Panel Forum 16 October 2019: The impact of information technology and social media

By | Past Forums

A Joint Forum with the Catholic Social Justice Commission based on their 2019-20 Social Justice Statement

Speakers: Paul Bongiorno AM, Beth Doherty, Huw Warmenhoven and Toni Hassan

When: 7.30pm 16 October 2019

Where: Chapel, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2019 – 2020, Making it Real: Genuine human encounter in our digital world, affirms the positive possibilities for encounter and solidarity offered by new digital media, while warning of those elements of our digital world that may be harmful. These include information overload; social isolation; marginalisation of the vulnerable; consumerism and fake news.

The Statement reminds us that the new digital media cannot be seen as neutral or ‘unaffected by any moral considerations’. While many users do not realise it, the core business of social media platforms is to sell advertising and maximise profits. People’s personal lives may be reduced to data that is traded for profit or power, and it is used to target and influence us in ways previously unthinkable. Pushing users to more extreme positions and promoting fake news and conspiracy theories sells, but this is at odds with human solidarity.

The Statement amplifies Pope Francis’ call to us to ‘boldly become citizens of the digital world’, with the image of the Good Samaritan as our inspiration. We are called not only to love our neighbour, but to bring the love of God to the new global neighbourhood. The Statement points out that we are called not just to be inhabitants of this new digital world, but active citizens shaping it. All of us – whether we are users, communities, industrial or political leaders – have a role to play in rejecting hatred, divisions and falsehoods. We have a duty to foster a neighbourhood that promotes those human attributes and social values that lend themselves to genuine human encounter – love, understanding, beauty, goodness, truth and trustworthiness, joy and hope.

Paul Bongiorno is a veteran political journalist. He writes weekly columns for The Saturday Paper, The New Daily and other publications as well being a regular commentator on ABC Radio. He is also a contributing editor to Network Ten. He has been a journalist for 45 years and in that time has won four national Walkley Awards for journalistic excellence.

Beth Doherty is a journalist and educator who currently works as a religious education teacher at St Clare’s College, Canberra. She is the author of Tweet others as you would wish to be tweeted: A scripture-based guide to social media for the Church, published by David Lovell in 2015 under the auspices of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

Huw Warmenhoven is the Youth Coordinator in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. He has worked over the past 7 years in developing Youth Ministry in Catholic school across Australia, Europe, Africa and the Pacific. He has a passion for communicating the timeless Gospel in our time, inviting young people into the mission of the Church and responding through faith to contemporary social justice challenges.

Toni Hassan is an adjunct research scholar with The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University. She is an emerging artist, journalist and author of Families in the Digital Age: Every parent’s guide (Hypbrid, 2019).

Download Forum Flyer

Dinner Forum 27 August 2019: Telling Truth, Building Community

By | Past Forums

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Speaker: Bishop Mark and Monica Short
When: 6 for 6:30 Tuesday 27 August 2019
Where: Bella Vista Restaurant, 84 Emu Bank, Belconnen

At our August Dinner forum, Bishop Mark and Monica Short will address the topic “Telling Truth, Building Community: What the Indigenous Church Teaches Us”.

Mark and Monica Short returned to Canberra in 2019. Mark serves as Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn and Monica is a Lecturer and social researcher in Social Work with Charles Sturt University. For the previous seven and a half years they lived in Sydney but were actively engaged with rural and regional Australia. For Mark this came through his role as National Director of The Bush Church Aid Society and for Monica through a series of research projects looking at the interface between the rural Anglican Church and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people living with a disability and Aboriginal peoples. In both those roles Indigenous Christian leaders have been generous companions and guides and we will draw on their insights in this talk.

Cost: $60 per person for a three-course meal with wine, juice & tea/coffee

To book: Transfer to “Christians for an Ethical Society” BSB 805-022 acc’t 03310199 reference with “your surname Dinner” and also email booking details to admin@ces.org.au

Or

Send cheque made out to “Christians for an Ethical Society” to 15 Blackall St, Barton ACT 2600. Bookings close 6 August 2019.

