Why forums?

The CES conducts public forums to raise the level of knowledge and understanding of the community on key social justice issues and their Christian ethical basis.  Social justice is not the monopoly of Christianity. It is also supported by the values of other religions and secular ethical systems. As Christians, we believe the dissemination of the truth is a primary calling of Christ.  Injustice is easily perpetrated through ignorance or misunderstanding.  

 

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

(Edmund Burke).

 

“We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil.” 

(Martin Luther King, Jr).

 

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

(Alexander Solzhenitsyn)

 

“Unless the engagement and dialogue between us is premised on the concept of ‘the listening heart’ then our relationship will remain out of balance and our endeavours will be doomed. But we have time and we have access to resources. We have the skills and we have the capacity to deal with all the issues that are before us. But do we have the capacity to listen and do we have the vision and sense of national courage and resolve that will enable us all to confront the truth of our past and look to a time when our children will not have to ask the question that so troubled Michael Long on his walk to Canberra: ‘Where, Prime Minister, is the love, where is the love for my people’”

(Patrick Dodson, “Whatever happened to reconciliation” in Altman & Hinson (eds), Coercive reconciliation (Arena, North Carlton, 2007) p. 29)

 

Current Forums

See our home page for information on future forums

Recent Forums

Audio Downloads etc of some past forums are available from our download page.

2017 Forum Series: "Seeking our Moral Compass"

"Seeking our Moral Compass"
Fr Peter L'Estrange, Thursday 16 February, 2017

Speaker: Fr Peter L'Estrange
Chair: Rt Rev'd Professor Stephen Pickard
When: 7:30pm Thursday 16 February, 2017
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Father L'Estrange will introduce the year's theme: Seeking our Moral Compass and outline the need for a moral compass to deliver a fair and harmonious world in the 21st century.

Peter John L'Estrange, AO, is an Australian Jesuit priest and historian educated at St Aloysius' College, Sydney and Campion Hall, Oxford (DPhil, 1991). He has served as the Roman Catholic chaplain to the University of Queensland 1981-1983; chaplain and rector of Newman College at the University of Melbourne 1991-2006; and Master of Campion Hall at the University of Oxford 1991-2008. He was Special Assistant to the President at Georgetown University in Washington DC before returning to Australia in 2013. He is an Honorary Fellow of Mannix College, Monash University and recently joined the Board of the Centre for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies at Georgetown University

He is currently parochial vicar of the Church of St Peter Chanel, Yarralumla, and Attache at the Apostolic Nunciature in Canberra.

poster (A4, 136kB) (A5x2, 136kB)

"The Politics of Love"
Andrew Leigh, MP, Wednesday 19 April, 2017

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


poster (A4, 139kB) (A5x2, 139kB)
Dr Leigh's address

2016 Forum Series: "Common wealth, common good"

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

Speaker: CES Chair
Bishop George Browning
Chair: Paul Bongiorno
When: 7:30pm Wednesday 24 February 2016
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

George Browning will introduce the year's theme: Common Wealth: Common Good within a theological framework and from an environmental perspective.

Dr Will Steffen (Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute) and Right Rev'd Dr Stephen Pickard (Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture) will then launch George's book, Sabbath and the Common Good: Prospects for a New Humanity, which is based on his doctoral thesis.

George Browning is former Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, and is Chair of the CES.

The second eldest of eight children George Browning grew up on a small English dairy farm and migrated to Australia aged 18 to work as a groom on a poll Hereford stud.

He began studying for the ministry aged 20, graduating with First Class Honours. After eight years in parochial ministry he returned to the same College as Vice Principal and lecturer in Old Testament, thus beginning a life time interest in OT studies and research. After another 10 years of parochial ministry, in 1985 he was consecrated a Bishop in Brisbane where in addition to his Episcopal ministry he was also Principal of St Francis Theological College.

In these years he developed a passion for social justice, being involved initially in indigenous issues and more latterly in environmental justice. Appointment to Canberra as its Anglican bishop in 1993 saw him develop advocacy skills at a national level and a passion for justice as an integral expression of Christian faith.

At the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops in the UK he was appointed Chair of the Environment section of the conference and subsequently elected inaugural convener of the International Anglican Communion's environment network.

He remains an ardent social justice advocate, these days focusing on two issues; environmental justice and the cries for justice of the Palestinian people. He shares with the rest of his family responsibility for the trust in memory of his mother, the Barbara May Foundation, which is building hospitals for women's health in rural Ethiopia.

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Here is a copy of his address.

"Religion, Violence and the Peaceable Kingdom"
Rt Rev'd Professor Stephen Pickard, 20 April 2016

Speaker: Rt Rev'd Professor Stephen Pickard
Chair: Lt Gen. John Sanderson AC
When: 7:30pm Wednesday 20 April 2016
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

We live in a violent and brutal world. We are flooded through our media outlets with the latest atrocities; whether it is warring countries, genocide, terrorist groups, religious persecutions, local domestic violence or random individual acts of violence. Some violence is state sanctioned in the name of peace and security. We live in an age of militarism. It represents a vast economic powerhouse. The investment in military armaments throughout the world is huge. The Australian Government has recently committed 30 billion dollars to an ongoing defence budget. Human beings do not have a good track record when it comes to killing one another. Some violence claims a religious legitimation. Indeed the link between religion and violence is regularly reported on. How might we begin to assess the link between religion and violence? And what are to make of the Christian Gospel of Peace? Is the hope for a peaceable kingdom realistic? The common good can hardly be sustained by a common violence!

Stephen Pickard is Executive Director of The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Professor of Theology at Charles Sturt University, and also an Assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn. He is the author of a number of books in the areas of church, culture, evangelism & mission, ministry and the dialogue between science and religion.

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Here is a copy of his address.

"Tax Reform: a Christian Vision"
Dr Brendan Long, 25 May 2016

Speaker: Dr Brendan Long
Chair: Bishop George Browning
When: 7:30pm Wednesday 25 May 2016
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Christian economists seem to be calling for tax reform that is more progressive, that provides for increases in tax revenue to fund social expenditure, and eliminate loopholes enjoyed by richer Australians. They base their conclusions on Christian biblical narratives and Catholic social teaching. Still, as economists, they see that this call for an enhanced revenue base unifies their theological and economic views. Christ called for use to render to Caesar what was Caesar's and to render to God what was God's. In order to better render the wealth of our nation for God, Christian economists say that we need to be open to rendering more of our own income through increasing the tax base, for the sake of others, for the sake of the common good.

