HSV Monthly Public Lectures Archive 2018

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.

Where: Hawthorn Community Precinct (upstairs), 584 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria (Melways: 45 D11)
When:  Fourth Thursday of each month, 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm start

Does Australia Support or Oppose Nuclear Weapons?

Thursday 22 February 2018, 8:00 pm

Photo of Tim WrightTim Wright

On 7 July 2017, 122 nations voted to adopt the historic UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, laying the legal foundations for a nuclear-weapon-free world. What is Australia’s position on the existential threat posed to the whole of humanity by nuclear weapons? Read Lecture Summary …

Bio: Tim Wright is Asia-Pacific Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. He helped establish the campaign in 2006 and spent the past decade advocating for the negotiation of a global ban on the worst weapons of mass destruction. Tim studied law and international relations at the University of Melbourne.

The Ten Commandments and Humanist Ethics

Thursday 26 April 2018, 8:00 pm
Hawthorn Community Precinct (upstairs), 584 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn
 (Melways: 45 D11) Find on Google Maps

Photo of Paul TonsonPaul Tonson

In this address, Paul Tonson will draw on his biblical scholarship in the texts of the Torah (Pentateuch) to reveal how they contain enduring and universal wisdom that transcends culture. Read Lecture Summary …

Bio: Paul is a member of the HSV and still active as a Uniting Church minister with a progressive stance. Around Melbourne, Paul is committed to dialogue between worldviews, sometimes described as ‘interbelief’, believing that the authenticity of one’s own beliefs and living may be tested most effectively not by a fellow believer but by the Other, including those of no faith.

Supporting Survivors of Religion

Thursday 28 June 2018, 8:00 pm
Unitarian Hall, 110 Grey Street, East Melbourne
 (Find on Google Maps)

Photos of Steven Unthank and Lara KaputSteven Unthank, Lara Kaput

Steven and Lara will be discussing how we can support Jehovah’s Witness survivors and the upcoming class action against the Jehovah’s Witness organization. Their shared objective is to campaign for recognition and support for their community. In conjunction with global advocates, they provide facts to professionals and Government bodies from their personal experiences and from ongoing dialogue with former Jehovah’s Witnesses and experts. Read Lecture Summary …

Bios: Steven, a former Jehovah’s Witness and founder of JW Survivors, is regularly involved in state, federal, and international inquiries and investigations into the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Between 2011 and 2012, Steven prosecuted the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses and related corporate entities in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria over criminal breaches of child protection laws. A successful campaigner who is often sought out as a consultant and for access to his large legal war chest of internal and confidential church documents and records spanning the past 100 years.

Lara was a child-indoctrinated Jehovah’s Witness. She has a Bachelor of Chemistry, was a Personal Trainer and became a Management Consultant. Lara has submitted formal complaints to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission and objected officially to the charity status of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and related corporate entities. Lara is the co-host of ‘JW Community Podcast’.

Documentary Screening: Fade to Black

Thursday 26 July 2018, 8:00 pm
Hawthorn Community Precinct (upstairs), 584 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn
 (Melways: 45 D11) Find on Google Maps

Picture of Fade to Black medicine bottlePeter Short, aged 57, is diagnosed with terminal oesophageal cancer and given less than nine months to live. His death, he learns, is likely to be painful and undignified. Peter decides instead to take matters into his own hands and to search out the lethal and illegal drug Nembutal. With the help of a rogue doctor who supplies the drug to suffering patients, Peter sets out to get voluntary euthanasia legalized in Australia. 77 minutes. This documentary also features Dr Philip Nitschke and Dr Rodney Syme (AHoY 1998 and 2017). In October 2014, the Humanist Society of Victoria contributed $200 towards the production of this film. Read Lecture Summary …

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.