2018 Conference

Being Human: Education and the search for meaning

This space in the curriculum has never been more important.

In any education system, there is the danger of over-emphasising economic goals and vocational skills at the expense of personal development. This is widely recognised in Australia and New Zealand, with some excellent values education and positive psychology initiatives. But Religious Studies and Philosophy have a unique role to play in this broader educational landscape.

  • To make students aware of the universality of the human quest for meaning and purpose
  • To clarify the necessary role of ultimate beliefs
  • To enable students to interrogate their cultural conditioning
  • To help students to understand different world views, religious and non-religious
  • To develop the capacity to identify and evaluate religious truth-claims; and, most importantly
  • To help student explore their own beliefs and values

Many teachers and school leaders recognize the importance of this subject but are unsure how best to approach and resource Religious Studies in a multi-cultural and increasingly secular society.

The 2018 DAN conference brought together international academics to reflect on these important issues.

Our Keynote Speakers

Professor Peter Singer (Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University)

Amna Karra-Hassan (Australian Federal Police)

Father Aloysious Mowe SJ (Director of Advocacy and Communications, Jesuit Refugee Service, Rome)

Hugh Mackay (social researcher and author)

Dr Caroline West, University of Sydney

Michael Parker (Headmaster of Oxley College, NSW)

Dr Ari Lander (Sydney Jewish Museum)

John Cleary (ABC Radio Broadcaster)

DATES: Friday 13 April – Sunday 15 April 2018
VENUE: Newington College 200 Stanmore Road, Stanmore NSW 2048
ENQUIRIES: Please email dan@dialogueaustralasia.org.au

CANCELLATION POLICY: Registration cancellations will only be accepted in writing. Cancellations made before 23 March 2018 will be refunded less 25% of registration amount to cover administration costs. We regret that no registration refunds will be given after this date. DAN reserves the right to cancel the Conference at any time, and refund monies paid in full.


DRESS CODE: Dress for the Conference, Cocktail Reception and Conference Dinner is smart casual.

VENUE: Newington College, 200 Stanmore Road, Stanmore, 2040, NSW.

CONFERENCE DINNER: Will be held at Crystal Palace, Luna Park, Sydney, within easy reach of Newington College by public transport. This is included in the cost of your Conference Registration.

TRANSPORT FROM AIRPORT- NEWINGTON COLLEGE: Sydney Airport is 7km from Newington College.

Sydney Airport is located just 13 minutes by train from the City Centre. A ticket is approx. $14

Taxis cost approximately $45-50.

Shuttle Service: If you are looking for bus transfer services, you can find a range of providers via

ACCOMMODATION: There are many options for staying in Sydney, for a range of budgets.

For delegates, reasonably priced accommodation is available at Stanmore House, 97 Cambridge Street, Stanmore, which is walking distance from Newington College

www.stanmorehouse.org.au – Rate of $99/night (ensuite); $105/night (unit). Quote: DAN Conference 2018 when booking for this rate

  1. Urban Hotel Newtown http://www.theurbannewtown.com.au
  2. Rydges Camperdown: https://www.rydges.com/accommodation/sydney-nsw/camperdown/
  3. Mercure Central: https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-2073-mercure-sydney/index.shtml

SYDNEY WEATHER: Autumn is a lovely time to visit Sydney. The average daytime temperatures in Sydney are around 19 degrees while high temperatures can reach a lovely 23 degrees. Nights are cooler but the average minimum temperatures hardly drop below 15 degrees.


CONFERENCE CONVENOR: Please refer any registration enquiries to Amy Yang at dan@dialogueaustralasia.org.


Feedback from 2017 April PD workshops with Dr Jeremy Hall & Mark Case

‘Engaging and inspiring. Fantastic to be led by passionate and successful teachers’  – (Stephanie Spiller, Canberra Girls’ Grammar School)

‘Immensely practical and inspiring, I recommend this PD for any RE or Humanities educator’  – (Luke Critchley, St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba)

‘A time of rich resourcing, stimulating possibilities, and practical ideas’  – (Anne van Gend, New Zealand Schools)

‘The workshop was energetic and inspiring. Lots of fun along the way, but also wonderful resources and plenty of great ideas’  – (Vanessa Gamack, Churchie)

‘Excellent positive, energetic presentation with lots of practical ideas. Team approach worked really well’ -  (Stephanie Maher, Grace Lutheran College)

‘Grounded in wise pedagogical thinking with intelligent and purposeful ideas for learning and assessment’ – (Malcolm Woolrich, Melbourne Grammar)

‘Stimulating and refreshing’ -  (William Peacock, Melbourne Grammar)

‘An inspirational session that offered practical and relevant information to enhance my school’s RE programme. Thank you!’  – (Melinda Naughton, Girton Grammar)

‘You will be inspired!’  – (Lisa Benn, Lakeside College)

‘The kind of PD that commercial telly network executives should attend to see what really happens in Australian schools’  – (Tom Arthurson, St Joseph’s College, Geelong)

‘I feel inspired, validated and hopeful about teaching RE and ethics again. A fresh approach to teaching RE in a challenging educational setting. Brilliant session. Well worth the time!’ -  (Liz Cutter, Tintern Grammar)