We define rationalism as the attitude of mind which unreservedly accepts the supremacy of reason. It is a system of philosophy and ethics independent of all arbitrary assumptions or authority.
Rationalism was a movement that emerged in the second half of the 19thC, particularly in the wake of Charles Darwin, whose book, Origins of the Species, provided a scientific foundation for thought independent of religious speculation.
The activities of the Association include debates and film nights, the annual Joseph McCabe lecture, and activism working towards Australia becoming a republic with a constitutional separation of church and state.
A history of the Association and the citizens associated with it, was published in the Centennial Edition of the Association's magazine, The New Liberator, June/July 2012. For a free copy of this magazine please phone or write to the Association at the address above or contact us.
The president is Meg Wallace, B.Soc.Sc. from the University of Waikato, an LLB(Hons) from the University of Auckland and a PhD from Macquarie University. She has published Freedom From Religion: Rethinking Article 18: in which she argues that human rights involve not only the right to have and practise our own religious or other beliefs, but also the right to be free from those beliefs of others. She has written for The Australian Humanist, The Open Society and On Line Opinion. Meg is a member of the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists in Auckland. See her blogsite at http://meg-wallace.blogspot.com.au/.
The vice-president is long-term member, Pauline Tyrrell, who is a Greens councillor, BSc, Biochemistry, University of NSW; BA(Hons), Political Economy, University of Sydney.
The secretary is Max Wallace. Educated at Fort St Boys High, Max has a Master of Social Sciences degree from the University of Waikato, a Certificate of Proficiency in French from the University of Auckland and a PhD from Macquarie University. He is the author of The Purple Economy: supernatural charities, tax and the state, Melbourne, 2007, editor of Realising Secularism: Australia and New Zealand, ANZSA, Melbourne, 2008. He has published widely in Dissent magazine, The Australian Humanist, The Open Society and On Line Opinion. Max is also a council member of the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists in Auckland.
The treasurer is long-term member Steve Maxwell, who published Soapbox Oratory in 1994, a book discussing the colourful history of the speakers who entertained the crowds in the Domain opposite the Art Gallery and behind the NSW Parliament in Macquarie Street, on Sundays, long before television and other forms of entertainment, a practice that continues to this day. Steve writes a weekly historical article "The passing parade"