2020 Conference

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Postponing the DAN Conference 2020

The coronavirus COVID-19 is causing understandable concern among delegates. The situation is fluid but, as a precaution and to ensure the safety of the DAN community, we have decided to postpone this year’s conference. The new date will be determined as more information becomes available.

Melbourne Grammar School

Our current age has been described as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. We seem to be preparing our young people for a future of unparalleled change and uncertainty.

The environmental crisis, artificial intelligence, advances in gene editing, rising wealth inequality, the evolution of social media, fake news, geopolitical tensions, challenges to democracy … The list can go on … and, amidst all of this, young people struggle with questions as ancient as human civilization – Who am I? and How shall I live? – and many struggle to find meaning and purpose in a world that can seem individualistic, competitive and shallow.

There are clearly larger questions here about schooling and life-long education – how best to equip students with the critical and emotional skills they will need to make good decisions and live fulfilling lives.

Religious Education and Philosophy can play a significant role in this broader educational landscape and this Conference will bring together international academics and successful classroom teachers to explore these important issues.


  • Justice in an Unequal World
    The Reverend Tim Costello AO (Former Chief Executive of World Vision Australia)
  • Teaching Ethics v. Preaching Ethics
    Dr Luke Russell (Lecturer in Moral Philosophy and Critical Thinking, University of Sydney)
  • For Goodness’ Sake: The Fundamentals of Human Flourishing
    Dr Felicity McCutcheon (Head of Teaching and Learning, Melbourne Grammar School)
  • AI and Ethics: Why all the Fuss?
    Professor Toby Walsh (Scientiua Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales and Data61)
  • From Principle to Practice: The why, how and what of teaching ethics in high school
    Mark Case (Deputy Head, Oxley College, NSW)
  • Ethical Diversity at the Frontiers: The Case of Voluntary Assisted Dying
    Dr Rosalind McDougall (Senior Lecturer in Health Ethics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health)
  •  ‘Climate Justice Shall You Pursue’ – a rephrasing for our time!
    Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black (Leo Baeck Centre, Melbourne)

Webinar: Climate Justice in RE
Lat Blaylock (National RE Adviser, UK)

Practical workshops led by experienced classroom teachers
Topics include: global citizenship, peace education, science and religion, post-truth politics, Ignatian Spirituality …

View the draft Conference Programme here.