Sunday, 19 January 2014

Secular Activism Conference

On Saturday the 22nd of February we will host a very special function. 
Originally it was supposed to include Edwina Rogers, the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. As of the 21st of January she has had to pull out of the conference due to circumstances beyond her control. Whilst it is disappointing that we will miss her American perspective, the organising committee of this conference have decided to go ahead, given the importance of issues arising in Australian government and education. 
Our guests will include:
Professor Marion Maddox author of "God under Howard: The rise of the Religious Right in Australian Politics" and "For God and Country: Religious Dynamics in Australia's Parliament". Professor Maddox's books will be available for purchase at the event.
Lyn Allison who was an Australian Democrats Senator from 1996 to 2008. This included a period as leader of the Democrats from 2004 until 2008. Lyn is an atheist.
Lara Wood who is the Campaign Coordinator for the parent body Fairness In Religion In Schools FIRIS, a Victorian body that aims to see the withdrawal of scripture from state schools. http://religionsinschool.com/
Cathy Byrne is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Macquarie University with an interest in religious intrusion into State schools.
This event is co-hosted by Sydney Atheists and the Secular Coalition of Australia - which we are a member of - , a coalition of Atheist, Rationalist, Humanist, Skeptic and other - even potentially religious - interested parties. It is sheer coincidence that we will have a talk by Teresa Russel from Primary Ethics http://www.meetup.com/sydneyatheists/events/154062482/ the preceding week, however these two functions will complement one another, particularly considering recent Federal Government announcements on educational reviews.
The event on the 22nd of February will be a ticketed one with an admittance fee of $45. The admittance fee covers attendance at the meeting as well as a main course lunch, however does not cover other food or drinks. To purchase a ticket, please go to: http://www.trybooking.com/EDQK  The event will be held on the First Floor of Strattons Hotel, 249 Castlereagh Street Sydney.
The event and topics will proceed as follows:
10.30 - 11.00am Registration period
(1) 11.00 - 12.30 Secularism in Australia Marion and Cathy
Lunch 12.30 to 1.30pm
(2) 1.30 - 3.00pm A background briefing on religious incursion into the State school systems in Australia by people such as chaplains, evangelists and scripture teachers. Marion, Cathy and Lara
Break 3.00 - 3.15
(3) 3.15 - 5.00pm Lobbying, systems, methods, tools of the trade and related issues. Lyn Allison with the assistance of a panel will discuss this topic
5.00 - 5.15 Break
(4) 5.15 - 6.00pm Open forum
6.00pm and on: Dinner for those wishing to stay and interact with other guests and speakers, network with others or simply have a relaxing meal with drinks.
There will be people other than Sydney Atheists in attendance.
Please pay for your ticket prior to placing your RSVP on the website: 
http://www.meetup.com/sydneyatheists/events/161265172/

To purchase tickets, please go to http://www.trybooking.com/EDQK
Please direct enquiries to Steve Marton 0450 123 211






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