RSA Webinars

We hold monthly RSA Webinars with guest speakers exploring important topical issues from a rationalist perspective.

This year, we’re holding webinars on the fourth Wednesday of each month via Zoom. Registration is essential. Each webinar begins at 7.30pm and goes for one hour. Audience members have a chance to raise questions as part of a Q&A section following the guest speaker’s presentation.

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Past Webinars

WhenTopic 
Wed 28 Apr 2021Challenging religious discrimination in government chaplaincy programs, presented by RSA Vice President Dr Luke BeckGovernments fund and operate a number of chaplaincy programs in Australia, including school chaplains, hospital chaplains and military chaplains. In this webinar, constitutional law expert Associate Professor Luke Beck will present on the unnecessary religious discrimination built into government chaplaincy programs. As Vice-President of the Rationalist Society of Australia, Dr Beck will also discuss what the RSA is doing to fight these practices.

Watch the full webinar on YouTube.
Wed 24 Mar 2021Drug Law ReformDr Tom Lillicrap will articulate the problems and propose a law reform fix.

Dr Lillicrap is a post-doctoral fellow at the Hunter Medical Research Institute where he researches early stroke treatment and stroke recovery.
Wed 24 Feb 2021Census 21 CampaignThe Census 21 campaign aims to increase the number of people who select 'no religion' in the census this year in August. At each census over the years, the percentage of people who have selected 'no religion' has increased, from 13% in 1986, to 30% in 2016. How do we increase this number even more?
Wed 27 Jan 2021"Secular Humanism" - the RSA, Humanist Vic curriculumIn collaboration with Humanist Victoria, the RSA is developing a curriculum for secondary students to learn about "Secular Humanism".

Why is this necessary? What will it cover? Who's developing the material?
Wednesday 9 December 2020Male CircumcisionJeff Lerner will speak on the subject with reference to his article "A Story of Shame" which appeared in The Rationalist of March 2020.
Wednesday 11 November 2020A case against veganism.
Wed 9 September 2020Bill of Rights for Australiasome links:
Should Australia Have a Bill of Rights?
Australian Bill of Rights Bill 2019
Wed 12 August 2020Whistle Blowers AustraliaAustralia has a hotchpotch of State and Federal laws protecting whistleblowers but still, we see whistleblowers being ostracised, their careers being destroyed and some charged with breaking the law with possible prison sentences.

1. Why do Australians not celebrate whistleblowers?
2. Why do we have laws that forbid whistleblowing, allowing unacceptable practices to continue?

some links:
Whistleblower protection in Australia
Whistleblowers Australia
Wed 8 July 2020Universal Basic Income for AustraliaA Basic Income is a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement.

1. What are the pros of a Universal Basic Income?
2. What are the cons of a Universal Basic Income?
3. At what age should a person become eligible, 16 or 18 or another age?
4. Is a Universal Basic income valid for Australia?

some links:
Basic Income Earth Network
Basic income: a radical idea enters the mainstream
Now is the Time for a Universal Basic Income


Wed 13 May 2020Capital PunishmentInteresting links:
Should we bring back the death penalty
Death Penalty Studies (USA)
Arguments for and against capital punishment
Wed 8 April 2020Meetup CancelledThis Meetup and and all future Meetups will be cancelled until further notice. Will resume again once COVID-19 restictions are lifted
Wed 11 MarchPolitical CorrectnessHas political correctness gone too far? Does it need to be rescued from the gainsayers? Is there an acceptable level that deserves to be preserved?
Wed 11 DecReligious Discrimination BillRead Religious Discrimination Bill: Exposure Draft

And read RSA response to Religious Discrimination Bill
Wed 13 NovRationalist 10 Point Plan for a Secular AustraliaWe will be discussing the Rationalist Society 10 Point Plan for a Secular Australia, as it needs to be updated in the light of recent events.
RSA 10 Point Plan
Wed 11 SeptShould there be a Voice to Parliament for indigenous Australians?Read the Uluru Statement from the Heart and watch a background video
Wed 14 AugustShould drugs like cannabis be legalised?Watch this short video.

And read the RSA arguments here.
Wed 10 JulyShould religious schools be able to hire in their own image?Both sides of politics have come out against schools discriminating against students, but what about staff?
Wed 12 June"Islam & The Future of ToleranceFilm screening at The Nova in Carlton
Wed 8 May The Chaplaincy Challenge RSA Fellow Luke Beck will report on the VCAT case challenging the National School Chaplaincy Program.
Wed 10 AprilStay in or opt out? The pros and cons of My Health Record
Wed 13 March"Why is there something rather than nothing?"Pre-reading: "Will nothing come from nothing?"

RSA's President Emeritus Ian Robinson muses about why there is anything at all!
Wed 13 FebAlternatives to Prayers before Council, and State and Federal Parliaments
Wed 16 Jan 2019

(Note: third Wednesday rather than second, due to Australia being asleep between Xmas and mid Jan!)
The Role of Reason in a Fractious SocietyWe'll begin the discussion with a 20 min video of philosopher Julian Baggini at a recent Qld conference.
Meetings held in 2018
Wed 12 December 2018Homelessness
Wednesday 14 NovemberChaplains in Schools, Hospitals, Emergency Services and the Armed ServicesPlease note the change of DAY OF THE WEEK and VENUE
13 August 2018The Communist ManifestoHow relevant is it today?
9 July 2018China-Australia relations
12 FebruaryReligious Freedoms for the Non-religious
8 JanuaryAn Aussie President
Meetings held in 2017
11 DecemberSport
13 NovemberFalse Witness
9 OctoberHuman Responsibilities
11 SeptemberDemocracy
14 AugustGenital Autonomy
10 JulyWelcome to the World
12 JuneIs the Australian tax system fair?
8 MayThe new Worldviews curriculum
10 AprilGovernment funding of the arts
13 MarchNudity
13 FebruaryDivision of Time
9 JanuaryDrug Law Reform

Information for first-time attendees

Our Zoom meetings begin at 7.30 and will finish by 9pm. They usually feature a speaker who introduces a topic – often an ethical dilemma – and then participants divide into small groups to discuss questions about the topic. Twenty minutes before the end, the small groups reconvene to share their insights and recommendations for action.

All the more reason.

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