ones. You’ve walked gently and purposely through this world leaving an indelible mark on students, colleagues and all who knew you. Thank you for your leadership and contributions; over many years you’ve shaped the agenda and brought many allies along for the betterment of our mob. Rest easy on your journey to join the ancestors, you’ll always be remembered as a gentle and loving warrior.

  12. Thankyou Melanie, Sophie, Pearl, Maureen and all who contributed to this beautiful memoir of Dennis’s life.

    Dennis’s life triumphed. Seeking and finding his deep centre roots, engaging in communion with them and then expressing the Soul Fruit of this union in so many lasting and creative ways to the four corners of the earth.
    I am one of the many who are grateful for the parts of our lives we shared and the impact that Dennis had on all our lives. Hail Soul Man. Vale to this earthly journey.. May you take your place and dwell now in the vast Dream Time with your ancestors.

  13. Deep condolences to Uncle’s mob and the wider community. A loss to all. Deep respects and sympathies to his partner and children. Rest and dance strong in the Dreaming

  14. I knew Dennis primarily as a Father..Our daughters Lale and Sophie were friends almost from birth.For several years,in the Blue Mountains of NSW, we had a lot of contact as out girls grew closer together and started primary school. I was much impressed by Dennis’ gentle,thoughtful,and sensitive manner in whatever task he applied himself. He had a quiet but powerful presence,and a generosity of time and spirit that were to remain with me, after his departure from our common surroundings. I got his news from Sophie and Kay from time to time,and was not at all surprised to learn of his academic and cultural achievements as a proud indigenous person he always was. Vale Dennis. My heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. I will always remember him…

  15. I feel humbled to have known such an inspiring, wise and gentle man. Vale Dennis, you will be missed but your legacy will live on.

  16. With a huge sense of loss I say farewell to Dennis, an old mate. We met many years ago and even shared our 30th birthdays. We also shared many long discussions, walks, music, and just a couple of beers. We even shared a profession which just enabled us to be closer and gave us more to talk about. Anyone who knew Dennis will, like me, remember his warm voice and the face that could break into that huge grin.
    Sadly we hadn’t caught up for a while but the loss is just the same.
    I extend my sympathy to Mel, his much loved partner, to Sophie and Pearl, his adored daughters and to his loved sister Maureen. I also acknowledge his colleagues who witnessed his deep commitment to the indigenous people of this country. I pay my respects to a man who was an uncle to many and to me, an old friend who called me “mate”.
    All of us were privileged to have Dennis in our lives. From Mark and Keren.

  17. Beautiful to see pictures from Dennis’s earlier life and the more recent ones which is how i remember him and think of him fondly. Sending much love to Sophie, Melanie, Pearl, Maureen and Dennis’s closest friends, family and colleagues and deepest condolences.

  18. I’m cut hey. Wish I could have been there in person to send him on his journey. Ancestors will greet him. I’m
    Sad for family at this time without being able to hug and comfort. RIP brother. Will be missed.

  19. My sincere condolences to all the family
    The world as lost a great man, great teacher, great leader for our people, you will be missed thank you Dennis ❤️

  20. So grateful to have known Dennis and to have had his support and friendship, collegiality and advice, inspiration and most of all, his kindness. Never afraid to have ‘the hard conversations’, he would lead with his trademark gentleness and engaging way of being in the world. My deepest condolences to Mel, Pearl, Sophie and all who knew and loved Dennis.

  21. Dennis made a great impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues. His work is inspiring. Condolences to the family.

  22. Posted on behalf of Rachelle Arkles

    A wonderful, humane, generous and wise man. Dennis your presence and legacy will always be remembered. Heartfelt condolences to your family, Mel and beautiful Pearl, whom I met when she was a toddler.

  23. Deepest condolences to you Mel, Sophie, Pearl, Maureen and all your family, for this sorry news on a true honourable leader, beautiful poet, writer and gentlest of men with the warmest smile. I admired Dennis greatly. My family send love your way, from Kaurna Country where the sun is shining a perfect Autumn day, and I read from Dorothy’s Skin.
    Natalie, Denise, Jai and Mali

  24. My condolences to family, friends and other loved ones. I was a great admirer of Dennis personally and of his wonderful work. It was a pleasure to know and to learn from him.

  25. Dennis, thanks for the blessing you were to your friends, family, La Trobe and all the people you influenced. My condolences.
    Joshua Parris
    La Trobe University, Bendigo.