Dr Brendan Long is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. He is an economist with over two decades of experience in key government agencies (Treasury, Productivity Commission, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Office of National Assessments) and has held leadership policy roles in national peak organisations in the private and not-for-profit sectors (including Catholic Social Services Australia and National Disability Services). He has also been a senior political adviser for six years to Federal politicians including Simon Crean, Joel Fitzgibbon, Joseph Ludwig and Stephen Conroy.

He holds a BEc from the ANU, a M.Litt from the ANU and a PhD from the University of Cambridge and has published work on the religious aspects of Adam Smith's thought in leading international journals. He is a member of the Australian Catholic Theological Association.

Dr Long is working for the Centre on public theology and social policy applying Christian theology to social and economic policy issues as part of the Civil Society research program of the Centre. His latest analysis looks at the emerging economic views of Pope Francis.

poster (A4, 106kB)

"What makes for the common good"
Frank Brennan
Dinner forum, Thursday 21 July 2016

Speaker: Professor Frank Brennan SJ AO
When: 6:00 for 6:30pm Thursday, 21 July 2015
Where: Bella Vista Restaurant, 84 Emu Bank, Belconnen
Cost: $50 (for three-course meal with wine, fruit juice, tea/coffee)

What makes for common good?

Striving to be an ethical society, we are always wanting our laws and policies to enhance the prospect that citizens and visitors to our shores can live a full human life in community. Much of the modern discourse focuses on the individual human rights of the autonomous individual. But the hard part is always determining the limits of individual rights when they conflict with others' rights and when they undermine the prospect of achieving the common good, the public interest or the national interest. Human rights discourse sometimes disguises the more utopian social vision of its advocates.

How can we think and act ethically about:

These are just some of the questions in contemporary Australia as we attempt to contribute to the common good after the 2016 election.

Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest, professor of law at Australian Catholic University and Adjunct Professor at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, the Australian National University College of Law and the National Centre for Indigenous Studies. He is the National Director of Human Rights and Social Justice for Jesuit Social Services. He enjoys reflecting on the place of law and religion in pluralist democratic Australia.

Detailed biography of Frank Brennan

Payment by bank transfer to Christians for an Ethical Society, Beyond Bank, BSB 805-022, account number 03310199, (stating FIRST, your surname, THEN "brennan dinner"). ALSO email admin@ces.org.au with the names of those attending: expect an email acknowledgement.

OR by cheque made out to Christians for an Ethical Society, posted to Christians for an Ethical Society, C/- Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, George Browning House, 15 Blackall Street (cnr King's Avenue), BARTON ACT 2600 , giving your contact details.

Bookings close Wednesday 13 July (unless booked out earlier, check website www.ces.org.au).

Location map; parking

The Bella Vista Restaurant is on the waterfront near the footbridge & opposite Lake Ginninderra College

There is lots of parking nearby but it may be necessary to park on the overflow car park on the other side of Subway at the area marked "Soundy Close" on the map below

From the overflow carpark walk past the Subway & Pizza Place and past the Lighthouse Bar to Bella Vista.

location map

poster (A4, 180kB) (A5x2, 183kB)

Here is a lecture Prof Brennan recently gave on refugee policy

"Strategy, not charity: why we need effective aid now"
Dr Helen Szoke, 21 September 2016

Speaker: Dr Helen Szoke
Chair: Bishop George Browning
When: 7:30pm Wednesday 21 September 2016
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Dr Szoke will unpack some of the key misconceptions about Australian aid, and argue that aid is a powerful strategy to combat rising global inequality and climate instability and to create lasting peace.

Dr Szoke is a leading thinker and advocate for international development, human rights, gender and race discrimination. Prior to joining Oxfam she served as Australia's Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner and as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner.

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

Speakers: Kevin Vassarotti
Richard Gray
Sr Colleen Clear rsj
Chair: Genevieve Jacobs
When: 7:30pm Wednesday 19 October 2016
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

The speakers and their specific topics are:

Kevin Vassarotti member, ACT Council of the
Ageing Policy Council
Aspects of Aging in Society
Richard Gray Senior Aged Care Advisor,
Catholic Health Australia
Challenges in Aged Care
Sr Colleen Clear rsj Pastoral Care Team Leader,
Southern Cross Care
Reflections of Pastoral Care in Aging
Here is an online copy of the Social Justice Statement
Copies of the Statement and Ten Steps Leaflet will be available for $1.50 a set

Kevin Vassarotti was born in Sydney in 1949 and moved to Canberra in 1970 to work for the Australian Government and the National Catholic Education Commission. Kevin has a B Comm (Industrial Relations) University of NSW. He has served on the national and local councils of the Australian Association of Gerontology as well as a number of national advisory boards of non-government organisations in the ageing and aged care sector.

Kevin is currently a member of the ACT Council on the Ageing (COTA) Policy Council.

Kevin's professional interests are productive ageing and the need for a strategic approach to research and education on the social and economic issues relevant to the ageing of the Australian population. Kevin was Director, Population Ageing and Research, Office for an Ageing Australia, Department of Health and Ageing, 1999-2009. His career also includes eight years as a national education lobbyist and twelve years as a policy adviser in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Richard Gray AM has been with Catholic Health Australia since April 1996 and currently occupies the role of Senior Aged Care Advisor.

Former Manager regional commercial TV station based at Wagga NSW, General Manager commercial radio station 3AW Melbourne, CEO/Company Secretary Spastic Society of Victoria, National Executive Director Aged Care Australia.

Former Board member of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency; the multicultural residential aged care facility Villaggio 'Sant Antonio Ltd in Page; ACROD Ltd, now NDS; Cerebral Palsy Overseas UK and Chair Victorian Consultative Council on Rehabilitation.

Currently he serves on a number of Federal Government consultative committees and is a Board Member of the disability, special children's education and aged care charity Villa Maria Catholic Homes, Victoria

After 45 years teaching infant school students, Sr Colleen Clear was offered a job by Southern Cross Care as Pastoral Care Team Leader for three of their facilities - Goulburn NSW, Garran ACT and Campbell ACT. She now recruits, trains and supports volunteers for those facilities.

