Dr Rodney Syme was named the Australian Humanist of the Year 2017 in recognition of his compassionate advocacy for the legalisation of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria and around Australia, sometimes at great professional risk, and for expressing fundamental Humanist values whilst doing so. Below is his acceptance speech given at the Gala Dinner held in Melbourne on 8 April, 2017.
Rosslyn Ives, editor of Australian Humanist, discusses the history of freethought, secularism, rationalism and Humanism in Australia; Its influences and key movers and shakers. It is an expanded version of a contribution she gave at the 'Secularism in the Modern World' conference held in Melbourne on 31 October, 2015
Humanism is often presented as a reaction against religion. But it is best understood as an answer to a question, the question being: what is the meaning of life?
I have recently had some experiences facilitating humanist-oriented discussion groups. One issue that has often come up is the difficulty of producing a short explanation of Humanism that highlights it as a coherent and systematic viewpoint from which to approach issues, rather than an ad hoc set of policy positions.