  26. Such a beautiful service
    I watched here in ADELAIDE with Dave
    So lovely to hear you speak so beautifully Pearl and Sophie ❤️
    Mel, our thoughts are with you at this sad time. Our lives have been indelibly changed by having had the pleasure and blessing of meeting you and Dennis.
    All our love to you

  27. Deepest condolences. My heart breaks for Dennis’s beloved partner, his daughters and all of those who were near and dear to him.
    The world has lost a giant. Dennis was warm, engaging and brilliant. I first saw Dennis speak on the topic of Dadirri, Deep Listening at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne many years ago when I was working as a counsellor in mental health.
    From that day forward there was a light on the hill. I no longer feared the consequences of openly challenging oppressive counselling practices that left little room for listening.
    Like so many others, I owe Dennis an enormous debt of gratitude.His work has inspired many of us and his work with go on.
    De-colonising the Academy.
    Last year he contributed to one of The Public Health Subjects at La Trobe ‘Multicultural Approaches to Health and Wellbeing’. I interviewed him and my colleague Dr. Sabrina Gupta recorded it.
    We are just so very fortunate to have had the pleasure of working with Dennis.
    His legacy will be honoured.

  28. Deepest condolences to Dennis’s family and the many many people whom Dennis will have inspired. I will personally remember Dennis as a gentle persuader and advocate for justice, passionate orator and great teacher.

  29. All love and strength to the family at this time. Very special service – thanks for live streaming it. I got to know Dennis when Sophie was born as I am a good friend of Sophie’s Mum, Kay. Sophie you read Dennis’ poem beautifully and Pearl that was a lovely tribute; go well family ; it is a very sad loss – Dennis was in his stride, taken too soon.
    XxxxJeni Thornley

  30. Thinking of you all Mel Sophie, pearl it was a pleasure to have known a man like that but it is more to b his nephew lots of love Dean & Bernadette Ervine & family R.I.P uncle D

  31. Dennis was a wise and generous colleague whose impact will resonate for a very long time. My time working with him was far too brief.
    Guin Threlkeld
    La Trobe University

  32. My deepest condolences. I met Dennis in his first few days at La Trobe and was immediately inspired by and hopeful at his story telling, reflections and thoughtful plans for change. Whenever I spoke with Dennis I was struck by his gentleness, kindness, wisdom and generosity – all of which have left us a better place.

  33. Dennis’ advice to me was to ‘leave behind your trail of caring Mon.’ This has been… and will continue to be… my life long personal mantra. From my heart…thank you Dennis. To Mel, Pearl and Sophie…much love and sincere condolences.

  34. Thank you Dennis for the gifts you gave to Speech Pathology at La Trobe. You opened our eyes to the work we need to do. Your wisdom, your courage, and your gentleness, kindness, and compassion will stay with us and guide our way.

  35. Such a beautiful, kind, and loving soul. The world is a better place because he was in it, and his presence will be sorely missed. May his spirit dance in the wind and trees and in all of our hearts.

  36. Dennis was a wonderful man with a kind heart and a great spirit. We were blessed to know him and are sending you all our love at this sad time.

    Love from Phil, Janet, Greg, Victoria, Andrew and Graeme

  37. Deepest sympathy to the family. Thank you for sharing the beautiful service and lovely photos of Dennis’ journey. Now gone to the Dreaming.

  38. My deepest condolences to Dennis’ family. It was such a privilege to work with and know him. No matter how busy he was, he always made you feel heard and respected, and like you mattered. As a boss he was second to none. I will hold dear my memories of his raised eyebrow, his ready smile, and his crazy dancing. Thank you for everything Dennis, you will be missed greatly.

  39. Dennis had a beautiful mind and heart.
    Alison, Jacqui, Banu, Sandra and Clarisse (members of the Indigenous Team at the Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University) felt Dennis really understood what it was we hoped to achieve through our work and looked forward to collaborating with him to improve access to higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people along with the development of family healing models that were culturally relevant. Dennis was a committed advocate of the Indigenous program both within the University and also with government and philanthropy. The Team are all deeply saddened by Dennis’ loss and wish to offer our condolences to his wife Melanie, his daughters Pearl and Sophie, his friends, his staff Donna and Tanya and his communities. He will be greatly missed.

