Past Events

  • ACT Fabians - AGM

    We have some exciting news to share, A group of ACT Fabians members met in September / October and decided to organise a series of ACT Fabians Events in 2019.

    • The AGM will be held on 8 November 2018 at O’Malley’s, this meeting will decide office bearers for 2019 and the content of the program for 2019.
    • You must be a member to run or take a position on the committee, not a member yet - join online here
    Join the ACT Fabians Branch Group to share your ideas
    To share the workload, members whose ideas are selected will be asked to coordinate the event (with help from the committee).
  • Blue Collar Frayed

    The NSW Fabians and the Centre for Future Work are proud to be hosting Jennifer Rayner who will be speaking about her new book Blue Collar Frayed: Working Men in Tomorrow’s Economy.

    Blue-collar jobs for Australian men are disappearing at a rapid rate, and this is not just a product of unstoppable economic forces - it's also the result of our failure to acknowledge the importance of those jobs and the people who do them. The men now losing their jobs in heavy industry or trades will not easily find new work in Australia's growing service industries; the evidence shows they are disengaging from the workforce instead.

    Drawing on extensive research and many interviews, Jennifer Rayner argues that there can be blue-collar jobs in our future economy; in fact, we can't keep building a fair and prosperous Australia without them. Humane and clear-eyed, Blue Collar Frayed is a vital contribution to our national conversation.

    Jennifer Rayner has worked as an economic policy adviser for federal and territory Labor, and holds a PhD from the Australian National University. Her last book, Generation Less (2016), was an urgent call-to-arms on generational inequality.

    The event is a 6pm for 6:30pm start. Refreshments will also be provided.

  • .

    The South Australian Fabians and Welcome to Australia invite you to join us for an evening with Dr Russell Rook, community activist and refugee advocate.

    Dr Russell Rook has worked for The Salvation Army and founded a charity delivering innovative community services in disadvantaged communities.

    He then served as a Parliamentary Aide to Baroness Sherlock of Durham in the House of Lords, and was on the Labour Welfare team in Parliament, before becoming an advisor on faith and civil society to the then Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband MP.

    Russel is a partner at Good Faith Partnership and leads the RAMP Project, a cross party initiative seeking to transform the immigration debate in the UK. He has worked with government and civil society to help co-construct the Community Sponsorship Scheme for Refugees.

    Russell is the chair of Reset, a charity building the capacity of local communities to welcome and integrate refugees across the UK and works with the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, helping other countries to develop sponsorship programmes.



  • Leigh Sundowner

  • National Member Assembly

    Since our beginnings in 1947, the Australian Fabians has grown progressively. We have developed our capacity to act together and build relationships across our Australia and won victories that have addressed pressures and improved our communities.

    From our 1973 pamphlet that brought medicare to life or our recent essays on tackling regional and economic inequality. The Australian Fabians have been the starting point for big changes in our society. It has been members like you that have been the driving force to build a better society, not simply a bigger economy. 

    Now, it is time to for us to step out and claim our public role again as Australia's largest member organised political think tank!

    History has shown we can achieve results in our local communities, this only happens when members take the lead by having the big debates and pitching the big ideas.

    Now is the time to take ourselves to the next level, to be publicly recognised for what we can achieve and move to the national level. 

    This is where we as members come together. 

    I know that when we come together and put our minds to it as Fabians, we can achieve a lot.


  • Planning, Environment and Equality



    This is the first event of Victorian Fabians' Spring Series for 2018, and will feature talks by Professor Barbara Norman and Frank McGuire MP, with a special introduction by Fabian Luminary and National Treasure Barry Jones.

    Our familiar urban and suburban areas are at the forefront of much of the economic, social and environmental change sweeping Australia.

    Challenges arise in an arc of suburbs around Melbourne and other major cities. They are the result of the closure of old industries and changes in employment. Furthermore, the rise of inequality between suburbs contributes to the challenges, where some may become waiting rooms of permanent unemployment and a marginalised existence, with little expectation of the better future that spurred on former generations.

    Challenges to planning are also waiting in the wings from the social and physical effects of climate change, whether from increased numbers of people harmed or displaced by drought and flood, or from the struggle to adapt our cities to new land-use, energy and transport imperatives, as food and energy are stretched and the natural environment put under even more pressure.

    How can we address these issues so that people can have confidence in the future of the communities in which they live?





    Professor Barbara Norman

    Barbara Norman is the Foundation Chair of Urban and Regional Planning, and Director of Canberra Urban & Regional Futures (CURF), at the University of Canberra.

    She has extensive experience in the public sector at all levels of government. Her research interests include coastal planning, sustainable cities, urban and regional planning, climate change adaptation, and coastal and urban governance.

    Barbara's new book 'Sustainable Pathways for our Cities and Regions' looks at the ways in which current planning approaches need to be adapted to embrace concepts such as green growth, planetary boundaries, healthy cities and long-term sustainability.



    Frank McGuire MP

    Frank McGuire is the Victorian State member for Broadmeadows. As part of an extensive and varied career in politics he has an abiding interest in urban planning. Frank was nominated for the international Metropolis Award for innovation in 2011 for his model for smarter, healthier, better connected and sustainable communities, the Global Learning Village.

    In 2013-14 he co-chaired Parliament’s Economic Development, Infrastructure and Outer Suburban/Interface Services Committee.

    He is currently driving for Melbourne's north to become a "Smart City" - an innovation, education and technology hub.

    In 2016 he published 'Creating Opportunity: Postcodes of Hope', a blueprint for cultural, generational and systemic change delivering lifelong learning, economic development and jobs.


    Not in Melbourne?

    This event will be live-streamed on the Australian Fabians Facebook where you can submit questions during the evening and uploaded afterwards to the Fabians Youtube. Subscribe to these pages to catch it from anywhere in Australia or the world.