Download Forum Flyer

CES Annual General Meeting

By | Past Forums

An Invitation to all members of CES,

CES Annual General Meeting

6 August 2019

3:00pm in the Boardroom,

George Browning House, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,

Blackall St, Barton ACT

 

Best regards,

Ann Skamp,
Secretary
Christians for an Ethical Society

Next forum 4 June 2019: Why a National Integrity Commission?

By | Past Forums

Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, The Australia Institute

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Speaker: Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, The Australia Institute
Chair: Emeritus Professor John Warhust AO
When: 7:30pm Tuesday 4 June 2019
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (Chapel), Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

In our June forum, Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director of The Australia Institute, will explain the case for a National Integrity Commission (a federal ICAC) with authority and capacity to systematically investigate corruption at the federal level.

In the words of an open letter signed by 34 retired senior judges, “Confidence and trust in government and public institutions is at an all-time low. When this confidence and trust is diminished, pessimism, divisiveness and conflict increase; and social cohesiveness is harmed. As a result, the economy and the welfare of all Australians suffers. Ultimately, as international experience has shown, democracy itself is threatened and may be irreparably damaged. Governments ignore at their peril demands by citizens to combat corruption with vigor.”

Ebony Bennett has worked in federal politics for more than a decade. Ms Bennett has published research on gender and street harassment and regularly appears as a commentator on Sky News and as a contributor for the Guardian and Fairfax publications.

Ebony began her career as a journalist in the federal press gallery before becoming media advisor to Bob Brown and later his Strategy Director. She has worked in federal politics for more than a decade. She has also worked for the Australian Human Rights Commission and a market research company.

Register

Rusted Off: Why is Country Australia Fed Up?

By | Past Forums

Gabrielle Chan

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Speaker: Gabrielle Chan
Chair: Emeritus Professor John Warhust AO
When: 7:30pm Tuesday 26 March 2019
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (Chapel), Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

As Australia prepares for a federal election, the contest for rural and regional seats is likely to be one of the most fascinating aspects of the 2019 poll.  Already, country independents are pushing incumbent MPs against a backdrop of disappointment and disengagement with politicians and the parliament across the country.
Gabrielle Chan will examine why politics is changing in rural areas and how it may impact on the outcome of the next election.
Gabrielle Chan has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She began covering politics in the 1990s for The Australian in NSW parliament and the Canberra press gallery. Since 2013, she has worked for Guardian Australia as a political correspondent and Politics Live blogger. Gabrielle has also worked for ABC radio, the Daily Telegraph, in local newspapers and politics. She has written and edited histories and biographies.
The city-born daughter of a Singaporean migrant, Gabrielle moved to a sheep and wheat farm near Harden, Murrumburrah, in 1996. She noticed the economic and cultural divide between city and country and the yawning gap between parliament and small town life. As a result, she wrote Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up, released in 2018 by Penguin Random House.

Further information (forum flyer)

Mediating Democracy: Journalism in the Post Truth Age

By | Past Forums

Paul Bongiorno AM

 

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Speaker: Paul Bongiorno AM
Chair: Emeritus Professor John Warhust AO
When: 7:30pm Tuesday 12 February 2019
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Australians will go to the polls this year in what is one of the best regulated voting systems in the world. But while the integrity of the vote is assured and compulsory voting a safeguard against extremist minorities it is not enough to restore or maintain faith in democracy.

Truth has become a commodity for media outlets. The business model dictates editorial choice of stories and the slant they receive. The trivialisation of politics and the unwillingness to hold power to account by a banal equivalence of views has reduced news to entertainment or worse an echo chamber of bigotry.

But the truth can still set us free and there are shafts of light.