  40. I did not know Dennis as well as some. I was EA to Professor Kerri-Lee Krause when Dennis joined La Trobe University. I was fortunate to get to know Dennis as he settled into La Trobe and his role as PVC Indigenous. He always had a smile on his face and could always spare a moment for a chat. Dennis will be very much missed by so many people. I am sure he has touched many many people’s lives through his life journey. I feel honored to have known him, if only for a short time. Heartfelt condolences to his wife and family.

  41. What an exceptional human. It was a beautiful ceremony. Love to Melanie, Sophie, Pearl, Dennis’s sister and all family.

  42. Dennis was a teacher, mentor, friend and colleague who inspired the work I now do teaching other educators to provide culturally safe teaching and learning spaces for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in medicine and health degrees at UQ. His support for the PHILE and LIME Networks was unequivocal and his contributions to the Poche Network deeply valued by us all. He will be missed. My deepest condolences go to his family and community.

  43. I so appreciated Dennis’ wise generous contributions in the tertiary health sector. Everyone who spoke at his funeral service encapsulated all of his gifts to those lucky enough to have known him. My sincere condolences to his family. Wrap yourselves in your wonderful memories of him.

  44. Dearest Mel, Pearl and Sophie. As so many have said – Dennis touched the life of everyone who met him. But to have had the privilege of calling him ‘friend’ is something we have always held dear and we continue to hold his memory in our hearts. We look forward to a time – hopefully soon – when we can raise a glass with you in person and share laughter and stories of this amazing person, together. All our love … Rhoni, Andrew, Sam and Rosie

  45. There was a moment in my life when I breathed the same air as Dennis McDermott – for that I will be forever glad and proud.

    I watched you just briefly speak whiteness directly to whiteness – you bought that change into a specialised arena that has never been the same again. For that Dennis McDermott I will old you.

    Go to your Ancestors with the same joy you bought to living.

    My deepest love and condolences to the Brothers Family and Friends.

  46. Remembered for his kindness, wisdom, and thoughtfulness- healing in words and in actions. An immense loss, and my sincere condolences to family, community and colleagues.

  47. It was such a wonderful service today. Pearl and Sophie you did a beautiful job of capturing the essence of your amazing dad. We wish we’d had more time to get to know Dennis, his grace and deep listening were such a gift to the human race. Pearl, Lina is thinking of you and we look forward to lots of sleepovers once we can. Mel, our love is with you.
    Our thoughts are with you all – such a moving ceremony – love from Greg & Leah, Lina + Arlen xx

  48. Sad but wonderfully meaningful celebration of Dennis’ rich life.

    Be proud, Melanie and Pearl, and other family and close friends…
    He touched us all, leaving indelible memories and insights…

    Take care, stay safe…

  49. My deepest sympathies to all of Dennis’s family. He was a marvelous friend and colleague who taught me a lot and gave of himself to others, in so many ways.

  50. Farewell my Elder and brother. Your kindness and compassion will not be forgotten. I learnt so much from you, thank you for leading the way. Your generosity and spirit was a gift to this world. My deepest condolences to you Melanie, and all the family.

  51. It was a privilege to have shared yarns with Professor McDermott, he was an incredible scholar, generous person, and gifted story teller. My sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to you all.

  52. I knew Dennis in Brisbane back in the mid-70s when I was at college. He was a very cool dude with his Afro hair and Motown moves! He was doing some presenting on a radio station at Queensland Uni and also some private DJing. Everything I found him to be then is reflected in the tributes I’ve read since his death… gentle, highly intelligent and articulate, empathic, kind, compassionate and thoughtful. He was one of a kind. My sincere condolences to all his loved ones who I am sure will miss him terribly.

  53. Its been an honour to know Dennis- such a wonderful person. I will miss his gentle, wise and intellectual ways. My condolences to his family.

  54. Remembering Dennis and holding his family in our hearts.
    From the Department of Creative Arts and English, La Trobe University.

  55. We were so blessed to have Dennis with us even for such a short time at La Trobe. He leaves a legacy of vision and wisdom. My deepest condolences to his family.

  56. I felt your influence through the generosity, connection and respect granted to me by your partner, Melanie. You touched lives beyond those you had ever met

  57. Dennis will be sorely missed. He was so generous and inclusive, kind and courageous. His contribution ran deep and wide. Sending much love to his family.

