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Current Affairs Dialogue | Discussion Group

September 29 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


  1. Subject will be “Russia’s War on Ukraine: Whys, Wherefores and Global Implications”. Keep it in mind in your viewing, listening and reading over the next few weeks. Come along and contribute; leave more aware and thoughtful.

    (Hey, Thursday 29th is just four days after THE major current affair of September, the Grand Final!! We might spare 5 minutes to discuss Geelong’s premiership win. Go Cats!)

Review of 25 August Session:

CAD had its first discussion session on Thursday 25 August.

Subject, as advertised, was “The (Dis) United States”.

Discussion ranged over personal experience and observations from time living in or visiting the USA and focused on three socially and politically divisive current issues:

  1. The US Supreme Court’s recent decision over-turning constitutional rights to abortion (Roe v Wade in shorthand reference).
  2. Recurrent mass shootings in the USA and their context of cultural attitudes to gun ownership, racial and geographic divisions and partisan political stances on gun reform.
  3. The ongoing fall-out from the November 2020 Presidential election and 6 January 2021 Capitol riot. In this third issue, the group ranged over the US electoral system, conspiracy theories, the prospect of a Trump or other “Trumpist” Republican Presidential victory in 2024, whether Trump might be prosecuted or not – with pragmatic considerations of avoiding deeper division, even the risk of civil war and collapse of democracy, and strategic/economic implications for Australia
    of various alternative USA scenarios.

Wow! All that in 90 minutes. Bet you wish you were there! Too late, but look on the bright side – you can be at the next monthly CAD session.

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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September 29
1:00 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