Past Forums

Stream audio from past forums or download the audio as an MP3 for offline listening. Also available are additional forum materials such as Powerpoint files, text transcripts and forum flyers.

Dinner Forum 27 August 2019: Telling Truth, Building Community

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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.

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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

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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

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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

2016 Forum Series: “Common wealth, common good”

By | Past Forums, 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