Friday 18 December 2015

AGM December 2015

At the 2015 AGM held on Wednesday the 16th of December, a new committee was elected with just one change in personnel.

Jenny Howatson stepped down as secretary for family and work reasons. We thank Jenny for all of her wonderful input through her time as secretary.

In her place, we welcome Caroline Wykamp. Caroline has a background in management which will complement the skills set of the committee.

The newly elected Sydney Atheists committee for 2016 comprises:

President Steve Marton
Vice President Jessica Nissan
Secretary Caroline Wykamp
Treasurer Semi Ilhan
Public Relations Officer Thomas Kraemer
Assistant Treasurer / Secretary Mohamed Farahat
Public Officer Michael Beecham

Sydney Atheists look forward to another successful year in growing the organisation, its members, funds and most importantly its impact on the wider community.

One of our first assignments will be to address the Human Rights Commission's Religious Freedom Roundtable for non-faith organisations in February. A letter will be sent to Supporter / Financial members of Sydney Atheists by our Public Relations Officer, Thomas Kraemer.

Thursday 10 December 2015

Final Sydney Atheists talk for 2015 

Deep space exploration by Princeton Research Scholar Thomas Kraemer.

RSVP here:

Friday 30 October 2015

New Home

Sydney Atheists' previous venue has been closed for renovations and may no longer be available to us in the format that we were used to.

We have a new and much better venue - the Function Room at Club Redfern. 
Located on the second floor at 159 Redfern Street (on the corner with Gibbons Street), it is a 20 metre walk across Gibbons Street from Redfern station.

Not only is our new home very convenient to transport, we will have a far wider selection of food, better lighting, more comfortable chairs, a huge screen for audiovisual, a projector that screens from the ceiling, thus not interfering in people's views. The location can be reached not only by stairs, but also by escalator and elevator. Whilst one could not get a coffee or tea at our previous venue, that becomes a possibility at the new one.

Attendees are well advised to get to the venue before our talks begin to have their meals though on limited ocassions food may be brought into the Function room. Drinks can always be brought into the Function room.
To see the menu selection, please go to

A photo below shows the entrance to the venue under the SPAR sign.

If you have issues finding the venue, please call Steve 0450 123 211

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Press Release

Dear Malcolm Turnbull,

Congratulations on your ascendancy in becoming Prime Minister.

We also congratulate you on your desire to advance the country and your interest in science, technology and innovation. We would like to propose the abolition of funding for School Chaplains.

As you are no doubt aware, chaplains and clergy in general spend an inordinate time dwelling on and teaching ancient outdated texts to the detriment of scientific knowledge and human advancement. It is our view that overtly or covertly, they seek to inculcate religion - belief in imaginary beings, imaginary places and imaginary afterlives - as well as backward thinking rather than rational thinking, free expression and broad respect for the evolving laws and peoples of the land.

Abolition of the Chaplaincy would save $250 million dollars and we see such expenditure as inappropriate. We encourage you to do this.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Marton
President Sydney Atheists

Friday 18 September 2015

The Heathen Comedy show returns for 2015
Friday 9th October

Enjoy an evening of entertainment, fun and irreverence.
Our star studded Comedians for this evening include:
MC Peter Meisel, comedians Jazz Twemlow, Ben Elwood and the powerhouse Australian comedian who has spent the last ten years performing in the UK, Steve Hughes.
General Admission $25. Supporter Members $20.00.
It is easy to become a Supporter Member of Sydney Atheists either by joining at one of our events or please go to 

The 2014 Heathen Comedy Show was a huge success with the following being just some of the comments:
"Great night of comedy!"
"Hilarious night. Makes you feel sane & proud to be an Atheist!"
"Deliciously blasphemous. I smirked, sniggered and chuckled for the entire evening."
"Best belly laugh for ages"
"The Comedy Show was terrific"
Dinner and drinks will be available from 6.00pm. Meals begin at $10.00. The show will commence at 7.30.

Tickets through our Trybooking site: .

