2017 Forum Series: “Seeking our Moral Compass”

By | 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

2015 Forum Series: Equity and the Human Family

By | Uncategorized

12 February 2015: “Free and equal! Towards a more humane society”, Reverend Dr Thorwald Lorenzen

  • Copy of address
  • Audio recordings:
    • Introduction: Bishop George Browning
    • Dr Lorenzen’s address:
    • Comment on the Speech: Bishop George Browning
    • Question 1: If you had the opportunity, what one thing would you say to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition?
    • Question 2: International Charter for Compassion.
    • Question 3: The “our” in “Our Father” refers to all human beings whatever their religion.
    • Question 4: How should one decide which of the many worthy issues one should give attention to?
    • Question 5: Should one respect people of contrary views? Are our superior?
    • Question 6: Amplification of tension between the values of freedom and equality and impact of fear and hate.
    • Question 7: Identifying the victim and relationship of competition to the values of freedom and equality.
    • Question 8: Church and support for women.
    • Question 9: How can we effect change in Society? Revising the paradigm of government.
    • Question 10: What question would you put to political leaders regarding Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders?
      • Questions of Bishop Browning on your background: What impact does you memory of World War II in Hamburg have on you?
    • Question 11: What is you attitude to authority?  What do you believe now more fervently than you used to?  Who are your heroes?
    • Closing Comments: Bishop George Browning

21 April 2015: “The war on drugs: noble cause or tragic debacle?”, Dr Ken Crispin QC

  • Audio recordings:
    • Introduction: Dr Thorwald Lorenzen
    • Dr Crispin’s address
    • Question 1: How can the transformation in community attitudes towards homosexuality inform a possible change of community attitudes on drugs?
    • Question 2: Avoiding commercialization of marijuana supply in Washington State.
    • Question 3: Prohibition justifiable as an aspiration. Australia compared to Sweden
    • Question 4: Extent that the criminal law still applies in Portugal. Unreality of expectation that imprisonment leads to rehabilitation?
    • Question 5: High cost of imprisonment as a response to drug use.
    • Question 6: Different models of regulation of drugs in context of legalization: methamphetamine/ice.
    • Question 7: Prohibition deters children from drug use
    • Closing Remarks & Thanks to Speaker: Bishop George Browning

21 May 2015: “Budget Equity?”, Paul Bongiorno

  • Audio recordings:
    • Introduction: Bishop George Browning
    • Dr Bongiorno’s address
    • Question 1: Impact of budget and Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)on Pharmaceuticals. Extent that Investor State Dispute Settlement under the TPP may undermine sovereignty. Defence spending.
    • Question 2: Extent Australia is mimicking America.
    • Question 3: Why do so many people vote against their own best interest?
    • Question 4: How did the government get its first budget so badly wrong?
    • Question 5: Disconnect between Christian values of political leadership and delivery of programs to promote Christian social justice values. How can we strengthen the discourse to encourage delivery on social justice outcomes?
    • Question 6: Privatisation of government functions
    • Question 7: Why is so much attention paid to the aged and so little to the young?
    • Question 8: Should we argue for Christian compassion or the economic benefits of compassion?
    • Question 9: Australian Taxation level compared to other prosperous countries and how to promote electoral support for higher taxation.
    • Closing Remarks: Bishop George Browning
    • Thanks to Speaker: Bishop Stephen Pickard

27 August 2015: “Fortress Australia – myth or reality?”, Rev Tim Costello (Annual dinner forum)

  • Audio recordings:
    • Introduction: Thorwald Lorenzen
    • Rev Costello’s address
    • Question 1: Politicians should be reminded that the ends can never justify the means.
    • Question 2: Is a pathology of insecurity and deep and complex links with the U.S. and Britain a factor in Australia’s attitude to the outside world?
    • Question 3: How can we alleviate the factors that cause people to leave their country? What support should we give to the UNHCR?
    • Vote of thanks: Bishop George Browning

20 October 2015: Climate Change, Steve Hatfield Dodds

No materials available from this forum

11 November 2015: For Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas: Justice for refugees and asylum seekers. Joint forum with the Catholic Social Justice Commission. Speakers: Jon Stanhope, Sr Jane Keogh and Felix Macharidza

  • Audio recordings:
    • Introduction: Genevieve Jacobs
    • Jon Stanhope’s address
    • Sister Jane Keogh’s address
    • Felix Machiridza’s address
    • Question 1: Jon Stanhope on why governments of both persuasions insist on secrecy
    • Question 2: Sr. Keogh on why the plight of asylum seekers doesn’t resonate more strongly in the community
    • Question 3: Machiridza on the extent that meeting people face to face can break down barriers
    • Question 4: Bishop Browning on how Australia contributes to the flow of refugees
    • Question 5: Cassidy on the extent is it legitimate for the church to have a voice in refugee matters
    • Question 6: Keogh on the connection between unresolved reconciliation issues with indigenous Australians and our attitude to refugees
    • Question 7: The relevance of the National Child Protection Framework to refugee children in detention
    • Question 8: How is it possible to change the refugee policies of the Labor and Liberal Parties?
    • Question 9: Browning: See whether elimination of punitive element and just turning back the boats will still maintain deterrance
    • Question 10:  Cassidy & Browning: Are measures of oppression beyond what is required to deter boats?
    • Question 11: Keogh: The Government has admitted that mandatory detetention does not deter refugees
    • Question 12: Machiridza: Whether Australia has a reputation in Africa as a cruel country; Red Cross instructed refer to refugees as detainees
    • Question 13: Stanhope & Browning: Changing policy by embarrassing politicians and the electorate
    • Final Remarks: Genevieve Jacobs