Cost: $5 donation includes supper

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"Does beauty say Adieu? - The call of beauty in a disfigured world"
Canon Graeme Garrett & Dr Jan Morgan, 8 November 2016

Speakers: Canon Graeme Garrett
Dr Jan Morgan
Chair: Rev Dr Thorwald Lorenzen
When: 7:30pm Tuesday 8 November 2016
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Graeme Garrett is an Anglican priest (retired). He was formerly the Pat Wardle Lecturer in Systematic Theology and Senior Research Fellow at St Mark's National Theological Centre & the School of Theology of Charles Sturt University. Prior to that he was Principal of Burgmann College at ANU, and Professor of Theology at Whitley College in the University of Melbourne. As well as being concerned with the place of theology in the life of the church, Graeme has a long-standing interest in the critical conversation between Christian faith and contemporary culture, at this time especially in the question of climate change. He has written and edited a number of books including God Matters and The Habit of Freedom. He now lives in Melbourne and is an Adjunct Fellow of Trinity Theological College in the University of Melbourne.

  • The beauty of the world is an icon of God.
  • Beauty points beyond itself to its source in the Creator.
  • The disfiguration of this beauty (the 'groaning of creation') is not only an ecological, economic and political issue.
  • It is also a theological challenge.
  • How can the church bear witness to the sacred nature of the earth and her beauty in our society?

Jan Morgan's book Earth's cry: prophetic ministry in a more-than-human world (published in 2013 by Uniting Academic Press) draws together her decades of experience as a pastoral care educator at The Peter McCallum Cancer Institute, and her longstanding call to care for our Earth home. As a mother and a grandmother she is deeply concerned by the inadequacy of our response as Christians and as a society to climate change.

Cost: $5 donation includes supper

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2015 Forum Series: "Equity and the Human Family"

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

Speaker: Incoming CES President
Reverend Dr Thorwald Lorenzen
Chair: CES Chair
Bishop George Browning
When: 7:30pm Thursday, 12 February 2015
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

"Free and equal! Towards a more humane society"

Formerly the Senior Minister of the Canberra Baptist Church, Thorwald Lorenzen is currently Professor of Theology and Principal Researcher at Charles Sturt University. He also lectures regularly at Whitley College, University of Divinity in Melbourne. For two decades, he has been active in the Human Rights Commission of the Baptist World Alliance. He was Professor of Systematic Theology and Social Ethics at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Switzerland for more than twenty years.

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Here is a copy of his address

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

Speaker: Dr Ken Crispin QC
Chair: Rev. Dr Thorwald Lorenzen
When: 7:30pm Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

The war on drugs: noble cause or tragic debacle?

The discussion will raise a number of potentially disturbing questions:

Ken Crispin, a retired barrister and Queen's Counsel, was the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions, a Supreme Court judge and president of the ACT Court of Appeal as well as the chair of the Bar Association. He appeared for a number of high-profile defendants, including Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, and between 1996 and 2006 chaired the ACT Law Reform Commission. In his spare time, Dr Crispin has completed a PhD in ethics, written numerous articles on law and ethics, three books, "The Quest for Justice" being a best seller, and the libretto for an opera.

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"Budget Equity?"
Paul Bongiorno, 21 May 2015

Speaker: Paul Bongiorno
Chair: Bishop George Browning
When: 7:30pm Thursday, 21 May 2015
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Budget Equity?

The discussion will raise a number of issues:

Paul Bongiorno is currently Contributing Editor for Network Ten. He writes weekly columns for The Saturday Paper and other publications as well as being a regular commentator on ABC Radio National. He has been a journalist for forty years and in that time has won four national Walkley Awards for journalistic excellence.

For the past twenty seven years he has been a member of the federal parliamentary press gallery and for seventeen of them he was Ten's Bureau Chief and host of the national political program Meet The Press. Before that he covered Queensland state politics for ten years at channel Ten Brisbane.

In 2014 he was appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the print and broadcast media as a journalist, political commentator and editor. He is married with two daughters and has a master's degree (STL) in Theology from the Pontifical Urban University, Rome.

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Our annual dinner forum

"Fortress Australia - myth or reality?"
Tim Costello
Dinner forum, Thursday 27 August 2015

Speaker: Rev. Tim Costello, AO
Chair: Rev. Dr Thorwald Lorenzen
When: 6:30 for 7pm Thursday, 27 August 2015
Where: Bella Vista Restaurant, 84 Emu Bank, Belconnen
Cost: $50 (for three-course meal with wine, fruit juice, tea/coffee)

Tim Costello is one of Australia's most sought after voices on issues of social justice, leadership and ethics. Since 2004 Tim has been CEO of World Vision, Australia's largest international development agency. Trained in economics, law, education and theology, Tim has practised law, served as a Baptist minister, and has been active in church and community leadership, local government and national affairs.

poster (A4, 189kB) poster (A5, 189kB)

STOP PRESS:

We're fully booked now (subject to cancellations or official invitations not accepted); please email admin@ces.org.au to enquire about this before making any payment

Bookings (SEE NOTE ABOVE):

Payment by bank transfer to Christians for an Ethical Society, Beyond Bank, BSB 805-022, account number 03310199, (stating FIRST, your surname, THEN "costello dinner"). ALSO email admin@ces.org.au with the names of those attending: expect an email acknowledgement.

OR by cheque made out to Christians for an Ethical Society, posted to CES, PO Box 5709, Hughes ACT 2605, giving your contact details.

Bookings close Wednesday 19 August (unless booked out earlier, check website www.ces.org.au).

Location map; parking

The Bella Vista Restaurant is on the waterfront near the footbridge & opposite Lake Ginninderra College

There is lots of parking nearby but it may be necessary to park on the overflow car park on the other side of Subway at the area marked "Soundy Close" on the map below

From the overflow carpark walk past the Subway & Pizza Place and past the Lighthouse Bar to Bella Vista.

location map

"The next 35 years: Protecting the environment in order to protect the economy"
Professor Steve Hatfield-Dodds, Tuesday 20 October 2015

Speaker: Professor Steve Hatfield-Dodds
Chair: Dr David Hunter
When: 7:30pm Tuesday 20 October 2015
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

"The next 35 years: Protecting the environment in order to protect the economy"

The essence of sustainability is to stop thinking in terms of 'economy versus the environment' and start thinking in terms of 'short run versus long run'. But too often our public debate reverts to outdated and simplistic ways of thinking. This inertia threatens to undermine our future prosperity and security.

Stewardship involves the nurture and protection of the assets that underpin the future wellbeing and security of our communities and planetary home - including our economic, social and natural capital. Squandering or burning our natural capital with no thought to the future is un-economic, and poor stewardship. In the worst cases, it is a disgrace that fails to respect and cherish the gifts of creation that have been made available for human use.

