Category Archives: Politics


It’s time again for a deep conversation on the things that really matter as we gather around a pub meal and have a chat, seeking wisdom so we can make a difference.

Yes that’s right, it’s time for:

Cafe Conversations

DATE: October 14th, 2013

TIME: 6.30pm for tea and then 7.00 start

VENUE: Hotel Sophia, cnr. King and Lt. Lonsdale, Melbourne

TOPIC: Beyond the Game: Exploring Australian Democracy Today

Sophia Think Tank has been involved in some research this past year exploring people’s attitudes to democracy. Three of the major themes out of all that work are:

1. We need to de-professionalize politics so that more rank and file people can get involved

2. We need to be a whole lot better at training leaders

3. We need to have a national vision based on the common good.

We will discuss these themes together as there is much wisdom we can gather from our various perspectives that will help us to learn and grow….. and then do something!

I look forward to meeting with you at our next Cafe Conversations.




Urban Conversations (Melbourne) this coming Sunday is a conversation with Roy Williams around his latest book ‘In God They Trust?’.  This book looks at the place of religion in the life of Australia’s Prime Ministers from Barton to Gillard.  Roy Williams will give some input that will help us look ahead in the light of his research and then we will have some hearty conversation on what this means for all of us as Australian citizens, no matter which way we voted.

Sophia Think Tank will also take the opportunity to share some of the findings from their research into Democracy in Australia Today.

It will be good to see you there.  The details:

September 22, 6pm

Cafe Hamodava, Westwood Place, Melbourne (off Bourke St)

No Charge



This week’s Food for Thought looks at the question ‘How should we then live?’ in the light of last weekend’s election….



The next Urban Conversations will be in Sydney this coming Sunday.  We will once again be looking at the topic of Crisis in Australian Democracy and Jim Longley will be the Keynote speaker.  The event in Melbourne was very good and we are expecting to buld on that conversation in Sydney this week.  Please come and be a part of that experience.  We would love to have your involvement.

All the details can be found here: Hope Talks Flier UC S  We can now announce that the Panel will be made up of Mike Hercock from Imagine, Andrew West from ABC Religion and Ethics, and Andre Van Eymeren from Partnering for Transformation.

It will be good to see you there.

David Wilson.


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The time has arrived and there are some seats left at the table for this Sunday’s Urban Conversations on ‘Beyond the Game:  Is there a Crisis in Australian Democracy?’  As you know, Jim Longley is the keynote speaker.  See below for details.

The Panel has now been confirmed:

  • Claire Dawson, a Mum of two children with a background in carbon accounting and climate change roles.
  • Shaun Carney who writes a column on Politics for the Herald Sun (past Associate Editor for the Age) and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash Uni (School of Social and Political Inquiry).
  • Chris White is a retired Actuary who speaks and lectures in areas of business economics and ethics.
  • Brendan Nottle is the Salvation Army’s Major in the City of Melbourne and heads up their Project 614 work with Homeless and otherwise marginalized people.
  • Gillian Borovnicar has a past in politics and the media and is the Mum of some budding politicians.
  • Misha Coleman is a Greens Councillor in the City of Yarra and is the Executive Officer of the Church Refugee Initiative.

Now they should be able to get a good conversation going……

URBAN CONVERSATIONS Cafe Hamodava (Westwood Place, Melbourne) Sunday June 2, 2013.  6pm



The Hope Talks series of conversations on Democracy continue in the Sophia Think Tank signature event, Urban Conversations.  ‘Beyond the Game: Is there a Crisis in Australian Democracy?’ seeks your input in a QandA style event with Jim Longley as the Keynote speaker and a Panel of respondents who will stimulate the conversation over coffee and cake.  You can find out more about it at this link:

MELBOURNE: Hope Talks Flier UC M

SYDNEY: Hope Talks Flier UC S

Hope to see you there.  Please RSVP to



On this link, Hope Talks Flier ML S, you will find out more about the Media Lunch we are co-hosting as a part of the Hope Talks Series of conversations.  Spaces are limited for this one so if you want to go please let me know on as soon as possible.  Andrew West of the ABC Religion and Etics Report is the Keynote speaker.  There will be ample time for discussion around the topic ‘Beyond the Game: Is there a Crisis in Australian Democracy?’

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