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.
|Wed 28 Apr 2021||Challenging religious discrimination in government chaplaincy programs, presented by RSA Vice President Dr Luke Beck||Governments 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 2021||Drug Law Reform||Dr 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 2021||Census 21 Campaign||The 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 curriculum||In 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 2020||Male Circumcision||Jeff 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 2020||A case against veganism.|
|Wed 9 September 2020||Bill of Rights for Australia||some links:
Should Australia Have a Bill of Rights?
Australian Bill of Rights Bill 2019
|Wed 12 August 2020||Whistle Blowers Australia||Australia 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?
Whistleblower protection in Australia
|Wed 8 July 2020||Universal Basic Income for Australia||A 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?
Basic Income Earth Network
Basic income: a radical idea enters the mainstream
Now is the Time for a Universal Basic Income
|Wed 13 May 2020||Capital Punishment||Interesting links:
Should we bring back the death penalty
Death Penalty Studies (USA)
Arguments for and against capital punishment
|Wed 8 April 2020||Meetup Cancelled||This Meetup and and all future Meetups will be cancelled until further notice. Will resume again once COVID-19 restictions are lifted|
|Wed 11 March||Political Correctness||Has 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 Dec||Religious Discrimination Bill||Read Religious Discrimination Bill: Exposure Draft
And read RSA response to Religious Discrimination Bill
|Wed 13 Nov||Rationalist 10 Point Plan for a Secular Australia||We 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 Sept||Should there be a Voice to Parliament for indigenous Australians?||Read the Uluru Statement from the Heart and watch a background video|
|Wed 14 August||Should drugs like cannabis be legalised?||Watch this short video.
And read the RSA arguments here.
|Wed 10 July||Should 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 Tolerance||Film 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 April||Stay 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 Feb||Alternatives 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 Society||We'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 2018||Homelessness|
|Wednesday 14 November||Chaplains in Schools, Hospitals, Emergency Services and the Armed Services||Please note the change of DAY OF THE WEEK and VENUE|
|13 August 2018||The Communist Manifesto||How relevant is it today?|
|9 July 2018||China-Australia relations|
|12 February||Religious Freedoms for the Non-religious|
|8 January||An Aussie President|
|Meetings held in 2017|
|13 November||False Witness|
|9 October||Human Responsibilities|
|14 August||Genital Autonomy|
|10 July||Welcome to the World|
|12 June||Is the Australian tax system fair?|
|8 May||The new Worldviews curriculum|
|10 April||Government funding of the arts|
|13 February||Division of Time|
|9 January||Drug 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.