Meeting of the minds at Notre Dame’s groundbreaking forum

A meeting of the minds at The University of Notre Dame’s inaugural QndA panel forum.

1 September 2015

Racism, same-sex marriage, social media, terrorism, euthanasia and the future of religion were just some of the issues debated at the inaugural QndA panel discussion held at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus on 19 August 2015.

Hosted by the Institute for Ethics and Society, the lively and thought-provoking discussion engaged an audience of more than 350 in St Benedict’s Hall.

The panel featured the Most Reverent Anthony Fisher OP, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney; Dr Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in in Washington DC, USA; The Hon Michael Kirby, AC CMG, Former Justice of the High Court of Australia; Mr Lyle Shelton, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, and Dr Justine Toh, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity.

Patrick Langrell, Officer for Engagement and Public Affairs at the Institute and QndA moderator, said the initiative was a great success and an excellent forum for discussion since it took seriously religious perspectives, both Catholic and those of other faiths, on contemporary issues of the day.

“There has long been a need for a place or forum where people of different faith traditions, political persuasions and ideologies can come together to discuss contentious social issues,” Mr Langrell said.

“Notre Dame’s QndA forums are a chance to put ‘faith and reason’ into action and gives our participants a chance to address and discuss issues of concern without resorting to sound bites, but instead allow mature debate and informed discussion.”

Dr Sandra Lynch, Director of the Institute for Ethics and Society, said the forum was timely and stimulating. “It was heartening to see so many members of both the University and the broader community gather to participate in open and civil discussion that included both faith based and secular perspectives on the challenges facing society today,” Dr Lynch said.

Based on the success of the August session, Notre Dame anticipates hosting a further QndA later this year. A link to the video of the August Panel Discussion can be found at:

Theresa Kyne: Tel (02) 8204 4141; Mob: 0407 408 177;