Monthly Public Lectures

HSV Lecture Archive:  2019   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   2012

Photo taken at Humanist Society of Victoria Monthly Public Lecture on 28 March 2019 at Kew Seniors Centre - Fiona Patten (leader of Reason Party) on 'Secularism, Humanism and Political Engagement'The 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, 6:00 pm for 6:30 pm start

Deep Mental Health through Presence, Meaning and Connection

Thursday 22 August 2019, 6:30 pm
Hawthorn Community Precinct, 584 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, Victoria
[Note changed venue] (Find on Google Maps)

Photo of Dr Debra Campbell

Dr Debra Campbell (psychologist and author)

Humanists think deeply about what gives meaning and purpose to living. In this address, Dr Debra Campbell will examine how positive psychology and emphasising love in all its aspects can lead us to become more present, healthy and connected to our sense of meaning in our lives.

Bio: Dr Debra Campbell has worked as a psychologist in private practice for almost 20 years in a variety of areas, including relationships, panic, depression and grief. She worked as a couple therapist at Relationships Australia and collaborated with author/psychotherapist Dr Francis Macnab on thought-leadership in well being, relationships and spirituality. She is also a former university lecturer and author of Lovelands.

Sex Workers, Fundamentalist Christians and Radical Feminists

Thursday 26 September 2019, 6:30 pm
Balwyn Library, 336 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn, Victoria (Find on Google Maps)

Photo of Kitty Galore

Kitty Galore and Lisa Marie Dallimore (Sex Work Law Reform Victoria)

In recent years, fundamentalist Christians and radical feminists have formed an unholy alliance in their attempts to abolish sex work. In this talk, Kitty Galore and Lisa Marie Dallimore (Sex Work Law Reform Victoria) examine these two strange bedfellows and the unlikely alignment of their principles and arguments. After analysing the opposing views in the area of sex work regulation in Victoria, they will examine the consequences of the neo-abolitionist position for human rights.

Bio: Sex Work Law Reform Victoria (SWLRV) is a law reform organisation founded in 2018, made up of current and former sex workers and allies who support sex workers’ rights. Its primary objective is the removal of criminal penalties associated with consensual adult sex work. Kitty Galore was raised in a Christian family before she became a full-time sex worker. She now hosts Australia’s only sex work radio show and actively supports both local and migrant women in Australia’s sex industry. Lisa Marie Dallimore is a writer, performer and artist who worked as an escort for five years. She is a sex workers’ rights advocate and a long time committed feminist.

Yesterday’s Child: Gene Editing, Enhancement and Obsolescence

Thursday 24 October 2019, 6:30 pm
Balwyn Library, 336 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn, Victoria (Find on Google Maps)

Photo of Robert Sparrow

Professor Robert Sparrow (Professor, Philosophy, Monash University)

The development of the CRISPR gene-editing technology has led many to believe that genetic human enhancement is now a realistic possibility. Advocates of gene editing for enhancement typically assume that gene-editing technology will improve rapidly. In this lecture, Robert Sparrow will discuss how this rapid progress risks obsolescence. Will the year-on-year improvements to genetic enhancements for children make those enhancements go rapidly out of date? Eventually, will every modified child find themself to be “yesterday’s child”? This kind of obsolescence and its impacts raises serious questions about how we understand ourselves as individuals and social beings.

Bio: Robert Sparrow is a Professor in the Philosophy Program and a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science. He works on ethical issues raised by new technologies.

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