Monthly Public Lectures

HSV Lecture Archive:  2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   2012

Humanist Society of Victoria public lectureThe Humanist Society of Victoria hosts a series of monthly public lectures by guest speakers raising questions of public interest and importance. We welcome everyone interested in fostering a more rational and caring society. You will find a link to a summary of each lecture as they become available.

Entry is by gold-coin donation at the door. For enquiries, contact Stephen Stuart on (03) 9857 8318 or at

When: Fourth Thursday of each month, 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm start

Sustainable Energy – Fresh Perspectives

Thursday 23 August 2018, 8:00 pm
Balwyn Library, 336 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn, Victoria
(Find on Google Maps)

Photo of Sean FrostSean Frost

In this address, renewable energy professional, Sean Frost, will examine the sustainability challenge and hopes of moving to a low-carbon economy. Energy systems are in transition globally. The framework of the ‘energy trilemma’ outlines the intention to ensure secure, accessible, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy for all. But what do we mean by ‘sustainable energy’? Sean will examine the outcomes from the increased penetration of renewable energy into electricity grids. Should we be concerned about energy security? How might these changes affect householders? Sean will also consider the ‘100% renewable energy’ debate, nuclear power, progress on greenhouse gas mitigation, non-climate-change-related environmental outcomes and non-environmental sustainability concerns.

Bio: Sean Frost studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at UWA and subsequently worked in engineering and information and communications technology for a decade. He changed his career direction after learning about the perils of climate change and becoming fascinated by all aspects of sustainability and the “new energy economy”. Returning to university, Sean was awarded a Bachelor of Applied Science in Energy Studies and a Master of Science in Renewable Energy at Murdoch University. In the decade since, he’s worked for the corporate sector, state government and universities in energy and sustainability. This included working with solar photovoltaics, data analytics, resource efficiency, carbon abatement, energy storage, energy policy, energy efficiency, and environmental and sustainability assessments. Sean is dedicated to helping bring about a constructive transition in the energy sector and in energy use.

The Global Sanitation Crisis

Thursday 27 September 2018, 8:00 pm
Balwyn Library, 336 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn, Victoria
(Find on Google Maps)

Photo of Kathryn HarriesKathryn Harries

Sanitation is a basic human right. However, globally 1 in 3 people don’t have a basic toilet. 1 in 8 don’t have a toilet at all. Good sanitation – using a basic toilet and hand washing with soap – underpins health, education, maternal and child mortality, as well as dignity and safety. But it’s often as hard for someone who is used to using a toilet to ‘open defecate’ as it is for the other way around. This presentation will explain the global sanitation crisis, the global goals, the challenges and current good practice including behaviour change approaches.

Bio: Kathryn is an expert in water, sanitation and hygiene who has worked in the Philippines, East Timor, Geneva, India, Somalia and across the Pacific in international development and humanitarian response.

Towards a Contributory Society

Thursday 25 October 2018, 8:00 pm
Balwyn Library, 336 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn, Victoria (Find on Google Maps)

Photo of Carl MahoneyCarl Mahoney

In this talk, Carl Mahoney will give an overview of world history, pointing out the need for a new paradigm/operating system aimed at developing a more contributory society. Already there exists multi-disciplinary teamwork, especially in education fields at the international level. Carl will explain why political opponents need to be brought together so that ideas for constructive employment serving the global habitat might be recognised and encouraged.

Bio: Carl is a former academic and multi-disciplinary consultant. In his last academic position at the University of Technology in Papua New Guinea, he was a Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning and lectured in four other faculties. Carl has managed consulting teams in the fields of urban, regional and environmental planning, organizational design and management, systems engineering, and software research and production. He has written a book for the United Nations on thermal comfort without energy in hot climate buildings.

Topic: AGM and Public Lecture

Thursday 22 November 2018, 7:30 pm
Balwyn Library, 336 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn, Victoria
 (Find on Google Maps)

Speaker: TBA