  58. Dennis said and wrote so many gentle, brave, wise and memorable words, including: “Courage comes with actually taking a good, hard look, without blame and without guilt, and accepting that this was Australia”. Thank you Mel and family for arranging such a wonderful funeral, and for enabling it to be live-streamed. He impacted, indelibly, so many lives, and his memory lives in our hearts.

    https://www.latrobe.edu.au/mylatrobe/courage-comes-with-actually-taking-a-good-hard-look-without-blame-and-without-guilt-and-accepting-that-this-was-australia-professor-dennis-mcdermott-indigenous-pvc/

  59. Dear Mel, Sophie and beautiful Pearl,

    so sorry for your loss of this gorgeous man, it’s left a huge gaping hole in the world.

    deepest sympathy,

    Donna Preston

  60. A soulful, kind and compassionate man who will be sadly missed by many. Dennis walked softly on this earth. Go well, Dennis. Thank you.

  61. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of today. Dennis’ profound impact, words of wisdom and willingness to share will be remembered. x

  62. We recognise with utmost respect the many contributions Dennis has made to communities across Australia, and to the speech pathology community through his presentations and presence on the Speech Pathology Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee. He was an engaging speaker, a deep thinker, and an inspiration to many. His presence will be missed, but his spirit will live on. Our deepest condolences to his family and community.

  63. What an exceptional human. It was a truly beautiful service. Love to Melanie, Sophie, Pearl, Dennis’s sister and all family

  64. I was really sorry to hear about the passing of Dennis, who was such a lovely man and colleague. I had the privilege of meeting Dennis in 2008 when he first came to Flinders University and worked with him on public health research projects until very recently – most recently on Indigenous justice research. For me, Dennis emanated a spirituality and always had time for people and put them at ease. He often picked up the phone to convey things and listen, and so took the time – relationships were paramount. He was such a kind and generous person, a real loss for all of us. His work and influence and passion for social justice will live on. My sincere condolences to his family and everyone who knew him.

  65. My condolences to the family. I met Dennis only once and immediately found him warm, friendly and a good man. His lasting legacy will live on in years to come. Gone to the dreamtime with so many before us.

  66. Dennis was such an inspiring and compassionate leader, who we will remember in social work as a powerful teacher who could, so effectively, with warmth and respect, challenge us about the need for cultural and socially just change.

  67. I send my aloha to Dennis’ family, friends, and colleagues. He was a dear friend and colleague to many of us here in Hawaii. I will fondly remember our time together on his visits to Hawaii and my visits to Australia. His work inspired and informed my work in achieving health equity for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Aloha no.

  68. Deepest Respect to Dennis for his lifelong commitment and vision towards healing our communities and striving to change things for the better. We will endeavour to honour your vision and legacy you have left us with and continue this ongoing work. Condolences to family, friends and colleagues from all parts of his rich life.

  69. My sincere sympathies go to Dennis’s family, friends and community, and the broader community. Our paths crossed many times over the years, and I will remember him for his knowledge, thoughtfulness and wisdom that he shared with me and so many others. I will remember the support, consideration and respect he offered me, and to so many others. Dennis will be sadly missed by so many.

  70. What a great humble man who touched so many. I was always amazed in his unique ability to capture those minds who led a life of subconscious bias and plant the seeds of self reflection and change for the betterment of our people. He has now created a generation of people now walking with us to change a system that has oppressed us for so long. My life will forever be spiritually stronger because of true role model like Dennis. My condolences and thought go out to all of his family. May your old people carry you back to country. MUCH RESPECT! Gunditjmara Kirrae Whurrong

  71. Dennis was a gentle man with a sparkling soul, beautiful mind and a warm, graceful charm. He was a calm engaging man who, confident in his own being, touched the lives professionally and personally of so many, including the members of our Indigenous Team, and many other people across Bouverie. He was a bridge maker; humble, wise and compelling. I will really miss him. My thoughts go to Dennis’ extended family, his wife Melanie, his daughters Sophie and Pearl and his sister Maureen.

  72. I pay my deepest respects to Dennis’ family and the wider community. There was a sense of both pride and safety for us at La Trobe, knowing that Dennis was there if we needed. His presence will be sadly missed.

  73. I only met Dennis once at a leadership event in December, 2019 in his role as PVC Indigenous at La Trobe. His reputation proceeded him. His gravitas, wisdom, empathy and love was in full view on that afternoon. He impacted me in the short time I was in his presence. I can only imagine the enormity of his legacy into which we have a window today. Vale Dennis. Sincerest condolences to you family, friends, colleagues and the many communities you have impacted.