Thursday 3 September 2015

Friday 11th September Talk - Exodus

This is a special evening when two gentlemen, Nad - formerly a Coptic Christian - and Mohamed  - formerly a Sunni Muslim - will discuss their journeys from Egypt to Australia and from their religions to atheism. What was life like in Egypt, what transformations occurred in Australia? What prompted them, how did their journeys progress and what were the implications? How did their families and friends react? Hear the answers to these questions and many more.

To RSVP and purchase tickets, please go to:

Sunday 12 July 2015

Dealing with Chaos - the mind's response to reality

In our Friday 14th of August Talk, Timothy Graham will discuss a range of topics all related to the way the brain works in it's dealing with stimuli and how we can tackle areas of epistemology. This will touch on areas such as the evolution of the brain, how our brain processes information, optical illusions, epistemological quandaries with respect to dealing with randomness and chance, internal models of reality, truth and justification, the scientific method, foundherentism, and obviously the flaws of using faith as a pathway to truth.

Please go to  for details.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Role changes
As of the 30th of June, Steve Marton will switch roles to become the Public Relations Officer of Sydney Atheists and Thomas Kraemer will become the President.

Thursday 18 June 2015

The Second Coming of Peter

Deradicalising Extremists

Professor Peter Boghossian returns to Sydney having given lectures around Australia. This evening's lecture is very sensitive and topical in the world of today.

Friday 10th July 2nd Floor, Strattons Hotel
249 Castlereagh st Sydney

General Admission tickets $20.00

Supporter Member Admission tickets $15.00.
To become a Sydney Atheists Supporter member please go to

Please book and pay through our ticketing provider

Saturday 30 May 2015

Professor Peter Boghossian event is one week away. Buy your tickets today

Saturday 9 May 2015

Write a letter to your local member today.
Before the religious extremists do!
Here is a sample:
Victorian based parent campaign group, FIRIS, in conjunction with Greens state member John Kaye, have managed to persuade the NSW Education Department to remove books that promote ideas opposed to Education Department policy particularly related to sex before marriage, abortion and same sex relationships.

Christian groups involved are upset about this move and they have asked why the education department is able to censor "the state regulating what Christians should and should not teach Christians."
You can read more of what they have to say here:
The trouble with the Christian Groups' view is that children and their parents are not necessarily inclined in the way that the religious instructors would like them to be. Many nominally Christian parents might want their children to be exposed to certain Christian values or morality, however would have issues with the fundamentalist approach of the texts that have successfully been removed. Many parents are far more tolerant and accommodating of diversity than these church hierarchies, and would be inclined for their children to be of a similar mindset. 
It leads one to ask whether it is appropriate to have religious instruction in public or government funded schools at all?  I would posit that it is not and that Christian and other religious indoctrination should be removed from public state schools forthwith. Religious instruction is in contravention of the Australian Constitution, Section 30 of the Education Act 1990

"In government schools, the education is to consist of strictly non-sectarian and secular instruction. The words 
"secular instruction" are to be taken to include general religious education as distinct from dogmatic or polemical theology."

If Christians wish to teach their children religious doctrine, they have opportunities in their homes and churches to do so, and do so in a manner that they are comfortable with and that is transparent to them. Public schools are for a secular education - not a religious one. Schools should provide education rather than opportunities for religious indoctrination. 
In the linked article above there are requests for Christians to write to their local politicians and ask for these homophobic and other archaic texts to be reinstated in public state schools.  This is outrageous – and simply not acceptable in what is supposed to be a secular school system. Society cannot be harmonious when certain elements are discriminated against or vilified.

I appeal to you, the government and the parliament at large to consider the issues that I have raised.

Sunday 3 May 2015

Peter Boghossian  Tickets available at $25. Supporter members $20.

Please go to

Professor  of Philosophy, Peter Boghossian from Portland State University Oregon, USA will discuss
From Faith to Reason: How to Create Atheists
Professor Boghossian is an American philosophy instructor, activist, author, speaker, and atheism advocate. He is the author of the book "A Manual for Creating Atheists". He is a full-time faculty member at Portland State University. His primary research areas are critical thinking, philosophy of education and moral reasoning. Professor Boghossian is a speaker for theCenter for Inquiry, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and the Secular Student Alliance.
Professor Boghossian is an outstanding and entertaining speaker who will discuss how to address people of faith to see reason and become atheists.
Richard Dawkins had this to say: "Peter Boghossian's techniques of friendly persuasion are not mine, and maybe I’d be more effective if they were. They are undoubtedly very persuasive—and very much needed"
This is a ticket only event held by Sydney Atheists.