It is well understood that the window is closing on humanity's ability to avoid dangerous climate change. It is possible - perhaps likely - that we have already left things too late. And climate is only one of a number of planetary boundaries that require active stewardship.

What is less well understood is that decisive action on climate change is a pro-growth strategy, and that failing to reduce national and global emissions pose much more significant risks to growth and prosperity over the long term.

Steve describes himself as a 'thoughtful economist'. He is one of Australia's leading thinkers on sustainability, climate change and environmental policy. Around half of his career has been in senior policy roles (including in Treasury, Environment, and Climate Change), and half in policy-related research roles (at the ANU and elsewhere). His research interests include integration science and modelling, the design and evaluation of incentive based policies, adaptive governance, public values and attitudes, and science-policy communication. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University, Board Member of the International Society for Ecological Economics, and represents Australia on the UN International Resource Panel. He is fond of dark chocolate, espresso, sharing hospitality, and hiking.

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For Those Who've Come Across the Seas: Justice for refugees and asylum seekers
Wednesday 11 November 2015

Joint forum with the Catholic Social Justice Commission

Speakers: Jon Stanhope
Sr Jane Keogh
Felix Macharidza
Chair: Genevieve Jacobs
When: 7:30pm Wednesday 11 November 2015
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Further details here in due course.

Jonathan Donald (Jon) Stanhope, AO is a former Australian politician who was Labor Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory from 2001 to 2011. Stanhope represented the Ginninderra electorate in the ACT Legislative Assembly from 1998 until 2011. He is the only ACT Chief Minister to have governed with a majority in the ACT Assembly.

Stanhope was appointed Administrator of the Australian Indian Ocean Territories, which consists of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands from 5 October 2012. His two-year term ended in October 2014.

Before election to the ACT Legislative Assembly, Stanhope held a range of community roles including: President ACT Council for Civil Liberties; Original co-convener of Racial Respect in the ACT; President ACT Hospice and Palliative Care Society; and ACT convener of the National Coalition for Gun Control

After leaving office, Stanhope accepted a professorial fellowship in the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, based at the University of Canberra, commencing in August 2011

Jane is from a Canberra family, attending what is now Merici College and leaving directly from school to join the Brigidine Sisters in Sydney. Working in primary schools, and for twenty six years as a principal, Jane served in Brisbane, Sydney and Coonamble. Her interests were bringing literacy and self confidence to the more disadvantaged students and in preparing students to make a positive contribution to society.

Her interests in social justice took her to the University of California where she gained a Masters Degree in Education exploring the question of How to teach people to care.

In 2002 Jane came to Canberra as a full time carer for her mother who had Alzheimers.

Dismayed by the government's treatment of asylum seekers at the time of the Tampa incident Jane worked with the Refugee Action Committee to gain justice for asylum seekers. She also began her own individual project visiting Baxter detention Centre nearly one hundred times, networking and finding legal support for detainees. Jane continues to work with refugees particularly those still recovering from the trauma of detention.

Jane finds support for work from the Brigidines and is inspired by the commitment of those in the Christian LoveMakesAWay Movement and the Faith Based Working Group of Canberra's Refugee Action Committee. She has been arrested twice for her peaceful protest action and was one of over fifty Christians who recently took their protest inside parliament house. Jane lives in a retirement village in Downer with her two dogs and is an active member of the Taoist Tai Chi Society and Canberra Dance Theatre's Gold,Growing Old Disgracefully over 55s dance group recently on tour of the UK and Vienna.

Felix Simba Machiridza is a Social Worker, Human Rights Activist and Performing Artist.

He came to Australia in 2010 as an asylum seeker from Zimbabwe where he worked as a journalist and a human rights activist. He had experienced very difficult circumstances under the dictatorial regime in his home country. He sought asylum in Australia and was granted a protection in 2011.

Since then he has worked as Case Manager in the Humanitarian Settlement Services at MARSS, Case Manager in the Migration Support Program at the Australian Red Cross and currently works as a Gateway Engagement Officer at Barnardos. Felix has a BA Media Studies (University of Zimbabwe), Bachelor of Social Work (Australian Catholic University) and is currently doing a Master of Child and Adolescent Welfare (Charles Sturt University)

In his free time he engages in various community cultural initiatives and speaks to students at various schools on a range of issues and uses his personal experiences to encourage asylum seekers, refugees, students and others who are on the verge of giving up because of various challenges. He is passionate about social justice and promoting peace initiatives that contribute to making the world a better place for everyone.

In October Felix was reunited with his 3 children with the help of Canberra Refugee Support and other members of the Canberra community after almost 4 and half years of separation. He continues to be active in assisting asylum seekers and refuges through various community initiatives.

CSJC contact: Mike Cassidy, Chairman
Tel: 02 6235 5452
Mob: 0412 145 088
E-mail: csjc@cg.catholic.org.au

poster (A4, 160kB) (A5x2, 161kB)

Can you help publicise this event? A brief notice for (eg) a church bulletin follows.

Public Forum on the 2015-16 Social Justice Statement: For Those Who've Come Across the Seas: Justice for refugees and asylum seekers at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 11 November at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Barton.  The Catholic Social Justice Commission and Christians for an Ethical Society will co-sponsor the forum.  Speakers will be Jon Stanhope, Sr Jane Keogh and Felix Machiridza.  The event will be moderated by Genevieve Jacobs of ABC local radio.  Each speaker will have 20-minutes and then we will have an hour of questions to the panel of speakers from the audience.  For information contact Mike Cassidy on 0412 145 088 or email csjc@cg.catholic.org.au

2014 Forum Series: "Responsible Citizenship"

"Overturning Tables, Knocking off Heads of State, and Other Ways of being Responsible Christian Citizens"
Professor James Haire, 26 February 2014

Speaker: Incoming CES President
Reverend Professor James Haire AC
Chair: Incoming CES Chair
Bishop George Browning
When: 7:30pm Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

The Reverend Professor James Haire is Professor of Theology of Charles Sturt University (CSU), and Director of the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre (PACT), based in Canberra. He was Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (National Australian Christian Centre)(ACC&C) until 2013.

More details about Professor Haire

Donation $5 requested to cover the cost of the forum. Supper will be provided

poster (A4, 101kB) (A5x2, 102kB)

Here is the media release (pdf, 89kB).

