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

HuVAT Sunday 11 November 2018 3.00 for 3.15 p.m.
is on


Our last Humanist Viewpoints Afternoon Talk for 2018 will be a special event with a distinguished guest speaker Dr Russell Blackford who has participated in various secular conferences and panels. Dr Blackford is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Evolution and Technology, a dual PhD, a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, a philosopher and a critic who grew up in the Newcastle region and has now returned to work there. He will discuss the history and core ideas of TRANSHUMANISM as a philosophy of the human future. Is it really a philosophy or just a cultural movement with a cluster of related philosophical positions? "Transhumanists foresee a time when technological interventions in the capacities of the human body and empowerment of the human mind will lead to extreme alterations in human capacities - alterations so dramatic that it makes sense to think of the people of this imagined future not as human but potentially posthuman." Once again we explore the boundary of 'what is human?': - the evolving foundation of our selves, our common values, and our aspirations.


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).

5 Dec "Utopia casts a crooked shadow"

"Utopia is the constant temptation of humankind and also our final tragedy".

Mr Glynn Curran

This is his enf of year talk for 2018.

12 Dec "Egyptian cosmology".

An ancient spiritual compass.

Mr Joe van der Meer

Director of the Swedenborg Centre in NSW.

21 Dec "Egyptian Cosmology, an ancient spiritual compass."

Mr Joe van der Meer

Director of the Swedenborg Centre in NSW.

26 Dec No meeting, Humanist House will be closed

Join us next on Wed 2 January 2019

9 Jan "Law as therapy".

Mr David Murphy

Founding President of the "Self litigants association".

16 Jan "In over our heads"

Mr Joe Nagy

Former credit lending executive officer with Citibank and author of In over our heads published in 1997 in Australia and Canada.

23 Jan "Training IT in NSW"

"A history of our railways since 1855" - illustrated

Mr Peter Sage

Railway historian.

  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 28 October 2018 will present

Speaker Ian Bryce is a Vice-President of the Humanist Society of NSW who has taught ethics classes at a Balmain primary school for eight years, under the Primary Ethics programme, as an alternative to Scripture lessons. Volunteer ethics teachers prepare and deliver approved lesson materials for an hour each week, in accordance with their training. Classes are discussion-based, with the ethics teacher as a facilitator, and are designed to assist students in learning lifelong skills such as listening to each other's ideas, expressing their own opinion, thinking critically and making well-reasoned decisions. Ian will conduct a live demonstration of a lesson. All ages are welcome to participate and learn. Why not bring your children or grandchildren? Typical class topics are stealing, challenging authority, telling the truth, or eating meat. Ethical development is a fundamental of the humanist lifestance. Come along and explore our common ground in secular ethics, based in reciprocity, egalitarianism, human compassion, understanding our place in nature, and the welfare of sentient beings.

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

Workshop on the future of Humanism

Sunday, June 17, 2018 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Humanist House 10 Shepherd St, Chippendale, Sydney

(Humanist House is a few doors behind the old Hotel Broadway, just across and downhill towards the city from the Broadway Shopping Centre.)

Each year we try to celebrate World Humanist Day in June with a deeper look at humanism and/or the humanist movement.

It's been a while since we opened up World Humanist Day to all speakers but we're going back there this year. Hopefully we'll keep things focused on solutions to the problem of growing the Humanist movement in the 21st century.

This is an urgent call (first made in March in the newsletter) for those with a real idea for rebuilding our future as an ethical movement founded in common human values and progressed through human reason, discovery and creativity.

If a talk becomes about something else, hopefully our audience will steer it 'back to the future' through suitable questions and comments.

No-one has contacted me although I have prompted some people and I will be working the audience on the day.


We particular need ideas from those born in the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties and even the nineties. Those born in the twenties, thirties and forties will still have ideas but we have to involve all these younger generations in order to build a future.

We also need to hear from women, LGBTQ, those born overseas in Asia, Africa, Continental Europe, and other non-anglo-celtic areas, people breaking away from religions of all persuasions, those identifying as spiritual but not religious.

We need to hear from everyone with ideas we haven't heard before, about how to evolve a diverse humanist community. Or ideas we haven't heard often enough.

We need to hear from those with expertise in how to organise, fund, grow, market, and empower effective humanist community institutions. We need to continue to develop credible philosophical and ethical underpinnings for our movement requiring teamwork on intellectual discussion and activism.

Everyone will be free to speak but keep in mind there isn't a secretariat or volunteer force available to take up ideas. The ideas for the future which will have some hope of fruition will be those which include an implementation strategy.

Ideas from this event will play a part in the joint convention we are planning with the ACT Humanists for 2019 where we will discuss the future of Humanism in Australia in earnest.

The humanist movement is diverse in its ways and means so please represent your own priorities on the day.

Murray Love, President


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