Thursday 30 April 2015

Peter Boghossian
Last day for Early Bird tickets of $20.

Please go to

to buy your discounted tickets

Sunday 29 March 2015

Huge Sydney Atheists June event

For more details go to:

Saturday 21 March 2015

Robin Ince

The coming April Robin Ince tour has been highlighted in the Sydney Morning Herald:

This event is  being put on by the Atheist Foundation of Australia. To RSVP and find out how to get tickets, please go to:

Robin will be a guest pre-show at both our Social Lounge and Young Sydney Atheists. For detail and to RSVP, please go to the following web links:
Sydney Atheists Social Lounge
Young Sydney Atheists Social

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Join the protest / support for Avijit Roy

This is not a Sydney Atheists event, however everyone is welcome to join in.

Go to

Friday 27 February 2015

Open letter sent to the Bangladeshi Embassy in Canberra
In response to the following article, Sydney Atheists, in solidarity and sympathy with Bangladeshi Atheists in Bangladesh, Australia and around the world we sent this email.

Dear Sir / Madam,

In Australia, at least 25% of the population do NOT believe in any gods.

As an atheist, I was very distressed to read that Avijit Roy, an atheist in Bangladesh was hacked to death because of his non belief in the majority god of Bangladesh.

Could you please explain why this fellow and his wife were not protected.
Could you please explain what measures the Bangladeshi government is going to take to reduce the religious extremism that might bring such atrocious deeds to be performed.
Could you please explain how you will capture and deal with the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Marton
President Sydney Atheists

Please write your own letters to the Bangladesh embassy at:

Please keep your correspondence courteous

Wednesday 25 February 2015

An open letter to the government of Saudi Arabia

Dear Sir/Madam,

I appeal to the government of Saudi Arabia to give leniency to those people who declare themselves to be atheists. To us the approach of beheading such individuals is seen by the overwhelming majority of Australians as barbaric and retrograde.

In Australia, at least 25% of the population do not believe in any gods. We don't consider that there is anything wrong with holding such views.

Atheists are good moral people who work in all sections of Australian society such as doctors, teachers, philosophers, lawyers, accountants, engineers, IT professionals and working people in various other areas.

In this country we enjoy freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of thought. We have a progressive, humane society where we respect the beliefs of others.

If, as I understand you to believe, that there is a god as is written in the Koran, then surely you would leave it to that god to punish people accordingly. Surely you would have to consider that it is not your place to do your god's work, it is his alone.

On behalf of Saudi atheists and humanity at large, please free those atheists who you accuse of blasphemy.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Marton
Sydney Atheists

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Billboard Campaign - 
Have you escaped religion? We have!

Sydney Atheists would like to thank Billboards Australia for putting up our billboard when another billboard company declined us at the final minute. We would like to thank the Atheist Foundation of Australia for sharing in the venture to erect the billboard. We would like to thank all of the people who suggested slogans and voted on what the message should be. We would like to thank those people who made extraordinary donations to the campaign. We would like to thank our supporter members and all those people who come to our entry fee events, thereby contributing funds to make the posting of the billboard possible.

Not only did Sydney Atheists and the Atheist Foundation of Australia receive exposure on the M4 Motorway, we received coverage Australia wide through News Corp internet press, both and the Daily Telegraph. Our billboard, interviews and press releases were covered by both theist and atheist websites from the USA to the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and probably very much more.

Collectively our websites  were seen by tens of thousands of people, the Billboard itself will have been seen by hundreds of thousands of eyeballs and the reach of the message potentially by millions of people in Australia and worldwide. AND, the campaign still has over a week to run.

Congratulations to Sydney Atheists and all those who made it possible!

Steve Marton - President

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Welcome to Sydney Atheists

Please take time to discover our web site and meetup group, starting with the tabs at the top of this page.