"Ceding sovereignty in investment treaties: government of the people by foreign corporations"
Professor Thomas Faunce, 17 March 2014

Speaker: Professor Thomas Faunce
ANU College of Law and ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
Chair: Professor Hilary Charlesworth, ANU College of Law
When: 7:30pm Monday 17 March 2014
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton
Prof. Faunce warns of the danger that the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, being negotiated in secret, will involve a fundamental challenge to our constitution and democracy, with foreign corporations empowered to overturn decisions they do not like, including those on health and the environment. Tobacco companies are presently using a similar procedure under a free trade agreement with Hong Kong to challenge Australian plain packaging legislation. Prof. Faunce took a leading role in heading off the inclusion in the Free Trade Agreement with the United Sates of provisions that could have seen the dismantling of Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Donation $5 requested to cover the cost of the forum. Supper will be provided

poster (A4, 77kB) (A5x2, 77kB)

Here is the media release (pdf, 80kB).

"Blinded by vision - overseas aid as shared learning"
Paul Porteous, 13 May 2014

Speaker: Paul Porteous
Director of Leadership Development and International Programs
ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra
Chair: Russell Rollason, former Chief Executive of
Australian Council for Overseas Aid
When: 7:30pm Tuesday 13 May 2014
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton
Is rising inequality, poverty and human suffering really part of someone's vision? You would hope not. However, greater visions of budget surpluses seem to have captivated people's imagination, resulting in significant cuts to overseas aid. On the road to end poverty, there is more to responsible global citizenship than just waiting for governments to act. Instead, we need to reframe the overseas aid debate as a shared learning about how we live on the same planet. There is much to learn from each other. This requires leadership to move away from just solving technical problems to instead focus on increasing our global problem-solving capacity.

Paul is a thought-provoking leadership theorist and practitioner whose experience includes as Senior Adviser to the President of Madagascar, visiting faculty at Harvard Kennedy School and representative to numerous international organisations.

Donation $5 requested to cover the cost of the forum. Supper will be provided

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Media Release

CES 2014 Dinner Forum

"The Common Good: A question of style" Professor Will Storrar, 4 July 2014

Speaker: Professor Will Storrar
Chair: Bishop George Browning
When: 6.30 for 7 pm, Friday 4th July
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton
Cost: $50 per head, for two-course meal with wine & juice

The common good is a widely used term in public debate and public theology, but what does it mean?

In his talk, Professor Storrar will suggest the common good is a question of style as well as substance. The case for the common good is as much about our styles of arguing and working as it is about our ideas of what constitutes the good for all. The talk will focus on a Protestant style of imagining the common good as a contribution to a larger ecumenical and global commitment to human flourishing. In public life and theology, style matters.

Professor Will Storrar is Director of the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton and formerly Professor of Christian Ethics and Practical Theology at the University of Edinburgh. He was instrumental in establishing the Global Network for Public Theology and the International Journal of Public Theology. He holds visiting professorships at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.

His recent books include: Public Theology for the 21st Century (2004) and A World for All? Global Civil Society in Political Theory and Trinitarian Theology (2011).

More information about Professor Storrar

How to book:

If paying by cheque, make it out to "Christians for an Ethical Society" and post to the Treasurer, CES, PO Box 5709, Hughes ACT 2605.

If paying by Bank Transfer, to the "Christians for an Ethical Society" account at Beyond Bank (previously Community CPS) BSB: 805:022; Account: 03310199. Please include your name on the transfer and refer to "Storrar dinner". Please also email details of those attending to admin@ces.org.au

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"Unemployment - causes, consequences and cures"
Professor Bob Gregory & Kasy Chambers, 30 September 2014

Speakers:   Professor Bob Gregory
Research School of Economics, ANU
  and Kasy Chambers
Executive Director of Anglicare Australia
Chair: Bishop George Browning
When: 7:30pm Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Bob Gregory is Emeritus Professor at the Research School of Economics ANU and was previously Head of the Economics Program in the Research School of Social Sciences, ANU. He has been President of Economic Society of Australia and is currently the Inaugural President of the Society of Labour Economists of Australia and New Zealand. He was awarded the 2002 Distinguished Fellow Medal of the Economic Society of Australia

Kasy Chambers is the Executive Director of Anglicare Australia - a peak body of Anglicare agencies across Australia whose purpose is to help its members work for social justice as well as caring for those in need in local communities. Policy development, lobbying and advocacy are fundamental to her work which also includes working with other peak bodies and with member agencies.

Donation $5 requested to cover the cost of the forum. Supper will be provided. Contact Robyn 6254 0487

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"Striving for the best in our sporting nation: can sport be a force for social justice?"
Joe Roff and Sally Shipard, 15 October 2014

Speakers:   Joe Roff
  and Sally Shipard
Chair: Tim Gavel
ABC Grandstand broadcaster
When: 7:30pm Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

The 2014 Social Justice Statement, recently issued by the Catholic Bishops, challenges us to look at the place of sport in our lives. How can we ensure that sport can thrive and in return nourish our society, and how can we confront the influences that undermine or distort its ideals?

Most importantly, how can we work to realise sport's potential to unite communities, overcome differences and be a force for social justice and reconciliation?

Tim Gavel, ABC's Grandstand broadcaster will be the forum's master of ceremonies. Joe Roff and Sally Shipard will be keynote speakers. Panel members will include Fr Peter Day, founder of HOME in Queanbeyan and former sports broadcaster.

Joe Roff was born in Melbourne in 1975. He is a retired Australian Rugby Union footballer and a product of the Tuggeranong Vikings Rugby Union Club. He played for the Brumbies and for Australia. He also had a spell at the French club Biarritz and in 2005-6 in Japan's Top League. His final game saw him captain Oxford against Cambridge in the 2007 Varsity match.

Sally Jean Shipard was born in 1987 in Tumut. She is a retired Australian international soccer midfielder who played for Canberra United in the Australian W-league from 2009-2014. During the 2012 off-season she played in the German Bundesliga.

