Spirituality and Ethics

We welcome students and families of all faiths and cultural backgrounds.

Valuing Each Boy

Our College motto, In Fide Scientiam—to Faith add Knowledge—is about seeking balance. We seek to find a belief in, and a knowledge of God and of His ways, as he teaches us through His word and the events of our everyday life.

We are a Uniting Church school. We welcome students and families of all faiths and cultural backgrounds. Newington College values each boy as a unique and whole person, with distinct intellectual, spiritual, cultural, personal, social and physical needs.

We believe that being a diverse community enriches us all and we seek to encourage tolerance, compassion and understanding. Every attempt is made to be sensitive to the backgrounds and needs of all our boys. Students are encouraged to be open-minded and to develop positive attitudes towards living and learning with faith.

The Chapel

The chapel provides a place for reflection and interaction with personal and community issues in light of the basic tenets of the Christian faith. This enables our young men to develop the confidence to take their place in the wider community. On the Secondary campus students attend chapel services each fortnight. In addition, each House has an annual chapel service and there are regular community services held at the Newington College Chapel.

Centre for Ethics

The Centre for Ethics at Newington College is a forum for students, teachers, parents and the wider community, to engage in discussion of contemporary moral issues, beliefs and values under the drive and vision of Dr Jeremy Hall.

The Centre for Ethics is part of our aim to encourage the boys to explore their personal beliefs, to develop an awareness of spirituality, to encourage respect and understanding in the search for truth, and to develop a strong sense of morality and ethics.

View the Centre for Ethics program here.

AI and Ethics: Why all the fuss?

There’s a lot of discussion within the media, governments and elsewhere about artificial intelligence (AI) and ethics. Professor Toby Walsh will identify the new issues AI brings to the table, as well as instances where AI requires us to address otherwise old issues. He will cover topics from autonomous cars to predictive analytics to killer robots.

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Ethics, Democracy and Journalism

Four of Australia’s most experienced journalists wrestle with what it means to be a journalist when time, competition and commercial considerations mean the very nature of truth is questioned.

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The War for Children’s Minds

How liberal should we be in our approach to moral and religious education? What role should authority play in the classroom? How do we raise good citizens? How important is it to raise a child in a moral tradition? Dr Stephen Law will discuss popular arguments from newspapers and public figures, and also academic points from philosophers.

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The Psychology of Tyranny

Classic studies in social psychology have been used to advance arguments that normal decent people will behave barbarically when ordered to do so by their superiors (Milgram, 1963), and when placed in groups and given power over others (Zimbardo et al, 1971). This evidence has been particularly influential in embedding the ‘banality of evil’ thesis within the public consciousness, appearing to indicate that ordinary people commit atrocities without awareness, care or choice. This talk, by Professor S. Alexander Haslam, will argue against this view on the basis of recent experimental data and freshly unearthed archival evidence.

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A Just Society

Julian Burnside is well known for his work as a barrister in Australia, as well as a human rights and refugee advocate, and author. His legal practice is principally in commercial litigation, trade practices and administrative law. He is also known for his strong opposition to the mandatory detention of asylum seekers, and has provided legal counsel in a wide variety of high-profile cases. In 2009, Burnside was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) ‘for service as a human rights advocate, particularly for refugees and asylum seekers, to the arts as a patron and fund-raiser, and to the law’.

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Latest Program

Full details of the Centre for Ethics Lecture Program are now available on the Centre for Ethics Insite.

Through its public lectures, workshops and conferences, the Centre aims to promote critical and creative thinking, inter-cultural understanding and serious engagement with the moral issues facing young Australians in the 21st century.

Over the years, the Centre for Ethics has been incredibly fortunate to host lectures from distinguished guests such as Reverend Tim Costello AO, CEO of World Vision Australia, Julian Burnside QC, the Hon. Justice Michael Kirby and Susan Greenfield.