2016 Forum Series: “Common wealth, common good”

By | Uncategorized

24 February 2016: “Post Paris: Psychology of a New World Order”, Bishop George Browning

20 April 2016:  “Religion, Violence and the Peaceable Kingdom”, Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard

25 May 2016:  A Christian Vision for Tax Reform in Australia, Dr Brendan Long, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

  • Audio recordings:
    • Dr Long’s address
    • Comment on the speech, Bishop George Browning
    • Question 1: Tax reform as a challenge to economic liberalism open to be accused of playing the politics of envy or dismissed as wowserism as have been church concerns about regulation of alcohol and gambling
    • Question 2: What is tax, and regressive, unfair nature of broad GST?
    • Question 3: Should we not first give attention to current distribution to those who do not need it rather than to redistribution?
    • Question 4: Better to use tax to nudge behaviour rather than tax everything.
    • Question 5:  Selective taxes such as on tobacco and exemption of GST on fresh food can benefit the poor.
    • Question 6: Why are politicians so scared of the GST?
    • Question 7: Taxes should serve the environment and people. Can we be more creative with taxes like a Tobin tax?
    • Question 8: Impact of Capital Gains Tax and Negative Gearing
    • Question 9: The Level of Taxation in Australia and opponents of change
    • Question 10: Why do we need to raise taxes further?
    • Question 11: Don’t tax avoidance and tax havens have a good effect?
    • Question 12: We should avoid taxation of the productive process.
    • Question 13: Which countries do taxation better than Australia and why?
    • Conclusion: Bishop George Browning

 21 July 2016: “What makes for the common good” Frank Brennan (Annual dinner forum)

  • Audio recordings:
    • Introduction: Bishop Stephen Pickard
    • Prof Brennan’s address
    • Question 1: What relevance has the common good to revenue and taxation such as the reductions in taxation of multinational companies in the context of a revenue shortfall?
    • Question 2: Australia and Observance of the international rule of law: China and South China sea dispute and Timor Gap dispute with Timor Leste.
    • Question 3: Why do politicians oppose the adoption of an Australian Human Rights Act?
    • Question 4: Common good and majority rule of democracy.
    • Question 5: The importance of hope in contrast to pessimism and optimism.
    • Question 6: How would the offer of sanctuary to refugees stand up in jurisdictions that have a human rights act?
    • Question 7: Securing a political consensus for closing offshore detention centres.
    • Question 8: The impact of the number of women in positions of authority on the common good.
    • Vote of Thanks: Prof Ingrid Moses.

21 September 21 July 2016: “Strategy, not charity: why we need effective aid now”, Helen Szoke, Chief Executive of Oxfam Australia

19 October 2016: “A Place at the Table: social justice in an ageing society” – Public Forum on the 2016-17 Social Justice Statement, Kevin Vassarotti, Richard Gray and Sr Colleen Clear rsj

  • Audio recordings:

8 November 2016:  Does Beauty say Adieu? The Call of Beauty in a Disfigured World. A performance in Four Acts on environmental degradation and climate change.  Canon Graeme Garrett and Dr Jan Morgan

  • Audio recordings:
    • Welcome: Bishop George Browning, Chairman, CES
    • Introduction: Rev Thorwald Lorenzen, President, CES
    • Introduction to the presentations: Canon Graeme Garrett
    • Act I, The Pieta: Dr Jan Morgan, Pastoral Care Educator
    • Act II, The Ocean: Canon Graeme Garrett
    • Act III, The Sheerwater: Dr Jan Morgan
    • Act IV, The Star Jump: Canon Graeme Garrett
    • Question 1: Impact of technology and virtual reality and whether we Christians stand condemned for our lack of guardianship of the rest of creation.
    • Question 2: Impact of habituation of degradation. How do we introduce appreciation of beauty in small things and revive a sense of wonderment?
    • Question 3: Distraction of technology in impeding people being in the present. If you were an artist what would you paint?
    • Question 4: How do we communicate wonderment and the appreciation of beauty to those preoccupied with survival?
    • Question 5: What would you write in a letter to Minister Josh Frydenberg to move him to take serious action on climate change?
    • Question 6: The challenge of climate change is spurring people and governments to work together.
    • Question 7: The image of the intrusion of alien plants in our perfect garden.
    • Final remarks and thanks: Rev Thorwald Lorenzen

Support Canberra’s Permaculture School Garden for Dili, Timor Leste

By | Uncategorized | No Comments
Timorese Permaculture Garden

Enjoy a sumptuous sit-down dinner and support Canberra Friends of Dili raise funds on behalf of Canberra to help the underprivileged schoolchildren of Bidau-Akadhierhun in Dili learn to feed themselves and their families as part of an educational program.

Date:  Saturday 6 April 2019

Time:  6:00-8:30 pm

Venue: Church Hall, Kingston Baptist Church at Currie St,  Kingston ACT

Cost: $40 per head (alcohol free) – includes gourmet menu, pictorial views and film

Enquiries and further information:

Wendy and Robert Altamore – Phone 02 62877512, mobile 0423931753, email  altamr@bigpond.com 

Stephen Utick – mobile 0421972287

#ChangeTheHeart Prayer Service

By | Uncategorized | No Comments
Forum Extras

Download additional forum materials here.

#ChangeTheHeart event flyer

Join us in Canberra at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at a prayer service regarding the 26th of January.

Date:  Thursday 17 January 2019

Time:  Service starts at 6pm

Venue: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall Street, Barton ACT

Light refreshments provided.

Local contact details:

Rev Kathrine Rainger k_rainger@hotmail.com

Hazel Davies hazelmdavies@gmail.com

Rev Tracey Matthews traceyann.matthews@gmail.com

During this service an offering will be taken up to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian ministry through the Grasstree Gathering www.grasstreegathering.org.au.  Please consider how you can support this ministry.

www.commongrace.org.au/changetheheart