Further information (flyer)

Dinner Forum 10 October 2018

By | Past Forums | No Comments

Dinner Forum:

Why Neighbours Matter

Hugh Mackay AO
Hugh is a social researcher and the
bestselling author of 19 books. In
recognition of his pioneering work in social
research, he has been awarded honorary
doctorates by five Australian universities,
elected a Fellow of the Australian
Psychological Society and, in 2015, was
appointed an Officer of the Order of
Australia. His presentation will focus on the
role of compassion in lowering anxiety and
building stronger communities.

Chair: Emeritus Professor John Warhurst AO

Corinna 2 Room at the Southern Cross Club, 92-96 Corinna Street, Woden.
6 for 6:30 pm, Wednesday 10 October

Cost: $65 per person for a 3-course meal with wine, juice & tea/coffee.

SORRY – Bookings now closed

To book: Transfer to “Christians for an Ethical Society” BSB 805-022 account 03310199 and reference with “your-surname Dinner” AND also email bookings to admin@ces.org.au
OR
Send cheque made out to “Christians for an Ethical Society” to CES, 15 Blackhall St, BARTON ACT 2600
Please advise by email to admin@ces.org.au of any dietary requirements or if you have a group booking requiring to be seated together.
SORRY – Bookings now closed

Springs of Hope: rethinking the vertical

By | Past Forums | No Comments
Elizabeth FarrellyForum Extras

Download additional forum materials here

Audio recordings

Tuesday 29 May, 2018

Speaker: Elizabeth Farrelly
Chair: Bishop George Browning
When: 7:30pm Tuesday 29 May, 2018
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

As we spread across the surface of the planet, fighting for rights, squabbling over resources and networking wildly via social media it is tempting to feel that the horizontal is everything. But the cross requires both horizontal and vertical, and therein lies hope.

Elizabeth Farrelly is a writer, columnist, thinker and author, with a background in philosophy and architecture, a love of farming and poetry and a yearning for the vertical.

“The Politics of Love”

By | Apologetics, Art, Atheism, Past Forums
Andrew Leigh, MP, Wednesday 19 April, 2017
Forum Extras

Download additional forum materials here.

A4 Poster.pdf
A5 Flyer.pdf
Transcript.docx

Speaker: Andrew Leigh, MP
Chair: Ingrid Moses
When: 7:30pm Wednesday 19 April, 2017
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Recent years have seen a steady rise in the politics of fear and hatred. Political debates have become sharper and the media more polarised. These developments should be particularly worrying for progressives. Dr Leigh will argue a politics of love isn’t a bohemian hangover, but essential to building a more egalitarian Australia. A strong social safety net demand empathy for the most vulnerable, and a willingness to build a more decent and tolerant civic culture.

Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Law and Arts.

Andrew is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a past recipient of the ‘Young Economist Award’, a prize given every two years by the Economics Society of Australia to the best Australian economist under 40. His books include: Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires (2013), The Economics of Just About Everything (2014), and The Luck of Politics (2015).

Andrew is a keen marathon runner and hosts a podcast, The Good Life, which is available on iTunes.

“Recording”

2017 Forum Series: “Seeking our Moral Compass”

By | Past Forums, Uncategorized

16 February 2017: “Seeking our Moral Compass”, Fr Peter L’Estrange

  • Audio recordings:
    • Welcome: Rev. Dr. Thowald Lorenzen, President CES
    • Introduction: Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard
    • Father L’Estrange’s address
    • Question 1: Underpayment and other new forms of slavery and where in an on-line world can we look to for guidance?
    • Question 2: We’ve moved from a world of what is right to one of what works.
    • Question 3: The arbiter of what is private and what public morality.
    • Question 4: Why is the church heard on some issues and why it is absent on others?
    • Question 5: Disjunction between rich Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic Support for Trump?
    • Question 6: Displacement of Liberal Arts Education By Subjects Of Quantification.
    • Question 7: If I begin again is it freedom or habit?
    • Question 8: Responding graciously to the God within each of us.
    • Final remarks and thanks: Rt Rev’d Profesor Stephen Pickard