  74. Dennis was a great colleague and friend at La Trobe, I very much enjoyed my conversations with him and he brought a depth of reflection to our management team. Deepest sympathies to his family and broader community members. He was a special man.

  75. Dennis gave my first ever lecture in public health in the early 2000’s. I was invited to the lecture on the back of some work I was doing in cultural competence in disability services. The lecture was so inspiring that I immediately signed up to do a Masters of Public Health, and this then led to my academic career in equity and public health. So I legitimately can say that Dennis is the reason behind my career. Why he was so inspiring was his ability to connect very complex lived experiences of being an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander at constant risk of racism and disadvantage, but always searching for positive change that will lead to a better world for all of us. Dennis’s extraordinary mix of passion and calmness helped people like me understand those links clearly. I don’t think I am alone in remembering him as being on of the best speakers and teachers.

    Fast forward around 15 years to my delight in being a chief investigator with Dennis on not only one but two very prestigious research grants. For me personally being involved in that work with Dennis meant I had fulfilled an important professional milestone in my career. I was also delighted that he didn’t mind a glass or two of wine, and I will always cherish the evenings we had in each others company on the back of grant meetings talking about our families and lives since we had first met all those years ago.

    I was so sad to hear that he had passed away. But for me personally, as for many others, there is no doubting the importance he had in my life

  76. I pay my respects to Dennis and his family, and thank you for letting us be part of this beautiful service. I want to thank Dennis for his leadership, being a mentor and a inspiration to all of us. He knew my Grandfather Uncle Lewis O’Brien, and he took me under his wing. He has left such a legacy and made universities a better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to feel confident and safe. I will continue to pay it forward and strive for a better future.

  77. E te rangatira e Dennis, tēnei au e mihi ana ki a koe. Moe mai rā i roto i ngā ringa o ōu tūpuna. E te whānau pani, ka nui te aroha ki a koutou. E tika ana te kōrero, kua hinga he tōtara nui.

    Dennis, farewell from your Indigenous brother across the ditch. I consider it an immense privilege to have known you. You were an amazing colleague in Indigenous health education, a colossus of the academic world, but far more than that – you were a friend, a mentor, a brother. So wise, intelligent, eloquent, gentle and inspiring – but above all, kind. In everything you did and for everyone whose life you touched, you made the world a better place. You will be hugely missed, but you also leave an incredible legacy. Travel well e hoa.

    My deepest condolences to Melanie and whānau. Ka nui te aroha.

  78. Dennis you have inspired so very many – i thank you for your inspiration, and am so grateful to have been able to know you. Your friends from the Menominee Reservation back in Wisconsin send their love too, and we all send deepest sympathy and much to your family.

  79. A friend, a collaborator, a deep thinker, a mischief maker. I will remember Dennis as a generous, thoughtful family man, deeply committed to his communities and to Indigenous and non-Indigenous enlightenment. Dennis was gentle in manner and in speech, but possessed of a cutting insight that allowed him to see to the heart of what vexes us most, whilst also encouraging us to think above and beyond ourselves. My heartfelt condolences to family and friends. Safe journey.

  80. Dennis McDermott will be forefront of my mind when we pay respect to Elders past. He was an Elder in every sense of the word. We at LaTrobe will miss his wisdom, his kindness and his warmth. My sincere condolences to his family, who we know he loved and cherished above all else.

  81. Dennis was a wonderful warm and caring man of great integrity and gentle humor who I have so much respect for. I last to him on the tram on the way to work. He spoke of his concerns for family and commitment to his work at Latrobe. Such a beautiful human being.

  82. sending loving condolences to Dennis’ family and community. With enormous respect and gratitude for the vitally important teaching and research that Dennis led at universities across the country. Thank you for your work at Flinders University.

  83. If there ever was one human being who embodied ‘soft power’ it was Dennis. With his gentle, warm, always mild and smiling ways he could bend mountains and minds. Thanks Dennis – you will live on.

  84. Vale Dennis, my sincere condolences and respect to all your loved ones, families and communities. Will never forget your words of wisdom, gentle tone, deep listening lessons. RIP fulla.

  85. Thinking of you both today, Melanie and Pearl. I’ll be having a goodbye drink to Dennis later on this side of the world.