This is a joint forum with the Catholic Social Justice Commission

Here is some relevant reading:

Donation $5 requested to cover the cost of the forum. Supper will be provided. Contact Robyn 6254 0487

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2013 Forum Series: "Political and economic conventional wisdom: As immoral as it is unintelligent"

"Making Faith Real in Today's World"

Speaker:   Professor Brian Howe, AO, former Deputy Prime Minister
Chair:       Bishop George Browning
When:       7:30pm Thursday, 14 February 2013
Where:     Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Brian will talk about employment, both the increased inequities of casual employment and more generally about the underlying structural flaw in 21st century capitalism, namely that modern capitalism encourages personal gratification among the well off, harming the work ethic that capitalism depends upon - as set out by Bell in The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

Professor Brian Howe is Honorary Professor at the Centre for Public Policy at the University of Melbourne. In the late 1960s, he studied theology in Chicago and on his return to Australia took up ministry with the Methodist, later Uniting Church in various part of Victoria. He successfully obtained a seat in federal parliament in 1977.

He was a member of the Federal Cabinet from 1984 to 96 and held a range of Ministerial portfolios in the fields of Defence, Social Security, Health, Housing and Community Services. His administration of these portfolios was distinguished by a number of major policy initiatives in Social Security reform of family payments and the introduction of Child Support, in Health the National Mental Health Strategy and the Commonwealth Dental Scheme. He was also responsible for important Commonwealth State initiatives such as the Commonwealth State Disability Agreement and the Building Better Cities program.

He was Deputy Prime Minister of the Keating Labor Government from 1991 to 1995. He retired from Federal politics in 1996 but has retained his active concern for social issues. For example, in 2011 the ACTU commissioned Prof Howe to chair its enquiry into insecure work and he has spoken widely on this issue: here is an address by Prof Howe to the National Press Club about it.

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media release

Here is a copy of Prof Howe's presentation (.pptx, 114kB)

Here is an article by John Nevile about Prof Howe's presentation (.doc, 27kB)

"Ethics and Refugees: a deplorably impoverished and cynical discourse"

Speaker:   Professor William Maley AM, Director, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, ANU
Chair:       Rev Monsignor John Woods
When:       7:30pm Thursday, 18 April 2013
Where:     Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Dr Maley is Vice-President of the Refugee Council of Australia, a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, a member of the Australian Chapter of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific and also a Barrister of the High Court of Australia. He has written prolifically, including Developments in International Humanitarian Law and four books on Afghanistan, the country of origin of many of our asylum seekers and one that he has been researching for over thirty years.

The experiences of refugees confront us in ethical, not simply political terms. Considerations of legality, reciprocity and the very nature of international society provide complementary underpinnings for the duties we owe them. Dr Maley will examine these bases of responsibility and show how the current discourse ignores these important moral concerns.

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Here is a list of reviews relating to immigration and refugee issues from the Australian Parliamentary Library

Refugee Facts

"Facts may be in short supply. It appears the Australian community is seriously misinformed about asylum seekers. In its polling in March 2012 Essential Research found that 23% of Australians believe that asylum seekers coming by boat represented 25% or more of the Australian annual immigration intake. In fact, it is 1% to 2%."
The Refugee Facts website has been designed to provide quick facts and comprehensive background information on asylum seekers in Australia.

"Child Protection; Getting it Right"

Speaker:   Mary Ivec, Regulatory Institutions Network, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
Chair:       Matt Casey
When:       7:30pm Thursday, 30 May 2013
Where:     Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Mary has 25 years of experience in human services including:
  • government;
  • the not-for-profit sector and community development;
  • clinical practice as a mental health social worker;
  • lecturing in social work education; and
  • research on the application of restorative justice and responsive regulation in child protection.
Her long term work has been in the area of trauma/torture counselling, cross-cultural mental health and families involved with statutory child protection services.

She has been part of a small research team, working on a recently-completed five year Australian Research Council Linkage project: 'Regulation, Child Protection and Building Capacity in the Community and in Child Protection Systems'. Information on this project can be found by clicking on: Community Capacity Building In Child Protection Projects

Outline of her talk: The Community Capacity Building in Child Protection Projects gathered information about how child protection works in Australia through:

Common themes include low levels of trust between various parties, disempowering practices that breed resentment, an assessment focused system that centralises decision making and misses opportunity to help, an over-worked highly stressed workforce, and poor support for child protection workers, other service agencies and often families themselves. At the same time, sources of support for both workers and families are identified in the external environment, but remained alienated from the problem-solving process. In contrast, a number of highly successful practices and programs exist within and sit alongside child protection systems overseas (to a lesser extent, Australia). Part of 'child protection - getting it right' is to explore how we can build trust between parties, how we can better harness the sources of support that do exist, and how we can build empowering and participatory processes which enable shared decision making as well as shared responsibility.

The Chair for the forum, Matt Casey, works with Catholic Life. He is presently the Professional Standards Officer for the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Before that he was was the Archdiocesan Coordinator for Parish Support where his responsibilities included a range of faith formation, education and personal development. More information about Matt Casey

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"Climate Change: challenging government to turn the tide"

Panel:   Simon Sheikh National Director of GetUp
Anna Rose Australian National University
Chair:       Bishop George Browning
When:       7:30pm Wednesday 19th June 2013
Where:     Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

This forum is presented in association with Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Simon Sheikh is a former public servant, an economist and a campaigner who has spent his life standing up for communities in the face of vested interests. He is now running for the federal Senate with the ACT Greens.

Simon was raised in public housing estate in inner Sydney and was the carer for his mother who suffered from mental health issues. Simon combined a degree in economics with full-time work at Telstra and as a public servant at the NSW Treasury before becoming National Director of online advocacy group GetUp. In August 2012 Simon moved permanently to the south side of Canberra.

Anna Rose is an environmentalist, lecturer and author. She co-convenes the Vice-Chancellor's course in Leadership & Influence at ANU and is the author of Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic (MUP, 2012) about her journey around the world to change former Treasurer Nick Minchin's mind on climate change. Anna was the founder, former Co-Director and until recently Chair of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

The forum chair, George Browning, is former Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, and is President of the CES

In 1998 he chaired the environmental section of the Lambeth Conference of Bishops and since 2005 has been Convener of the Anglican Communion Environment Network.

In 2010 he completed an honours thesis through Charles Sturt University on the topic: Sabbath and Sustainability: Genesis 2: 1-4a and the Climate Change debate.


