Noted Human Rights campaigner and Refugee advocate Julian Burnside AO QC, will speak at Shepparton on 21 March 2017 as part of the Voices for Harmony 10th Anniversary celebrations. Julian Burnside will give an address on the topic, Yes to Multiculturalism at the Carrington Hotel on Tuesday 21 March.
Voices for Harmony
Ten years ago Gordon Porter (Shepparton Police Prosecutor), Cameron Albanoi and Azem Elmaz invited local politicians and community group leaders to become Voices for Harmony in the Shepparton area. Since that time, many social and community strengthening events have been delivered to the peoples of Greater Shepparton and funds raised have been dispersed by way of welfare support to those in need.
Voices for Harmony has also sponsored many public forums in order to raise issues critical to the well-being of the local community, encourage discussions and point out solutions that may be adopted to the benefit of the community as a whole. There has been an enduring search and application of solutions for justice to the needy in our region.
To celebrate this 10th Anniversary, well known human rights advocate Julian Burnside QC has offered to speak to us on the “Yes to Multiculturalism“. We look forward to an interesting discussion with him, given the Australian wide reputation of Shepparton as one of the more successful multicultural cities in this country.
Yes to Multiculturalism will be delivered by Julian Burnside at the Carrington Hotel, Wyndham St, Shepparton on Tuesday, 21 March from 11:30am – 2:00pm. Lunch will be included.
About Julian Burnside
Julian Burnside AO QC is a distinguished Australian barrister, human rights advocate and author. In 2014, he was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize for his brave and principled advocacy for human rights and for those wronged by government, for insisting that we respect our international legal obligations toward those seeking asylum, and for his unflinching defence of the rule of law as a means to achieve a more peaceful and just society.
Julian Burnside was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1976, and appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1989. From the late 1990s onwards, Burnside began to undertake more and more pro bono legal work on a range of human rights-related issues. He acted for Victoria’s chief civil liberties organisation in an action against the Australian Government over the Tampa affair and vehemently criticised John Howard’s Government for its mandatory detention of asylum seekers arriving in Australia. With his wife, artist Kate Durham, Burnside set up Spare Rooms for Refugees and Spare Lawyers for Refugees, programs which provide free accommodation and legal representation for refugees in Australia.
Throughout this time Burnside has maintained his practice as a commercial litigator, appearing in many major class actions, trade practices cases and general commercial cases. Burnside has also acted in several major cases on behalf of Indigenous Australians.
In 2004 Burnside was awarded the Human Rights Law Award by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and sponsored by the Law Council of Australia for his pro-bono legal work for asylum seekers and for his work in establishing Spare Lawyers for Refugees. Also in 2004, he was elected an Australian Living Treasures. In 2006 he was inducted as an honorary member of the Monash University Golden key Society. In 2007 he received the Australian Peace Prize from the Peace Organisation of Australia and in 2014 the Sydney Peace Prize from the Sydney Peace Foundation.
Program: Yes to Multiculturalism, Lecture by Julian Burnside, AO QC
Location: Carrington Hotel, Wyndham St, Shepparton
Date and Time: Tuesday, 21 March from 11:30am – 2:00pm.
Tickets: $35 (includes lunch)
Bookings: Camerun Albanoi 0429 036 738 or Frank Purcell 5821 4362 or Chris Parnell 5821 3483
Julian Burnside Speaks on the Golden Rule
The Golden Rule
One of the few philosophical precepts which is practically universal is captured in the Christian teaching: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In its original Biblical expression it says: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”.
Described in the West as the Golden Rule, it is found in many religious and secular philosophies. It is found in Brahmanism: “This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do nothing to others which would cause you pain if done to you”. In Buddhism: “…a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?”. In Confucianism: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you”. In Islam: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself”. And in Taoism: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbour’s loss as your own loss”.
The same principle has been advocated by secular philosophers, including Epictetus, Plato, Socrates, Seneca and Immanuel Kant.
The foundation of the idea is reciprocity and, in this setting, reciprocity is an expression of enlightened self-interest. Little wonder then that the idea is widespread. At its least, it tempers our basest impulses; at its highest, it produces acts of extraordinary altruism.
But the principle of reciprocity, and the Golden Rule which springs from it, sits uncomfortably with selfishness, which is a near-universal human characteristic. Human infant are near-perfect parasites: their every instinct is directed at self-preservation. It is a necessary characteristic in creatures which remain dependent on others for a very long time, unlike the infants of other species.
So: self-interest has been naturally selected because it helps us survive to adulthood. But as we grow up we learn that the way we behave now may have consequences later. We learn that it is often strategically wise to postpone or subordinate our immediate interests in favour of others.
The tension between these forces is everywhere to be seen and especially at times of stress. There are three areas in which I want to examine this tension: in relation to global warming; in relation to our treatment of boat people, and in relation to marginalized groups within our society.
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Noted Human Rights campaigner Julian Burnside will speak at Shepparton on 21 March 2017.