19 April 2017: “The Politics of Love”, Andrew Leigh MP

  • Copy of address
  • Audio recordings:
    • Full recording
    • Welcome: Emeritus Prof. Ingrid Moses
    • Call for questions: Emeritus Prof. Ingrid Moses
    • Question 1: How do we nudge or economic system to foster ultruism and generosity?
    • Question 2: Incompatability of growth in inequality with a politics of love.
    • Question 3: Are trading, ownership and authority incompatible with maximization of wellbeing?
    • Question 4: Capacity to adjust trade to minimize inequalty and trade as a means of specialisation.
    • Question 5: How to get cross party consensus in a polarized political system?
    • Question 6: How to advocate for Diversity & Inequality without that advocacy intensifying the problem?
    • Question 7: Are you having success in working with colleagues to bring about a groundswell of change?
    • Question 8: How to apply the politics of love in dealing with proposals to move agencies from Canberra?
    • Question 9: On whom does blame lie for the success in many democracies of the politics of fear, slogans and hate?
    • Question 10: How do you explain the irony of the correlation between inequality and lack of empathy?
    • Question 11:  Parliamentary Vote to exercise War power?
    • Question 12: Incompatibility of Politics of Love with Bipartisan Refugee Policy.
    • Question 13: Detention of Refugees on Manus & Nauru as a sacrifice to prevent others drowning.
    • Comment: Emeritus Prof. Ingrid Moses
    • Final remarks and thanks: Rt Rev’d Profesor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

3 May 2017: Defiant earth: The fate of humans in the Anthropocene, Clive Hamilton

17 August 2017: “The Getting of Wisdom – a Private Faith, a Public Christian”, Kristina Keneally (Annual dinner forum)

  • Audio recordings:
    • Welcome: Bishop George Browning, CES Chairman
    • Address: Kristina Keneally
    • Initial comments: Bishop George Browning
    • Question 1: Hobbling of NSW ICAC – corruption
    • Question 2: Why in conscience vote did you say you did so on the basis of your faith?
    • Question 3: Which would you expect to come first: married or female priests in the Catholic Church?
    • Question 4: Withdrawal of services from the Church is fine as a protest but where do you move them to?
    • Question 5: What advice would you give to young women thinking of taking up politics?
    • Vote of thanks: Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director, ACC&C
    • Concluding comments: Bishop George Browning

18 October 2017: “Everyone’s Business: Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy”, Joint Forum  with the Catholic Social Justice Commission, on their Social Justice Statement.  Keynote speaker: Fr Frank Brennan SJ

  • Audio recordings:
    • Introduction: Mike Cassidy ,Archdiocesan Social Justice Commission Canberra & Goulburn
    • Introduction: Dr Helen Watchirs OAM, ACT Human Rights Commissioner
    • Address:  Fr Frank Brennan SJ
    • Question 1: Doubling the waiting period for new start allowance from 13 to 26 weeks for those with liquid assets of $18,000 for singles and $36,000 for couples
    • Question 2: Taking on neoliberalism and influencing politicians
    • Question 3: Why don’t welfare groups campaign against growing inequality?
    • Question 4: A fair return should be secured for finite mineral assets which belong to the nation
    • Question 5:  Neoliberalism encourages efficiency and encourages exploitation of talents
    • Question 6: Calling out the need for sustainability and inclusiveness.
    • Question 7:  Australia should have a sovereign wealth fund like the Norwegians.
    • Question 8: Mutual exchange and capacity building providing a bridge out of poverty?
    • Question 9: Alternatives to mainstream economics as ways out of poverty.
    • Comments and thanks:  Dr Helen Watchirs OAM, ACT Human Rights Commissioner

15 November 2017:  “Diversity and Harmony:  Peace and Justice in the 21st Century” – A Muslim-Christian Conversation