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Useful links on climate change

CES Inaugural Dinner Forum

"Being a Christian in a Secular Society especially as a senior government advisor"

Speaker: Ted Evans, former Secretary to the Treasury
Chair: Bishop George Browning
When: 6.30 for 7 pm, Tuesday 13 August 2013
Where: Barton Room
The Brassey of Canberra
Belmore Gardens and Macquarie Street
Barton, ACT 2600
Cost: $40, for a 2-course meal with wine
Bookings: Online, by credit card, through trybooking
Unfortunately we have been having complaints about trybooking: if you get a seemingly nonsense error message, please let me know, and try this link instead
If that fails please type (or cut-and-paste) the following into your browser address window http://www.trybooking.com/DCVE
Alternatively you can send a cheque to PO Box 5709, Hughes ACT 2605, or
to pay by bank transfer, contact us
Booking
deadline:
2 August 2013
Enquiries: Heather McLaren 6291 4537 or Robyn Coghlan 6254 0487, or
email us

Ted Evans was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia in 1999 for his services to the development of Australian economic policy and, in 2001, he was awarded a Centenary Medal for service to the nation as Secretary to the Treasury. He was a member of the Australian Permanent Delegation to the OECD in Paris, an Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Director of both the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Commonwealth Bank. After joining the Westpac Board, in 2007 he became the Chairman of The Westpac Group. He is a Non-Executive Director of Navitas LTD (NVT), which provides pre-university and university programmes for domestic and overseas students.

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"The Good Life: a community affair"

We are social creatures so how do we best nurture the communities that sustain us?
 
Speaker: Hugh Mackay
Chair: Right Rev'd Stephen Pickard
When: 7:30pm Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture,
Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Hugh Mackay, a psychologist and social researcher, is currently an honorary professor of social science at the University of Wollongong. A newspaper columnist for over 25 years, he is the author of nine books in the field of social psychology and ethics, and five novels. One of the founders of the St James Ethics Centre, he was previously deputy chairman of the Australia Council and the inaugural chairman of the ACT Government's Community Inclusion Board. In recognition of his pioneering work in social research, he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and awarded honorary doctorates by Charles Sturt, Macquarie, NSW and Western Sydney universities.

His talk will focus on his latest book, The Good Life, and on the importance of recognising that we are, essentially, social creatures with a corresponding need to nurture the communities that sustain us.


His talk will address the following key points:

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2012 Forum Series "Where Lies Happiness? Recovering Community"

"Where lies Happiness? The Christian Understanding of Contentment and Community"

Speaker:   Reverend Professor James Haire AM KSJ, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture
Chair:       Bishop George Browning
When:       7:30pm Thursday, 8 March 2012
Where:     Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

The Reverend Professor James Haire is Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (National Australian Christian Centre)(ACC&C), Professor of Theology of Charles Sturt University (CSU), and Director of the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre (PACT), all based in Canberra.

More details about Professor Haire

Professor Haire's address will cover:

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"FREEDOM to lead a life we have reason to VALUE: the social causes of HEALTH & WELLBEING "

Speaker:   Professor Sharon Friel Professor of Health Equity & ARC Future Fellow, ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment
Chair:       TBA
When:       7:30pm Thursday, 19 April 2012
Where:     Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Professor Friel's research encompasses many issues at the heart of this year's theme - namely the importance health equity and its relationship to: global health; social determinants of health; climate change; food systems and food security; socio-environmental determinants of non-communicable diseases, urbanisation; mental health in selected south-eastern Australian rural communities flowing from acute and chronic climatic changes. She is interested in research, training, policy and advocacy related to action in the social and environmental determinants of health equity in Australia and across the Asia Pacific including Papua New Guinea.

poster (A4, 107kB) media release
Slides of Prof Friel's talk (pdf, 4.8MB)
Here and here are two articles by Prof Friel (et al) on the topic
Here is a radio talk by Sir Michael Marmot, the UK epidemiologist who proved that social status and power have a direct effect on human health
Sir Michael Marmot spoke with two ANU academics in April 2011 on the economic, social and environmental determinants of human development and health equity. The video of this talk is available through this link and an audio is here. The video link has the advantage of displaying the various charts that the speakers refer to.

How Fair is a Fair Go in Australia? The Impact of Tax and Welfare

Speaker:   Professor Peter Whiteford, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU
Chair:       TBA
When:      7:30pm Thursday 13 September 2012
Where:     Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Peter Whiteford is a professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU. He came to ANU from the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales where he has worked for various periods, most recently as Director. Peter is an expert in family assistance policies, welfare reform, and other aspects of social policy, particularly ways of supporting the balance between work and family life. He has published extensively on various aspects of the Australian system of income support. Peter has an outstanding reputation overseas as well as in Australia. He has worked as a Principal Administrator in the Social Policy Division of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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Here is a copy of Prof Whiteford's presentation (ppt, 1.56MB)

Re-establishing the Power of the People

Speakers:   Chair:       Rev'd Nikolai Blaskow
When:      7:30pm Thursday 11 October 2012
Where:     Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Emeritus Professor Bob Douglas AO was from 1989 to 2001, The Foundation Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the ANU. His 40-year medical career involved clinical work as both a general practitioner and a specialist physician, research into the development and licensure of a pneumococcal vaccine, consultancies with WHO and other agencies in developing countries and a period as Dean of Medicine at The University of Adelaide. Since his 2001 retirement he has he helped to form Australia21 and SEE-Change and has been a contributor to Transform Australia.

There is widespread frustration in Australia at the impoverishment of our political processes at a time when global change means that visionary leadership is desperately needed. Our political parties are in decline and "spin" is the order of the day with a race to the bottom, aimed at addressing some of our baser short term  aspirations with little thought for the long term needs of a viable future society.   Electronic social networking has played a vital role in mobilising people power in the Middle East, but  in Australia, seems to be turning our younger generations inwards rather than  outwards or forwards. In his talk, Prof Douglas will discuss the need for Australia to discover new ways of tackling recalcitrant problems such as climate change, illicit drug policy and management of the end-of-life and the need to develop better ways of informing and activating communities and making our political systems more responsive and accountable to the people. There are some promising signs on the horizon The dramatic rise  of "GETUP" and "AVAAZ" ; the stirring of the community Alliance movement and  the coalitions forming around the climate change issue are signs of  some renewal in the power of the people. He will also discuss a SEE-Change project that is attempting to promote a sense of self efficacy among senior college students in Canberra.

Also in this forum, Karolina Szukalska and Rev'd Steve Clarke will introduce the Canberra Alliance and discuss the philosophies of Community Organising

They will discuss
  • What the Canberra Alliance is
  • How and why the Canberra Alliance was formed
  • Some background information on the philosophies of Community Organising
  • What the Canberra Alliance has been doing
  • The future of the Canberra Alliance

The Canberra Alliance is a citizen's coalition broadly based across religious organisations, community organisations, unions, and other groups interested in establishing relationships that respect diversity while building a cohesive society. It believes that a strong and connected community will enable 'ordinary people' to shape their own future, to grow and develop as leaders, and to join together to influence decision makers.

