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Photo of child reading a newspaperWelcome to the Humanist Society of Victoria news portal. The Society keeps abreast of what’s happening in the world of secularism and free thought and partners with a range of groups campaigning for a better world. In this section, you can find out about the latest seminars, demonstrations, conventions, awards and a host of other activities related to the Humanist cause. To review the Humanist Society of Victoria public lecture schedule, held monthly, visit our HSV Public Lectures page. If you would like to get involved with Humanist issues, drop us a line at or leave us a message on our Contact Us page.

Informative February Ex-Religious Support Network Meeting

Photo of Margaret Livingstone20 Feb 2019 – A cosy group of eight attended the sixth meeting of the Ex-Religious Support Network (ESN) on 17 February. In our Q&A format, our speaker, Margaret Livingstone, shared her experiences growing up in a Free Methodist household in USA. After losing her religion early on, she spoke of how she became involved with Sunday Assembly in Australia much later. She is the current President of the Melbourne Chapter and organizes the monthly speakers. The Sunday Assembly, she explained, also contributes to charitable activities. Meeting on the last Sunday each month in the Richmond Library Meeting Room, it attracts a diverse range of atheists and agnostics of various political persuasions and ages. Margaret emphasized how meetings are informal and include a mix of activities, including short addresses by invited speakers, sing-a-longs, short meditations and readings. All are welcome. Visit the Sunday Assembly Melbourne web site to find out more. We thank Margaret for her informative talk and Brian for organizing the morning tea. Find out more about the Ex-Religious Support Network.

Successful Ex-Religious Support Network Meeting

Photo of sushi dish on brown plate1 Feb 2019 – The fifth meeting of the Ex-Religious Support Network (ESN) was held on the last day in January in a casual pub surrounding. It was exceptionally well attended, with 20 people sharing a meal and great conversation. Many new friendships were formed. In a casual interview format, HSV Vice President and ESN Facilitator, Les Allan, asked our guest speaker, Peter Veitch, about his experiences growing up Seventh-day Adventist and eventually breaking with the church. Our special thanks go to Peter for so eloquently and honestly telling his story. Many in the room nodded in sympathy, recalling their own experiences growing up in a religion. HSV also thanks Lara Kaput, Leah Boulton and others for getting the word out there.

Secular Spiritual Care

Photo of Joe Sehee20 Jan 2019 – Are you interested in becoming a non-religious support person for people dealing with illness, trauma, transition or loss? A free two-day training course for ‘secular spiritual care volunteers’ will take place on 6 and 13 March 2019 at Caulfield Hospital. To learn more about the program, contact Joe Sehee (Program Director) on 0429 933 391 or at

HSV Strategic Planning

Selective photo of Pawn piece on chess board15 Jan 2019 – Last year, the HSV Committee consulted Lyn Allison (AHoY 2008) about building our public profile. As a result, the HSV Committee and interested members took part in a forward planning workshop in which our principal challenges were identified. The new Committee held a special meeting on 11 December 2018 to plan for 2019 and beyond, and agreed on six strategic objectives, as follows.

  1. Build membership – attract new members with a compelling value proposition.
  2. Retain membership – keep members engaged and actively contributing.
  3. Improve HSV public profile – effectively utilize online and offline activities to raise public profile.
  4. Implement targeted programs – drive key programs and projects to completion for social benefits.
  5. Improve governance – ensure compliance with regulations and improve procedures and training.
  6. Consolidate financial position – protect the assets of the Society, raise income and ensure prudential spending.

A team of active members will advance each of these objectives, coordinated by a ‘strategic champion’ on Committee. Further, Committee meetings will be streamlined to receive progress reports from the champions.

My GodForsaken Life: Memoir of a Maverick

Book cover: My GodForsaken Life: Memoir of a Maverick11 Jan 2019 – Outspoken humanist and campaigner on many causes, Barbara Smoker has written the story of her life. My GodForsaken Life: Memoir of a Maverick is available now in bookshops and online. Barbara’s autobiography is a compelling account of her intellectual journey, her ruthless focus on ethics and principles, and her eccentric bloody-mindedness in challenging the accepted and wrong wisdom of the day. She has been at the forefront of radical movements for seventy years, standing against religion, nuclear weapons and illegal wars. And fighting for humanism, abortion, prison reform, freedom of speech, voluntary euthanasia and LGBT rights. At 95, she is still campaigning. Throughout her life, she has been 20 years ahead of her time in promoting the causes many of us now take for granted. Find out more …

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