What we're about

This is a chance to get together in a group of friendly people who gather in a pub atmosphere to discuss important ethical and philosophical issues in our lives and how we can better live together in a caring community and society. Although we only began using Meetup technology relatively recently, we are not a new group. We have had monthly gatherings for since 2012. When we meet, we usually have a designated speaker. Past speakers invited via out networks have included a Nobel Laureate, other internationally recognized figures and Australian politicians, to local members who are happy to present on subjects of interest. Some of our best meetups have emerged around issues raised on days when there was no planned topic.

We care about other people and the world we live in and respect the diversity of viewpoints. We agree to explore and discuss our different approaches to issues without dogma or rancor. Where our discussions lead us to conclude that there is a need for community action on some issue, we are happy to provide access to this Meetup forum for topical meetings to help organize and promote appropriate activities.

From our 2012 flier: "Do you doubt the existence of God? Do you worry about the undue influence of religion in our society? Are you horrified by the treatment of women by patriarchal religions? Do you support secular education? Separation of church and state? Religious organisations paying taxes? The use of evidence and reason to resolve ethical and political questions? The primacy of science over superstition? If your answer is “Yes” to any of these questions you are invited to attend"

Until recently our gatherings were held in Kyneton's Albion Hotel, with people attending from the length of the Calder corridor between outer Melbourne to Bendigo. Beginning in July 2018 we have moved our meetings to the Victoria Hotel, in Woodend, that offers the advantages of greater accessibility to some of our less mobile attendees, a better meeting room, closer to potential speakers from the Metro area and trains for people wishing to attend from Bendigo and Metro areas, and more parking in the vicinity. By meeting in a pub, attendees who wish to socialize over dinner can do so from 6:00 PM, with the formal presentation (if one) open to all beginning at 7:30 and concluding by 9:00 PM.

When extra large crowds are expected, we can hire a hall (but will also have to charge admission to cover costs).

Something to think about:

Australia was founded by Convicts. Its homicide rate is 1.8 per 100,000 population. The United States was founded by religious zealots. Its homicide rate is 6.3 per 100,000.

Upcoming events (5+)

Barry Jones - Discussing "Looking Into The Abyss: Trump, Brexit & Beyond"

Barry Jones 20 March, 2019 - 6:00 for 7:30 PM at the Victoria Hotel, Woodend Most of you probably know who Barry Jones is. Born in 1932, Barry is an Australian polymath, writer, lawyer, social activist, quiz champion and former politician (Wikipedia). I first became aware of him in 1982, when I was a residential fellow at Queens College at University of Melbourne when I was trying to encourage students to understand how the personal computing revolution was going to change the future of work and Jones published his "Sleepers, Wake! Technology and the Future of Work", discussing the unique threats and opportunities of the sudden rise in information to the field such as manufacturing, service employment, and basic income. A member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) from 1950, Jones was a Federal candidate in 1955, 1958 and 1963, with a strong interest in education and civil liberties. His parliamentary career began in the Victorian Parliament where he represented the electorate of Melbourne as a Labor Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from 1972 to 1977, until he resigned to go into federal politics. His greatest satisfaction was in securing the abolition of capital punishment. In 1977, he was elected to the House of Representatives as the Labor member for the Federal seat of Lalor in Victoria, which he held until his retirement in 1998. In Canberra, Jones was Minister for Science in the Hawke government from 1983 to 1990, in which role he protected CSIRO, created the Prime Minister’s Science Prize (originally the Australia Prize), Questacon and the Commission for the Future, and worked to preserve Antarctica from mineral exploration. Although I think he and more foresight than most other politicians of any party, Jones lost his place in the ministry when he failed to gain the backing of his centre-left faction, who seemed to largely ignore his relative wisdom. In 1992, upon the resignation of Stephen Loosley, to whom had withdrawn after a split vote in 1991, Jones was elected National President of the ALP, serving until 2000. He became National President again in 2005–06. In other political roles, Jones was the chief architect of the ALP's Knowledge Nation education concept, as chair of the Chifley Research Centre's Knowledge Nation Taskforce. Jones and Ian Sinclair served as co-chairs of the 1998 Constitutional Convention on an Australian republic. In non-political roles he was a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia, a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO in Paris from 1991 until 1995, and Vice-President of the World Heritage Committee from 1995 to 1996. He is deeply interested in religion, but describes his position as 'shifty'. For CVAF, Barry Jones will be talking about ideas canvassed in his recent book, Looking Into The Abyss: Trump, Brexit & Beyond.

Tentative: Meet and Q&A for the Candidates for McEwen and Bendigo Electorates

As we have done for previous elections, we are going to try to set up an April meeting in Woodend with our local lower house candidates for the May Federal Election. We will probably have the meeting in a larger venue, and possibly on another day, but will still plan to gather at 6:00 for dinner at The Vic Hotel, Woodend. Our regular CVAF monthly gatherings are open to all who are interested to discuss important issues in our lives from ethical, philosophical and scientific points of view, and how we can better live together in a caring community and society. When we meet, we usually have a guest speaker although we never lack for things to discuss even when we don't have one. Past speakers invited via out networks range from a Nobel Laureate, other internationally recognized figures and Australian politicians, to local members who are happy to present on subjects of interest. We welcome suggestions from attendees for topics or offers to help organise a meeting around a current issue.

Join us for interesting discussions at the Victoria (The Vic) Hotel, Woodend

Our regular monthly gatherings are open to all who are interested to discuss important issues in our lives from ethical, philosophical and scientific points of view, and how we can better live together in a caring community and society. When we meet, we usually have a guest speaker although we never lack for things to discuss even when we don't have one. Past speakers invited via out networks range from a Nobel Laureate, other internationally recognized figures and Australian politicians, to local members who are happy to present on subjects of interest. We welcome suggestions from attendees for topics or offers to help organise a meeting around a current issue.

Join us for interesting discussions at the Victoria (The Vic) Hotel, Woodend

Our regular monthly gatherings are open to all who are interested to discuss important issues in our lives from ethical, philosophical and scientific points of view, and how we can better live together in a caring community and society. When we meet, we usually have a guest speaker although we never lack for things to discuss even when we don't have one. Past speakers invited via out networks range from a Nobel Laureate, other internationally recognized figures and Australian politicians, to local members who are happy to present on subjects of interest. We welcome suggestions from attendees for topics or offers to help organise a meeting around a current issue.

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