• Open Forum
  • NSW Humanist Meetup
  • Activism meetings
  • Occasion meetings

HuVAT 3.15-5.00 pm on Sunday 13 October 2019

will discuss the Morrison Government's Bill on discrimination on ground of religious belief or activity

Come along and discuss your feelings and thoughts about the extraordinary Exposure Draft of A Bill on discrimination on the ground of religious belief or activity proposed by the Morrison government. It offers to protect non-believers from discrimination but exempts the very religious organisation who are most likely to impose such discrimination! The Bill fails to define 'religious,' but earlier legal boundaries have required supernatural elements, and exclude Humanism from the privileges of religion. If it ever gets enacted, lawyers and judges might extract the effects more clearly, but on superficial inspection it might possibly force a Humanist Society that hasn't carefully crafted its statement of purpose to accept practicing Christians and such - and get swamped out of existence.
Another possibility might be that it obliges an abortion clinic to hire a doctor with religious objection to abortion, then protect his/(surely not her) right to refuse to do abortions. Such concern may be excessive, and it would be good to get some serious law expertise along, but it is indicative of the heavy-handed language in the Bill. It may also be that the Bill will founder on its accumulated absurdities. There are many influential voices calling for sensible amendments to bring it into line with other discrimination legislation. It certainly appears like an intended protection for those very groups that have most opposed certain previous anti-discrimination legislation. What do you think? Our little discussion is not going to solve all the problems, or even answer all the questions, but it's a good opportunity to share our frustrations and may be the beginning of a return to sanity. Come and join us.

HuVAT time slot
Humanist Viewpoints Afternoon Talk (general format now more varying)

Open Forum     Open Forum logo

(Note while this meeting series is sponsored by us its program is often not representative of the views of the Humanist Society at all. In fact it may run topics contrary to our interests! David Duffy's interest is to provide a regular venue to air matters of contemporary interest. If you are interested in what the Society as a body is concerned about click the HuVAT tab above).

2 Oct "Transforming refugee camps"

Ms Rosemary Morrow

Development wortker in regenerating food supplies. She has worked in Turkey, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Iraq and Bangladesh.

9 Oct "The Phillipines"

A tour of this huge archipelago, its history, scenery and people.

Mr Joffre Balce

Economist and Secretary of Assoc for Good Government.

16 Oct "The misplaced adam"

- why Adam was not the first man.

Mr Tom Croucher

Teacher, mathematician and author of: "Adam; the first human?" (Pub 2018)

23 Oct "The importance of philosophy"

Mr Helmut Cernic B.Sc.

(History and philosophy of science.

  Where no program is listed a group discussion takes place, topic resolved by those present.


  Ring 9212 2122 for details for dates not covered here  

The Open Forum has been running for 48 years.

They are held

  • Every Wednesday
  • Starting at 8pm
  • at Humanist House 10 Shepherd St Chippendale.
  • Public Welcome.
  • Phone a recorded message service for last minute updates to the program.
    (+61 2) 9212 2122
  • Note: if there is no guest speaker a discussion evening on a topical issue occurs.
  • Supper available for a small donation.


The Wednesday Open Forum meetings are sponsored by the Humanist of Society of NSW to promote lively debate about topical issues. It has been held every Wednesday since 1971. You are welcome to come along and bring some friends. With a wide range of speakers and audience participants, views expressed by speakers and audience cannot be taken as a reflection of Humanist views .

Humanism fosters constructive intellectual exchange which can become impassioned at time. This requires a commitment from you to appropriate behaviour at all times. Unruly or offensive behaviour will not and cannot be tolerated.

Picture of David Duffy
David Duffy the long-time convener!
Tel: 4782 1130 AM only

The Society also runs the HuVAT (Humanist Viewpoints Afternoon talk) series usually on the second Sunday of each month 4 pm. These meetings are more orientated to the Humanist position as such. Click the HuVAT tab above.

NSW Humanist Meetup

Meeting 3-6PM Sunday 25 August 2019 -
we'll discuss


This is the fourth year in which we've discussed humanitarianism at a time more or less mid-way between the international days for Charity and for Humanitarianism. The event will be hosted by Humanist Society Vice-President John August, and the speakers will be Liam Killingly & David Killingly PhD. Does humanitarianism need to be an integral part of Humanism, or just overlapping? Are Humanists also humanitarians? A hundred years ago the words might have been interchangeable, but humanitarianism has taken on more specific meanings. There is a further distinction between charity and humanitarianism, though both are altruistic in their way. In their presentation, the speakers will briefly examine the contemporary relationship between the concepts of Humanism and Humanitarianism. Then the main focus will be a celebration of Humanitarianism. After a look at the basis of the humanitarian urge in humans, they'll look at various examples of humanitarian actions throughout the world, from individual and small scale local efforts, to global programs like those of Médecins sans Frontières and the Carter Center. Then each attendee will have their opportunity to consider the role of humanitarianism in local and global Humanist communities, and in the wider human world.

All details here in printable form are copied from our journal Viewpoints downloadable from Members page.

No information at present

Humanist House with logo overlaid


HuVAT Sunday 12 May 2019 3.00 for 3.15 p.m. is Murray Love giving a


We'll preview what we'll be doing, what we won't be doing, how to help, how not to hinder, what it's all for, and what it all depends on. This has to be a convention that rolls up its sleeves and gets on with the job of revitalising the humanist movement in Australia. A new wave of humanism is urgently needed for the 21 century, responding to contemporary needs, while also continuing essential traditions. We need the whole Australian Humanist Movement to get involved, whether you can manage to get to the convention or not. This convention will not, must not, be where it all ends, but where it all begins. There will be panels of speakers and lots of Q&A. Speakers won't be the usual celebrities, but ordinary humanists with optimism for the future. Over the two days we will have a number of themed sessions. Details are in the programme issued with the Australian Humanist and with the PDF version of Viewpoints. Tickets will be available at the preview and other Sunday events leading up to the convention. If you can't be there, get them online
The convention in June will be in the hall at Humanist House. There aren't a lot of tickets, and you'll need a ticket to get in. Murray Love, President


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