ACL's National Conference - which took place last weekend in Canberra - was the best one yet. Delegates were privileged to have such a high calibre of speakers from which to draw and learn from; Shadow Families Minister Kevin Andrews, former attorney-general Robert McClelland and Professor Greg Craven were amongst other professionals who spoke on the issue of Religious Freedom in a Secular Democracy.
Mr Andrews spoke of the importance of preserving the traditional construct of marriage, in light of his new book entitled 'Maybe, I Do.' He highlighted the successful conclusion of the marriage debate in Parliament and said that most MPs would now take the view that this issue has been settled for some period of time.
Mr McClelland addressed delegates on the deterioration in the quality of political debate, declaring it as "un-Australian". He spoke of the importance of renewing a sense of decency and respect in political circles, and that this is truly what the Australian people want to see from their politicians.
Political editor of The Australian
newspaper Dennis Shanahan spoke also on the nature of political journalism and what this means for religious freedom.
Professor Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, gave a memorable address in which he explored the historical and cultural challenges that now face freedom of religion in a secular democracy.
For all those who attended, we hope you had a thoroughly enjoyable and engaged time. It was a privilege having you share in this wonderful occasion.
Podcasts of the speakers' addresses will be available on our website shortly for those who were unable to attend.