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

14 February 2013: “Making Faith Real in Today’s World”, Professor Brian Howe

18 April 2013: “Ethics and Refugees: a deplorably impoverished and cynical discourse”, Professor William Maley

30 May 2013: “Child Protection; Getting it Right”, Mary Ivec

13 August 2013: “Being a Christian in a Secular Society especially as a senior government advisor“, Ted Evans

  • Audio recordings:
    • Introduction: John Nevile, Chairman of CES
    • Copy of address: Ted Evans
    • Question 1: You mentioned that you became a Christian later on in life. In Treasury and Westpac how did you find operating as a Christian and how was it different from before you became a Christian?
    • Question 2: Australia’s net indebtedness to the outside world. The moral issue is that our generation is passing on indebtedness to our children and grandchildren. Is that not something that we as Christians and members of the community should not be very concerned about? Why does Treasury never seem to have any concern about Australia’s current account deficits and our net international debt position?
    • Question 3: What difference does it make to a public policy officer being a Christian? Did you ever feel there was a conflict between what you had to advise and your belief?
    • Question 4: Was there a conflict in Christian leadership when you’re on the board of Westpac bank which are commonly thought of to be solely driven by the profit motive in terms of Christian obligation towards the poor and disadvantaged?
    • Question 5: Adequacy of Australia’s overseas aid efforts?
    • Question 6: How well has the media served us in explaining complex issues?
    • Question 7: Adequacy of business efforts to put more resources into the non-profit area (Business philanthropy)
    • Question 8: How can we get the balance right between self interest and social interest?
    • Question 9: On the issues that arise for government such as middle class welfare where is the voice and influence of the church and how can we make it better?
    • Vote of thanks 

27 November 2013: “The Good Life: a community affair”, Hugh Mackay

  • Audio recordings:
    • Welcome: John Nevile, Chairman of CES
    • Introduction: Right Rev’d Stephen Pickard
    • Copy of address: Hugh Mackay
    • Question 1: Optimism: I want to ask you about optimism. The state of things today with threats like climate change. Are we living in a perpetual state of optimism? Do you see a crashing correction happening as a result of our lifestyle and population growth being unsustainable?
    • Question 2: Can you explain the tension in politics between the qualities like self-control, responsibility and community appropriated by the conservative side of politics while on the other hand promoting untrammelled individualism in the economic sphere?
    • Question 3: How can one inculcate in children the values of the good life when these values are so much in competition with the values of the society in which they are growing up?
    • Question 4: How can one sustain community and meaning in community?
    • Question 5: Can you reflect on the pressure on parents now: whether they are strict enough or too firm?
    • Question 6: Does the current rise in alcohol fuelled violence and sledging in cricket reflect something deeper that is going on in society?
    • Question 7: Do you think that the inclusion of “the pursuit of happiness” in the United States Constitution provides us some understanding of how the United States behaves in the world?
    • Question 8: To what extend to you consider that the churches and religion in general have contributed to and played off the Utopian complex and the pursuit of happiness?
    • Vote of thanks