The Chair for the forum, is Reverend Nikolai Blaskow BA (Sydney); DipEd (UNE); ThL (MCD).

Rev Blaskow was born in Berlin and came to Australia as an unaccompanied displaced person under the Post War Migration Scheme. He was the inaugural Coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Program at Trinity Grammar School in Sydney and has taught a wide variety of subjects to matriculation level. Currently he is Teaching Chaplain at Radford College. Rev Blaskow is also a writer with a completed screenplay and is undertaking to write a novel and a stage play. He is involved in social justice issues and hopes to be more active in inter-faith dialogue. He is a member of the emerging Canberra Alliance.

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Vulnerable Families: Nurturing a Sense of Wellbeing for both Children and Adults

Speaker:   Dr Gail Winkworth, Adjunct Professor, Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University
Chair:       Rev Sarah Macneil
When:      7:30pm Wednesday 28 November 2012
Where:     Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Corner Blackall St and Kings Av, Barton

Children and families, 'vulnerable and in need' - what role can civil society play in a service oriented city?

The Australian Government has adopted the concept of 'social inclusion' as a central organizing principle for its social policy goal of building a "stronger, fairer nation"; one in which all Australians have the "opportunity and support" to fully participate in social and economic life. The Government's agenda for change identified the need to build a fairer society in which "those currently facing disadvantage have improved opportunities for education, health, work and wellbeing and that all Australians enjoy improved quality of life".

The profile of Australians acknowledged as being most at risk of not fully embracing opportunities is not dissimilar to those in other OECD nations. Children are high on the list: young children, Indigenous children, children whose parents are affected by mental health problems, family violence, substance use and homelessness.

The concern for vulnerable children and their families is reflected in several new policy frameworks for action. This talk will refer to Commonwealth initiatives and also to recent ACT approaches which seek to increase the responsiveness of services to 'vulnerable and in need' children and young people.

It will also discuss findings from research, including local studies of the day-to-day experiences of families in Canberra, who struggle to provide their children with the opportunities we often take for granted. It will focus particularly on the views of both parents and children, sometimes surprising, about what makes a positive difference in their lives.

Dr Gail Winkworth is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University (ACU), with a continuing role in, research, publishing and teaching. Her major area of specialisation is collaboration and integration across service delivery systems. In 2009 she wrote the Report "Working across the Grey - Increasing Collaboration for Services in North Canberra", which contributed to recent changes in the way services are offered to families in Canberra.

For many years Gail led child and family welfare programs in ACT and NSW including Child Protection, Adoption, Out of Home Care, Child Abuse Prevention and the cross sectoral Schools as Communities and Parentlink Programs. In 2000 she was awarded the Public Service Medal for the development of innovative programs for disadvantaged children and families. Gail was the founding editor of the peer reviewed journal Communities, Children and Families Australia.

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Details of some of our previous forums:

(Audio Downloads etc of these and other forums are available from our download page.)

The 2011 Series on Good Stewardship - Protecting our Future

  1. "Known Knowns: A Basket of Summer fruit." The Lord said to Amos “What do you see”? And I said “A basket of summer fruit”. Amos 8:2 - Bishop George Browning - 17 February 2011
  2. "Nuclear Power - Bequeathing yet more problems to future generations?" - Dr Sue Wareham - 24 March 2011
  3. "Populating the future - Hurtling towards a precipice, hoping for a miracle?" - Geoff Buckmaster, and "Controlling our population - a moral obligation" - Mark O'Connor - 12 May 2011
  4. "Water community and food" - Dr John Williams - 8 September 2011
  5. "Climate Change "Denial" Twisting Language?" - Dr Haydn Washington - 13 October 2011
  6. "Sustainable Cities" - Professor Peter Newman - 25 November 2011

The CES 2010 forums: Poverty and Affluence

The CES 2009 Series of Social Inclusion Forums

The last forum on Social Inclusion for 2009 was "The social inclusion agenda: What does it mean for poverty in Australia?" with speaker Julian Disney  14th October 2009

 

Two forums were previously held on mental health issues, namely:

      1.      The fifth Social Inclusion forum "Mental disorder plus addiction: I can't fit in anywhere" 

               Prof Ian Webster and Deb Wybron - 3 June 2009

      2.      The fourth Social Inclusion forum  "Access to Mental Health Care: There're people to help you out but not many to stop you falling in."  

               David Crosbie and Kat Szukalska - 30 April 2009

 

The third Social Inclusion forum "White Man's Dreaming: the NT Intervention"   Bishop Greg Thompson - 23rd February 2009

(Background information on the Northern Territory intervention.)

 

The CES 2008 Series of Social Inclusion Forums

The first Social Inclusion forum, "The Biblical imperative for social justice and the practical implications of this", was held on 28 August 2008

Father Michael Fallon MSC spoke on the Biblical imperative for social justice, followed by Terry McCarthy, ex diplomat and former President on the National Social Justice Committee of St. Vinnies, who spoke on the practical implications of this for Australia.

 

The second Social Inclusion forum "Federal Policy on Social Inclusion" was held on 5 November 2008. Senator Ursula Stephens, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector outlined the Government's current Social Inclusion Policy. She was followed by Kasy Chambers, Executive Director of Anglicare Australia who spoke on Social Inclusion from the view point of the non-government sector

 

The CES 2008 Series of Prison Forums

Three separate forums have been recently held prompted by the introduction of the A.C.T.’s first prison, the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC). These were:

  1. Professor Tony Vinson speaking on "Prisons – can they be human even rehabilitate?"

  2. Simon Corbell (Attorney General for the ACT) speaking on "The new ACT Prison: What is planned and what it will achieve" and Professor David Biles speaking on "How the ACT compares:  The facts and figures on prisons and prisoners in Australia", and

  3. Senator Gary Humphreys, Mr Ron Cahill (ACT Chief Magistrate) and Justice Richard Refshauge speaking on "The ACT Prison, a defacto mental institution?"

For more details about these prison forums please go to the CES Prison Information Page.  This page will also monitor future events and issues that arise with the operation of the prison when it opens in August 2008.  The page also contains information about how you can become more involved with the new prison.  (See our "active citizen page" for some general information on becoming an active citizen).

 

Downloadable information on the prison forums, including MP3 recordings of the actual talks, is available at our download page.