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John Bell AO OBE, Australian Humanist of the Year 2016

The Council of Australian Humanist Societies inc is pleased to announce the recipients of Australian Humanist of the Year and Young Australian Humanist of the Year.

Bell was raised a Catholic and acknowledges that the theatricality and mythology of church-going had an important influence on his life’s work.  In an interview he said: ‘It’s easy if you were brought up as a Catholic, you believe anything ... heaven and hell, and devils and angels, all those very vast concepts.  The imagination is ready to receive Shakespeare.’

The Council of Australian Humanist Societies inc. is proud to be among one of many supporters of Safe Schools Coalition Australia.

The Council of Australian Humanist Societies is pleased to announce that the next Australian Humanist Conference will be held in Brisbane from May 27 to 29, 2016!

Over the course of two and a half days, Humanists from around Australia will meet to discuss issues facing Australia today, listen to some amazing people on topics of interest and help shape the direction of Humanism in Australia into the future.

The Council of Australian Humanist Societies inc. calls upon the Australian Government to ignore calls for a religious test of those we might offer asylum and protection to as is being

The Christian lobby group, FamilyVoice Australia has come out to object to the Australian Bureau of Statistics changes to Question 19, "What is the person's religion?"

Special religious instruction will be removed from the curriculum in Victoria from next year. SRI classes may still be offered by providers but they must be held in non-teaching times. Either recess or lunch breaks or as before or after school programs.

After the Census in 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics under took a major review. Consequently there was a large campaign around question 19, "What is the person's religion?" The push was on to change the wording of the question, split the question or to bring the "no religion" option to the top of the list.

The latest issue of Australian Humanist is now in members' letterboxes. In this quarter's issue you can read Dr Carmen Lawrence's Australian Humanist of the Year acceptance speech where she talks about the issue of indigenous heritage along with some thought provoking articles on topics such as population and economic growth and Max Wallace, in honour of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta begins a chronicle of the secular movements greatest moments.

It's been a busy month and a half for the new Council of Australian Humanist Societies Executive. The transition process has been completed and we thank the past CAHS Executive for all the work they did keeping the organisation running smoothly. Transition isn't the only thing that has happened since the handover started in the last weekend of May. We've been busy tracking down and posting past copies of Australian Humanist to the website.

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