The Forum in 2013 | City Bible Forum

Be a part of the
that matter

Everyone's talking in Sydney … opinions are on tap in any pub.

But where can you engage with the people who influence this great nation of Australia? Welcome to The Forum. We invite leaders and experts to engage in fair and reasonable discussion. And it's free!

March Technology and a healthy life
May Leadership in Australia
July Our fascination with stories
August Happiness
October Can we make a difference
On the seventh day… God unplugged
March 13 and 14

Looking at the role of technology and a healthy life.

Karina Keisler is General Manager, Corporate Affairs and Public Relations for Vodafone Australia.

Dr Graham Barker is a retired clinical psychologist, pastor, and author. He enjoys spending time with his family, travelling and fishing.

Justine Toh is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity and an Honorary Associate of the Department of Media, Music, and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University.

Leading the Aussie way
May 15 and 16

There are some leaders we instinctively warm to, and then there are others we love to loathe.

Why? What attracts us to good leaders? Is it the oratory skills of an Obama, the courage of a Churchill, the vision of a Jobs, the brashness of a Branson or perhaps the humility of a Gandhi?

Against the backdrop of the imminent federal election, our specialist panel will consider if there is anything distinctive about the way Australians lead and respond to leadership. Has Jesus' model of sacrifice and service left an indelible mark on our understanding of true leadership?

John Anderson AO is a former Australian politician. He has served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

Mark Scott AO is the Managing Director of the ABC. Mark spent almost twelve years in a variety of editorial and executive positions with Fairfax Media.

Andrew Scipione APM is the Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force.

Secret Hollywood
Wednesdays in July

Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like movies? They seem to be the one thing in the world we all enjoy. Why is that? What is it about movies that has this extraordinary universal appeal?

On Wednesdays in July, The Forum will be addressing these questions.

Only on Wednesdays: there will be no Thursday meeting

Change of venue: Telstra auditorium, Level 2, 400 George St (take the lift to Level 2 and turn left)

Adrian Drayton works for Uniting Creative, an agency which serves the communications needs of not-for-profit and small businesses.

Mark Hadley has been writing professionally for more than 20 years. Mark has been reviewing films, television programmes and children’s books for the past ten years.

Ben McEachen has been writing about movies since 2000. He has been the editor of Empire magazine and a freelance film reviewer for national newspapers, radio and television.

Australia: the happiest place on earth?
July 31 and August 1

Australia has taken the top spot on the OECD Better Life Index as the happiest country on earth for the third year running, ahead of 35 other OECD countries. As Australians, this should make us happy. But why are we seeing an increase in the number of Aussies being treated for depression? Why do 1 in 3 of us work over time? And why are we drinking more alcohol over the recommended limit?

How do you define happiness? Are we happy? What leads to lasting happiness?

Come and bring your questions to The Forum, as panellists Mark McCrindle, Thubten Chokyi and Ross Gittins ask if Australia is indeed the "Happiest Place on Earth".

Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international renown for tracking emerging issues, researching social trends, and analysing customer segments.

Ross Gittins is a political and economic journalist and author, known for his "ability to make dry, hard-to-understand economics and economic policy relevant".

Thubten Chokyi is International Director of the Liberation Prison Project, and Spiritual Program Coordinator and teacher at Vajrayana Institute in Sydney.

Can we make a difference?
October 9 and 10

What impact do philanthropy and social activism actually have? Can one person make a positive change to the status quo? Come and hear our panellists discuss your questions about making a difference to society.

Nic Lochner was named one of Sydney’s 100 most influential people by the Sydney Magazine for his work in launching the social media campaign responding to Alan Jones’ ‘Died of Shame’ comments. now boasts almost 20 million signatures for diverse campaigns across almost 200 countries.

Malcolm Wood has over 25 years of experience within financial services. Malcolm regularly visits Asia in his work with International Care Ministries and poor communities in the Philippines.

Rachel Scott (Wednesday forum) works with underprivileged children. In 2013 she embarked on a highly ambitious project with the Australian Children’s Music Foundation and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, bringing well-taught classroom music to a cluster of underprivileged Sydney schools.

Edward Santow (Thursday forum) is the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a policy organisation promoting human rights and social justice through strategic litigation, policy development and law reform, education and training.