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Current Affairs Dialogue | NOW POSTPONED TO 24 NOVEMBER

27/10/2022 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Last months Summary:

Three members met at the BMI on Thursday 29 September at 1.30 – 3.00 pm for the scheduled CAD session.

Several apologies received. Subject was the Ukraine situation.

Another stimulating discussion. It covered the centuries-old background to the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, rooted as it is in break-up of past empires, various peace treaties, often contested and frequently shifting borders in Central Europe, ethnic and religious rivalries and struggles to retain or take-over fertile territory and strategic sea channels. ( Ballarat’s legacy district names like Sebastopol, Redan and many street names from the mid 1850s Crimean War were noted in this connection).

The claims and counter-claims for the current conflict to be seen as a Russian invasion, a defence against NATO encroachment, an economic war, a patriotic war, a nationalistic war and its potential to turn into a nuclear were discussed as were the conflict’s potential longer-term and wider effects on leadership, food supply, driving changes in reliance on fossil fuel energy as oil & gas supplies are used as bargaining chips, a retreat from globalisation as supply chains are threatened – all this and much more. You don’t know what you are missing!

Next CAD at the BMI  is Thursday 27 October 1.30 – 3.00 pm.

Subject will be China – nothing like a big topic to get the teeth into. We are interested in changes within China in recent decades e.g.  life-style, diet, housing, cities etc – as well as the heightened tensions of recent years, the Taiwan issue and debate about various nations’ (China, USA, Australia particularly) ambitions, rhetoric and actions in the Indo-Pacific region.   Who knows where discussion may lead and what fresh insights and information participants may bring to the table?  

Contact the Library on 5331 3042 with any enquiries. Put your name down to join the lively, informative CAD discussions, Come and meet some people you may already know and some new, interesting people for reciprocal broadening of minds.

The Process:

1pm for 1.30pm start

Interested in current affairs? Welcome to a new initiative at the BMI designed for you.

Current Affairs Dialogue (CAD) at the BMI:

CAD will launch in The Reading Room 1-3 pm on Thursday 28 July 2022. CAD at the BMI is designed for members and friends who are interested in joining with similarly interested people as listeners and contributors  in respectful, informed, analytic and interpretive  conversations  on issues of significant current public interest. The goal is to have all participants enjoy stimulating discussion and to leave CAD at the BMI sessions feeling their horizons have been extended and their understanding of current affairs deepened. 

Dates, place & format: 
A light-touch, flexible structure is proposed to launch the initiative. Program and practice  will evolve in line with participant consensus. Meetings will be in the Reading Room. We will start meetings with a cuppa   and welcome/introduction of new participants.  Intention is to meet on the last THURSDAY of each month  February through November. Topics will be nominated by agreement of participants a month ahead. Participants will be encouraged to identify 
 insightful written and spoken media pieces that they encounter pertinent to the coming sessions  topic, to reference or share these pieces with other participants in advance of the next meeting where appropriate  – in other words, do some purposeful and, hopefully, stimulating reading, listening and thinking before each meeting. Subject to participants’ agreement, contact details will be shared. Mark Potter, BMI Cultural Development & Services Manager will provide communications assistance and follow-up. Frank Hurley, former President and Patron of the BMI will act as convenor/ facilitator for the first few meetings. The idea is that this role be rotated among participants as CAD at the BMI finds its feet.
Some sample current issues to set us thinking…
Below is a selection of substantial, wide-ranging  current issues  some or all of which  might be a meeting focus over coming months. Indicatively, the discussion framework for a  topic would  be to look at and discuss ( order depending on the topic)
Discussion framework:
  1. how did the issue arise, what are its roots/background/history,
  2. what is the situation as it stands,
  3. how might it unfold/ effect change in its own, locale, at national and global levels.; what significance for us.
 Suggested topics:
  • The troubled (Dis)United States: Roe V Wade overturn, guns, continuing fall-out from 6 January 2021 Capitol riot. ( N.B. It is proposed to make this the topic to get us started at the first meeting on Thursday 28 July) 
  • Russia’s ongoing military attack on Ukraine
  • The pervasive “Culture “ problem: bad behaviour in Parliament House, football clubs, corporations like Crown and Star Casinos , banks etc. etc.
  • Census 2021: What has changed ? Will keep changing? Advance Australia Where?
  • Problems and possibilities of our town: Bakery Hill/Bridge Mall proposals, hollowing out of the CBD, Fed Uni’s  announced vacating of Lydiard/Camp St buildings complex, all those Council “strategy” plans
  • Your suggestions?
If this outline engages your interest, come along. Help make this initiative a success. Spread the word among  friends you think would be interested. Looking forward to a good representation BMI members and supporters gathering in The Reading Room for the inaugural CAD at the BMI on Thursday 28 July at 1 p.m. 
Enquires to:
Mark Potter at the BMI on most Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tel: 0439 141722; email: mark@ballaratmi.org.au or complete the Expression of Interest below.


This event is a BMI Community Cultural Project – Ballarat’s Oldest Cultural Institution

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1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
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BMI – Library and Heritage Room
117-119 Sturt Street
Ballarat Central, VIC 3350 Australia
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(03) 5331 3042