  • Social Policy Network Workshop on Community Services

    Invitation to join us for the NSW Fabian Social Policy Network Workshop on Community Services. 

    With the results of the survey we sent to members a month ago, we have designed a schedule of policy workshops that address the major issues of contemporary social policy or lack thereof. The first workshop will look at community services. This includes the various funding mechanisms, models of delivery, and social planning frameworks. The aim is to identify the most effective models of community service delivery in embedding agency and increasing social connectivity. We hope this will lead to an advocacy plan to protect those services. Please RSVP at


    Brief Outline: 

    Opening session:

    Defining the issues: open discussion: what policies do we need to make a good society,  and how do social and community services affect lives?

     Funding and delivery: The questions of competitive tendering  and subcontracting versus locally generated and or collaborative planning

    Suggested issues

    o   Decision-making and designing services: bottom up or top down –or mix?

    o   The role of big agencies versus local community-based ones

    o   Competitive tendering and its flaws

    o   Commercial or NFP service delivery


    Children's services

    Domestic Violence Services

    Education (Primary and Secondary)          

    Analysis:  potential/ current limitations/proposals

  • Stewardship of our Environment: Sustainability and Equality

    • Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at 06:00 PM
    • Jasper Hotel, 489 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000
    • 65 people are going



    This is the third event of Victorian Fabians' Spring Series for 2018, co-hosted by the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN), at which we'll discuss environmental sustainability and equality, with talks by Dr Bruce Lindsay and Ged Kearney MP.


    The 2018 IPCC report on climate change says we have about 12 years to act to keep climate change to 1.5 degrees. The action required to prevent increasing CO2 will be both rapid and dislocating but not anywhere near as dislocating as the effects of higher than 1.5 degrees of warming.
    Many of the impacts from climate risks and remedies will disproportionately affect the more disadvantaged in our society. This represents a threat to our progressive social democracy.
    How do we act on climate change and sustain a thriving diverse environment, human well-being and equality all at the same time?





    Dr Bruce Lindsay (Environmental Justice Australia, Member of Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law)

    Bruce works as a law reform and project officer at Environmental Justice Australia - a public-interest community legal centre specialising in environmental and planning law. Bruce has written on biodiversity law, water law, access to justice issues, and planning law for EJA. He has previously worked with Trust for Nature, undertaking leading research on law in private land conservation and environmental markets. He has had a long association with local environmental groups and issues in Geelong, Victoria.



    Ged Kearney MP (ALP Member for Batman)

    Ged was born and raised in Melbourne and lived in the electorate of Batman for 20 years. She started her working life as a nurse and rose to become Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation. From 2010, Ged served as the elected president of the ACTU – the peak body of Australia’s union movement – where she has been fighting for better conditions for Australian workers. Ged fought John Howard’s Workchoices to protect our rights at work, and is a passionate advocate for social justice and gender equality in the workplace.


    Entry is $5 for Fabians members and concessions, $10 for non-members (bring extra for the raffle).

    Please arrive from 5.30 for a 6pm start, all guests are welcome to join us for dinner after the event.

    Some introductory reading has been provided by LEAN if you are interested:
    Who is the Labor Environment Action Network?
    LEAN Research Paper - Background for their Environmental laws campaign

  • Reconciliation.png


    This is the second event of Victorian Fabians' Spring Series for 2018, at which we'll discuss reconciliation, the strengthening of First Nations' voices, and their link with equality. It will feature talks by Dean Parkin and Justin Mohamed.

    That the idea of reconciliation and the creation of a mechanism for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination, on an equal footing, in the affairs of Australia dates back at least 40 years is itself testimony to the intransigence of the Australian political system in its lack of recognition of First Nations' voices.

    Reconciliation Australia defines "Reconciliation" as based on five principles;

    • Race relations based on trust and respect, free of racism
    • Equality and equity of participation in a range of life opportunities, also recognising the unique rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    • Institutional integrity of political, business and community organisations to support reconciliation
    • Unity, so that our shared identity recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage
    • Historical acceptance, meaning that the wrongs of the past and the necessity for their redress are accepted by all Australians

    These are big steps for Australia to take. How can we take them and emerge with greater equality?





    Dean Parkin

    Dean is from the Quandamooka peoples from Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) in Queensland. He was involved in the negotiations leading to a Native Title determination in 2011 and continues to work with his community on this journey.

    He helped facilitate all 13 dialogues that produced the Uluru Statement from the Heart. He is currently establishing a people's movement to promote political momentum for the Uluru Statement. He also runs his own consultancy aimed at co-design of strategic change, bringing people together and engaging them in dialogue.



    Justin Mohamed

    A Gooreng Gooreng man from Bundaberg in Queensland, Justin Mohamed has spent much of his career working in the Aboriginal health and sport sectors, improving outcomes and connections to culture for Aboriginal people, including children.

    He is a leader in reconciliation, having served as the CEO of Reconciliation Australia for three years until 2017, and was most recently the CEO of Equity Health Solutions.

    Currently he is the Victorian Government Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People.


    Entry is $5 for members, $10 for non-members (bring extra for the raffle).

    Please arrive from 5.30 for a 6pm start, all guests are welcome to join us for dinner after the event.


  • Over the past three decades, progressive politics in Australia has undergone a gradual but unmistakable transformation. Where the Australian Labor Party once enjoyed dominance over the political left it now shares space with the Greens; at times depending on minor-party support to form government, and even more often to pass contentious legislation. Based on over forty interviews with politicians and party figures, Whitlam's Children is the first study of this increasingly important relationship in Australian politics.

    Join Whitlam's Children author Shaun Crowe, Senator Jenny McAllister and Ben Spies Butcher for what will be an important discussion on the relationship between Labor and the Greens