    1. A horrible shock to learn of this incredible man’s passing. You were a lovely boss and an inspiration to many. You will be missed.
      Deepest sympathy to Mel, Pearl and his other loved ones.

  86. What an honorable man who has left a legacy that will be remembered for years to come. Rest in peace and our condolences to his family.

    Carmen Parter
    Poche Centre for Indigenous Health’
    University of Sydney

  87. Dennis was one of my most favourite colleagues. He always greeted me with a smile, and a g’day, even when I knew he was under immense pressure. Dennis was someone who made me feel comfortable to share my ideas. He nurtured my thinking and after being in his company I always felt happier and uplifted. Dennis had a great ability to write academically yet poetically.

    It was clear to me how much Dennis loved his family. His devotion to his daughters was demonstrated by the stories he told about Sophie and Pearl, and the drawings he displayed proudly in his office. Pearl attended several of our meetings and you could see the love that they shared. His respect for Melanie was also abundant. Dennis regularly shared her achievements, and spoke with admiration about the special person he was lucky enough to spend his time with.

    Dennis was a truly giving and thoughtful person. I wish he was still with us, spreading his warmth, and making others feel loved, valued and respected. Rest in peace Dennis. I miss you.

  88. Firstly, my condolences to all the family of Dennis. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Dennis at Flinders a decade ago and only last year we shared our mutual love of Donegal in Ireland. Go n-éirí an bóthar leat (may the road rise up to meet you).

  89. I am so thankful for the knowledge and wisdom Dennis shared with me and so many others, using the power of story-telling. My deepest condolences to his family, colleagues and friends.

  90. My heartfelt sympathies go out to to Dennis’ family and community. An inspiration and mentor for me and an all around caring, gentle, compassionate and humble man. You will be sorely missed. Rest with the ancestors my Uncle.

  91. I am so deeply saddened by the news of Dennis’ passing. Dennis was one of the kindest, most caring people I have ever met. We shared many wonderful moments that I will forever cherish, and I will always remember him with great fondness.

    Sending all my love and most sincere condolences to you all, Mel, Pearl and Sophie xxx

  92. Dennis was a true gentleman and had a great sense of humour.
    It was a pleasure and honour to have cross paths with Dennis at Flinders University.
    Deepest sympathies to Dennis’ family.

  93. Condolences to the family and friends of Dennis McDermott.

    He was a good man who helped many of our people. He was a leader and intellectual. He was a founding member of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association who gave unstintingly of his time and energy. His leaving is a great loss for all of us, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. He will be sorely missed.

  94. Time isn’t a measure of the impact one person can have on another. I had several conversations with Dennis at La Trobe in which he was so generous in sharing his world views, experiences and knowledge. Thank you for teaching me the importance of creating space in conversation.

  95. The world has lost a man of great integrity, compassion and soul. My spirit weeps. All our love.

    Alex and Ngiare Brown and Family
    The Wardliparingga family in South Australia

  96. Dennis was an amazing person. I worked with him on and off at Flinders University when I was an Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) in the then School of Nursing and Midwifery. I learned so much from him about respectful communication, negotiation, and advocacy. It is with deep respect and sadness I thank him for his impact on my life and that of so many others.

  97. With deepest sympathies for Dennis’ family and friends. We have each benefitted from knowing Dennis’ warmth, laughter, wisdom and generosity. A great leader.

  98. As I know was the case for many people, Dennis was my teacher, my mentor, my guide, my counsellor and my friend. He helped me see our world in a different way. He will be deeply missed.

  99. Being in Dennis’ company made you feel like you were being hugged – he was an extraordinary person. The Poche Sydney team send our respects and appreciation for what we learned from Dennis

  100. Thinking of family and friends of Dennis today as great man is laid to rest. Such a sad day. He will be dearly missed.
    I really enjoyed working with Dennis over the years at Flinders University, he was such a lovely person who inspired many.
    RIP Dennis x

  101. My deepest condolences. Dennis was a wonderful person and the world is a little less brighter now.

  102. Thank you Dennis for all you did in your time at La Trobe. Your vision to de-colonise the university was a wonderful moment that drew many into understanding what we could achieve and how to go about that. My deepest sympathies for your family and the many communities that you touched. Travel safely in this next part of your journey.

