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Backhouse Lectures

Jenny Spinks, 2007 Backhouse Lecturer

The Backhouse Lectures are public lectures on contemporary issues delivered annually at the national gathering of Quakers in Australia. They were initiated by Australia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) on its establishment in 1964. Friends from both Australia and overseas have presented lectures. (Image: Jenny Spinks, 2007 Backhouse Lecturer)

Print copies of the Lectures from 2008-2018 (excluding the 2017 Lecture) can be purchased at Quaker Publications.

Most can be downloaded in pdf format (excluding the current year's lecture and the 2017 Lecture). 

2018 LectureAn Encounter between Quaker Mysticism and Taoism in Everyday Life by Cho-Nyon Kim. 
Cho-Nyon Kim explores his spiritual journey in the Korean religious environment, in which Confucianism, Buddhism. Taoism and Christianity have all influenced cultural practice and been integrated into daily life. Cho-Nyon Kim is inspired by the life and thoughts of Ham Sok Hon, a prominent Korean peace activist and Quaker. He asks how we can live a simple life in a complex world. The Lecture will be delivered on 9 July at Yearly Meeting 2018 at Avondale College, Cooranbong, New South Wales.

2017 Lecture - Reflections on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum in the context of two Aboriginal life stories - with David Carline, supported by Cheryl Buchanan (Please note that there was no printed version of the 2017 Lecture, rather an extended report was written by the Backhouse Lecture committee.)

2016 Lecture - Everyday Prophets - by Margery Post Abbott - Video available here

2015 Lecture - This We Can Do: Quaker faith in action through the Alternatives to Violence Project - by Sally Herzfeld and Alternatives to Violence Project Members

2014 Lecture - Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; Bringing children into the centre of Quaker life and worship - by Tracy Bourne

2013 Lecture  - A Quaker astronomer reflects: Can a scientist also be religious - by Jocelyn Bell Burnell

2012 Lecture  - From the inside out: Observations on Quaker work at the United Nations - by David Atwood 

2011 Lecture  - A demanding and uncertain adventure: Exploration of a concern for Earth restoration and how we must live to pass on to our children - and their children, and all living things - an Earth restored - by Rosemary (Rowe) Morrow

2010 Lecture  - Finding our voice Our truth, community and journey as Australian Young Friends

2009 Lecture - The Quaking Meeting Transforming our selves, our meetings and the more-than-human world - by Helen Gould - MP3 available here (65.5KB)

2008 Lecture  - Faith, hope and doubt in times of uncertainty Combining the realms of scientific and spiritual inquiry - by George Ellis - MP3 available here (65.5KB)

2007 Lecture - Support for our true selves - Nurturing the space where leadings flow - by Jenny Spinks - MP3 available here (6.63MB)

2006 Lecture - One Heart and a Wrong Spirit: The Religious Society of Friends and Colonial Racism - Polly O. (Daksi) Walker

2005 Lecture - Peace is a Struggle - David Johnson

2004 Lecture - Growing a Fruitful Friendship - A Garden Walk - by Ute Caspers - MP3 available here (3MB)

2003 Lecture  - Respecting the Rights of Children and Young People: A New Perspective on Quaker Faith and Practice - by Helen Bayes - MP3 available here (5.1MB)

2002 Lecture - To Do Justly, And To Love Mercy: learning from Quaker service - by Mark Deasey - MP3 available here (66.82KB)

2001 Lecture - Reconciling Opposites: Reflections on peacemaking in South Africa - by Hendrik W van der Merwe -  MP3 available here (65.49KB)

2000 Lecture - To Learn A New Song: A Quaker Contribution Towards Real Reconciliation with the Earth and its Peoples - by Susannah Kay Brindle - MP3 available here (5.34MB)

1999 Lecture - Myth and Stories, Lies and Truth - by Norman Talbot

1998 Lecture - Embraced by Other Selves: Enriching personal nature through group interaction - by Charles Stevenson - MP3 available here (3.4MB)

1997 Lecture - Learning of one another The Quaker encounter with other cultures and religions - by Richard G. Meredith - MP3 available here (65.5KB)

1996 Lecture - Our Children, our Partners A new vision for social action in the 21st century - by Elise Boulding

1995 Lecture - Emerging Currents in the Asia-Pacific - by Donna Kyle Anderton & Barbara Baker Bird Bangkok, Thailand - MP3 availble here (65.49KB)

1994 Lecture - As the Mirror Burns Making a Film about Vietnam - by Di Bretherton

1993 Lecture - Living the Way Quaker spirituality and community - by Ursula Jane O'Shea

1991 Lecture - Loving the Distances Between: Racism, Culture and Spirituality - by David James and Jillian Wychel

1990 Lecture - Quakers in Politics: Pragmatism or Principle? - by Jo Vallentine and Peter D. Jones

1989 Lecture - A New-Born Sense of Dignity and Freedom - by Erica Fisher

1988 Lecture - Creative Conflict - by David Purnell

1987 Lecture - The Vision That Connects - Building The Future We Choose - by Carol and Dougald McLean

1986 Lecture - Looking for Meanings of My A-Bomb Experience in Nagasaki - by Susumu Ishitani

1985 Lecture - For All The Saints - by Gerald Priestland

1984 Lecture - Pilgrims for Justice and Peace - by Peter D. Jones

1983 Lecture - An Adventure into Feminism with Friends - by Sabine Willis

1982 Lecture - Celebration: A Missing Element in Quaker Worship - by John Ormerod Greenwood

1981 Lecture - What Jesus Means To Me: Jesus the Liberator - by Roger C. Wilson

1980 Lecture - Quakers and Sacramental History: Reflections on Quaker Saints by a Quaker Sinner - by Hector Kinloch

1979 Lecture - Quakers in the Modern World: The Relevance of Quaker Beliefs to the Problems of the Modern World - by J. Duncan Wood

1978 Lecture - Wisdom: The Inner Teacher - by Margaret Wilkinson

1977 Lecture - Papua New Guinea: Third World on our doorstep - by Mary Woodward

1976 Lecture - Imperialism Without Invading Armies: peace, justice and the multinationals in Southeast Asia - by Stewart and Charlotte Meacham

1975 Lecture - A Time To Reap, A Time To Sow: Retirement - by Winifred A. M McNaughton

1974 Lecture - Pilgrimage Toward The Fountainhead: Quakerism and Zen Buddhism Today - by Yukio Irie

1973 Lecture - Friends and Other Faiths - by Otto B. Van Sprenkel

1972 Lecture - The Quaker Message: a Personal Affirmation - L. Hugh Doncaster

1970 Lecture - Security for Australia? - by Keith A. W. Crook

1969 Lecture - Toward a Multi-Racial Society - by A. Barrie Pittock

1968 Lecture - In The Spirit of the Family - William N. Oats

1967 Lecture - On Being Present Where You Are - by Douglas V Steere

1966 Lecture - Seeking In An Age Of Imbalance - by Rudolf Lemberg

1965 Lecture - The Shaping Spirit - by Clive Sansom

1964 Lecture - The Evolutionary Potential Of Quakerism - by Kenneth E. Boulding