News & Events

˿Ƶ Centre for Ethics

Introducing the ˿Ƶ Centre for Ethics

Ethical inquiry has never been more pressing and important. Accelerated climate change, the rapid emergence of AI, the risk posed by nuclear weapons alongside the stalling of global democratisation and growing distrust of science – these are just some of the major global challenges facing our generation. Moreover, ethical considerations permeate every facet of our personal and professional lives, be it in the realms of business, medicine, politics, or the media. This is something increasingly recognised by universities and professional organisations – and is very much an inter-disciplinary concern.

˿Ƶ envisions a dynamic, inclusive, and enlightened learning community, where critical thinking and ethics form the bedrock. This vision aligns with the College’s status as a Round Square School—a global network championing ideals such as internationalism, democracy, environmentalism, leadership and service.

Oxley is committed to delivering an ambitious program of events for both our students and the local community in the Southern Highlands. These events will feature distinguished speakers and leaders from diverse fields, including philanthropy, higher education, non-governmental organisations, and industry.

We warmly invite you to join us in our inaugural year.

Dr Jeremy Hall, Head of Philosophy and Ethics

2024 Speaker Series

Bright Shining

Dr Julia Baird

From award-winning journalist Julia Baird, author of the acclaimed national bestseller Phosphorescence, comes Bright Shining, a luminously beautiful, deeply insightful and most timely exploration of that most mysterious but necessary of human qualities: grace.

Grace is both mysterious and hard to define. It can be found, in part, when we create ways to find meaning and dignity in connection with each other, building on our shared humanity, being kinder, bigger, better with each other. If, in its crudest interpretation, karma is getting what you deserve, then grace is the opposite: forgiving the unforgivable, favouring the undeserving, loving the unlovable.

But we live in an era where grace is an increasingly rare currency. The silos we consume information in are dotting the media landscape like skyscrapers, and the growing distrust in media, politicians and public figures, have in some ways choked our ability to cut each other slack, to allow each other to stumble, to forgive one another.

So what does grace look like in our world, and how do we recognise it, nurture it in ourselves, and express it, even in the darkest of times?

Julia Baird is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author based in Sydney. She hosted The Drum on ABCTV and writes columns for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the New York Times. Her writing has appeared in a range of publications including Newsweek, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Guardian, the Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun-Herald, The Monthly, Time and Harper’s Bazaar.

Baird spent several years working in the US. In 2005, she was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press and Public Policy at Harvard, researching the global response to American opinion in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Shortly afterwards she was appointed senior editor at Newsweek, where she was responsible for cover stories on such subjects as the hidden world of surrogacy, the history of climate science denial, the science of hate and the way gender impacts voting in American politics. She became a columnist there, as well as at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

She has had a wide-ranging career in print and broadcast journalism both in the United States and Australia. Her work has earned her four Walkley Our Watch Awards, (including the Gold) for her reporting on domestic violence, a Walkley Award for team election reporting, and two further Walkley nominations, for analysis and commentary and for Victoria: The Queen.

Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase Julia’s books and personally meet her for a signed copy. Our sincere appreciation to The Bookshop Bowral for their support.

WHEN: Thursday 20 June, 6.30 pm
WHERE: ˿Ƶ, Burradoo

COST: $15 (free admission for students)


Life lessons learned from 30 years at the media frontline

Leigh Sales AM

One of Australia’s most loved and respected journalists, Leigh Sales will talk about what she has learned regarding human nature, life and leadership in her thirty years at the frontline of journalism.  From ordinary people in extraordinary situations to the world-famous celebrities Leigh has met, her reflections on resilience, self-doubt and transformation will spellbind and entertain any audience.

Leigh Sales is a multi-award-winning author and journalist at the ABC and anchors the much-loved Australian Story program. Before that, she presented the network’s prime-time current affairs program, 7.30, for 12 years. She has been the face of the ABC’s major events coverage, including federal election and budget nights. She has interviewed every living Australian Prime Minister and innumerable world leaders and celebrities from Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair to Paul McCartney and Elton John.

Leigh is the author of five books, including the national bestseller Any Ordinary Day, Well Hello, and her latest Storytellers – a fascinating insight into the vital and much-misunderstood profession of Journalism. She also co-hosts a wildly popular podcast with Annabel Crabb called Chat 10 Looks 3.

Leigh has held numerous roles at the ABC, including as Washington Correspondent, and is a three-time winner of Australia’s highest journalist prize, the Walkley Award. In 2018, she was awarded the Order of Australia for her services to Journalism. She has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of International Relations and was awarded Deakin University’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase Leigh’s books and personally meet her for a signed copy. Our sincere appreciation to The Bookshop Bowral for their support.

WHEN: Thursday 1 August, 6.30pm
WHERE: ˿Ƶ, Burradoo

COST: $15 (free admission for students)