  103. Our heartfelt sympathy to the McDermott family at the loss of a great, kind, smart and generous man. We are so privileged and blessed to have known the friendship, mentorship and integrity of Dennis, we are mourning with you in your loss, and holding onto cherished memories.

  104. I experienced Dennis to be an incredibly generous, humble, respectful and quietly spoken man. I am so sorry I only got to meet him relatively recently. A profound loss to the La Trobe Community and beyond.
    My deepest sympathy to Dennis’ family.

  105. With deepest sympathy and fondest memories of our days at Tamworth High School together. You will be sadly missed my friend and fun sparring partner in those public speaking competitions. My warmest regards to all the family from my brother Phillip and me.

  106. I pay respects to Dennis McDermott and extend my condolences to his family, friends and community. He has been a true role-model for Aboriginal health, academia and medical education, and a mentor to many.

  107. Goodbye Dennis a friend and colleague. Your humour and heart will be missed.
    With deepest condolences to Mel and his family.

  108. Dennis was a wonderful friend, mentor and Indigenous leader. He had incredible empathy and wisdom and was always a true gentleman who will be sadly missed by all. With much love and the greatest of respects from Liz and the Poche Flinders team.

  109. Deepest sympathies to Dennis’ family. I had the priviledge of judging thre David Unaipon Award with Dennis. I will always remember him as a deeply insightlful man full of quiet wisdom and a wonderful poet.

  110. Dennis was a fabulous friend and mentor with a wicked sense of humour. I will always remember him with a great sense of fondness and honour.

  111. Dennis was a gift to the world. Those of us lucky enough to meet and get to know him however briefly were changed forever. He had a brilliant mind and beautiful soul and taught me much about humility, compassion, community and kindness. He has left an indelible mark on me and for that I am forever grateful. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, community and colleagues. RIP Dennis.

  112. In thanks for the life and contribution of this man to speech pathologists here. His forbearance and effort is appreciated. I hope that his work will continue to inform and bring about change towards proper relationships that recognise First Nations sovereignty.

  113. Dennis use to talk about “holding each other” and “being held” though our journey, of transition.

    I feel this is particularly relevant today.

    He was so charismatic and engaging you couldn’t help but be enthralled.

    He showed such kindness, pose and understanding to all he encountered.

    To his wonderful daughters: Your Dad talked about you all the time. He was so proud, and in love with you, both as his daughters and as amazing human beings.

    Melanie, he gushed about you, and always kept me your academic achievements.

    He was so in awe of you.

    Please know that your Dad and partner has left this earth having MADE A DIFFRENCE!

    He will not be forgotten, and the people whose lives he touched will do our best to keep his legacy alive.

    May Nungalinya my protector spirit watch over you as you go to the meet the ancestors, and watch over and protect your family.

  114. I pay my respects to Dennis McDermott and my heartfelt admiration for the rich and generous contribution he made to our world during his life. His legacy is an inspiration at this sorry time. Sending my sincere condolences to family and friends who will no longer be blessed with Dennis’ earthly presence. May we each hold Dennis and his meaning close to our hearts.

  115. Death brings pain that time can only heal,
    No words could ease what we truly feel;
    But with God, his joy is eternally sealed,
    And cherish his memories that death can’t even steal.
    My Condolences

  116. Dennis was such an inspiring teacher, he was able to bring out the best in students and us all. We miss you already

  117. Dennis McDermott was a man rooted in kinship with all he encountered be it people, birds or new ideas. He engendered a collective image of the world in others. He imagined what good could happen next in that arena. Old fashioned in virtue, kindness and love, he had a modern sensibility brimming with poetic wit and words,
    a charm of a smile, deep caring and concern for his family, friends and cohorts in his work.
    He is missed now and
    will be always.

    “May his soul be bound up in the soul of all that is eternal “.
    The Torah

    “Ring the bells that still can ring.
    Forget your perfect offering.
    There is a crack in everything.
    That’s how the light gets in.”
    Leonard Cohen

  118. I pay my respects to Dennis and his communities, and my thoughts are with all who were fortunate to travel some aspect of life with Dennis. We were so looking forward to learning from him, and appreciate the legacy he left at La Trobe in such a short space of time. Our research practice team at the Bouverie Centre will strive toward realising his vision for decolonized knowledge generation and knowledge sharing.

  119. With deepest respect and admiration for Dennis. You have made the world a better place for Indigenous people everywhere. Gilakasla to you as you journey.

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