On the right column you will find links to our most active sites, our Meetup events pages which list all of our social and Talk evenings or click on:
Join our events »

You can also click on the white arrow on the red background for our Youtube channel where you can watch many of our previous talks as well as a handful of interesting excerpts from elsewhere. The last box in the row is our most active Facebook site. Our twitter account, though not very active can also be accessed.

Sydney Atheists Press release:

Sydney Atheists have been involved in the presentation of a billboard that states:

Have you escaped religion? We have!

Most of the members of Sydney Atheists once belonged to a religion. With the benefit of a comprehensive and usually critical education, particularly in the areas of science, history, geography, philosophy and religion we have discovered the fallacies of religions. It is a great challenge for many to escape the religious indoctrination that most of us have suffered, usually from birth.

We have members who once belonged to religions ranging from Judaism, Christianity and Islam to Hinduism and Sikhism. It stands to reason that because all religions make the claim that they are somehow uniquely correct in their supernatural claims, they are all simply false belief systems that deny the realities of the universe, life in general and particularly the place of humanity on this earth.

Sydney Atheists invite those who are trapped by religious belief to escape the bounds and strictures of their religions to gain freedom of thought, deed and a better life, governed by morals that are determined through rational, humane and sceptical thinking and the just laws of the land.
Our billboard - put up in conjunction with the Atheist Foundation of Australia - went up the morning of Wednesday 4th of February on the M4 Freeway at West Homebush

Press enquiries 0450 123 211

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Billboard Campaign aborted

Sydney Atheists and the Atheist Foundation of Australia Billboard was yesterday pulled from publication by the publishing billboard company on the grounds that in the current environment the billboard would "cause offence or be likely to inflame tensions in the community between religious, racial groups or ethnic groups"

The  sign had "the potential to create significant tension in the community given all the circumstances (including the political, social or environmental context)”

Another billboard company was subsequently approached and we thank that billboard company for going ahead with our campaign. Please see the post of the 3rd of February.

Photo: Sydney Atheists and the Atheist Foundation of Australia Billboard was today pulled from publication by the publishing billboard company on the grounds that in the current environment the billboard would "cause offence or be likely to inflame tensions in the community between religious, racial groups or ethnic groups"

Another billboard company was subsequently approached.
We thank that billboard company for going ahead with the campaign.

Sunday 18 January 2015


Jessica Nissan has been appointed to the committee of Sydney Atheists. Her role will be Sydney Atheists Young Adults coordinator.

On behalf of the committee and the wider Sydney Atheists community, I would like to congratulate and welcome Jessica to this very important role.

Steve Marton

Tuesday 13 January 2015

A tale of two cities
In November 2014 The Guardian reported that "An Iranian-British woman jailed for trying to attend a men’s volleyball game in Iran has been released on bail, her family has said.
She was detained in June at a Tehran stadium after trying to attend a men’s volleyball match between Iran and Italy.
Her brother, Iman Ghavami, 28, told the Press Association: “She has been bailed until her court appeal, when she hopes to be vindicated.
“She was bailed for £20,000 and now wants to spend time with her family.”
Ghoncheh Ghavami

The following is a photo from Melbourne where Iran played Bahrain in the Asian Cup

Iranian fans celebrate Ehsan Haji Safi's goal on Sunday.
Iranian fans celebrate Ehsan Haji Safi's goal on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

All the ladies in this photo are beyond the religious police of Iran. Not only have they attended a soccer match - prohibited in Iran - they do not wear a burqua or hijab and their faces and arms are bare. One in the upper far right of the picture is even in a tank top.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

The secret lives of Galaxies: The Milky Way is a Cannibal - Geraint Lewis

The Universe is filled with a rich structure; planets, stars and galaxies. But where did all of this structure come from? In this talk we’ll take a look at the evolution of structure in the Universe, from its birth in the Big Bang to now, seeing how galaxies have grown over time. But in our search for our origin reveals some uncomfortable truths about our own Milky Way, showing it to be a voracious cannibal.These secrets are also showing that we don’t know as much about the Universe as we suppose, and we might need to rethink the actual nature of the Cosmos. 

About Professor Geraint Lewis: Geraint is Professor of Astrophysics and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow Sydney Institute for Astronomy. He is also an Associate Head for Research in the School of Physics at Sydney University

Slides can be downloaded from Meetup.