Cultural Day

Please note that, after careful consideration of the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, the decision has been taken to cancel Cultural Day on 22nd March, 2020. The next Cultural Day is scheduled to be held in November 2020. Keep well, and be of good cheer!

An invitation to 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students—along with adult family members and friends—and to past students

The Cultural Day is an opportunity to take part in three different workshops drawn from many offerings spanning the arts and sciences. Each workshop runs for one and a half hours. No prior knowledge or experience is required.

The presenters are all fellow students of philosophy with a love of their subject. The fee for the day is $80 per person, and includes lunch and refreshments. The event is held twice yearly, at the School's Hawthorn Campus, located at 1 Through St, Hawthorn.

The next Cultural Day is scheduled for November, 2020.

The programme for the cancelled Cultural Day is shown below.

Sunday March 22nd, 2020 Programme (cancelled)

Arrival on the day is from 8.15am, with the opening address commencing at 8.45am in the Erasmus School Hall. There will be three workshop sessions during the day. The day will conclude at 3.20pm.

Morning refreshments will be served in the Hawthorn tearoom and a wholesome, vegetarian buffet lunch will be served in the grounds.

  • 8.15am:Arrival
  • 8.45am:Opening Address
  • 9.00am:Workshop Session 1
  • 10.30am:Refreshments (Hawthorn tearoom)
  • 11.00am:Workshop Session 2
  • 12.30pm:Buffet Lunch (Erasmus Grounds)
  • 1.30pm:Workshop Session 3
  • 3.00pm:Closing address
  • 3.20pm:Close

Workshop Details

  1. Abhinaya the Dance

    Movement, connecting with the senses, expression and freedom are some of the keys to the art of Abhinaya. An ancient form of Dance which means “leading the audience towards” the experience of Abhinaya. Join me to experience such a wonderful art and let me share with you why I love this form of dance. No dance experience needed. Dress for comfort.

    (Miss Fua Evile) Session 1

  2. Adventures in Inner Space

    Does the creation or the universe expect something from us? Does life just happen? What do we humans need to accomplish in this life? Does living like the celebrities, the super rich, constitute the “good” life? Do we decide about this for ourselves, or does the media, society, or some other outside authority? Are there any authorities we can trust about the life well lived? Join me in exploring these and related questions, to see if we can arrive at a reasonable answer. At least we may journey to a point from where we can see a destination more clearly.

    (Mr. George Telkes) Session 2

  3. The Art of One Love, One Relationship

    This practical presentation looks at the nature of “relationship” and how we might come to experience One essential relationship with all — whether they be partners, family, friends, acquaintances, even complete strangers. We’ll consider the unifying nature of Love and how this might inform how we look on the world.

    (Mr. Tim Rogers) Session 3

  4. The Art of Self Discovery

    Dialectic is an ancient art of conversation made known in the West by Socrates, through the writings of Plato. Its aim is to discover the Truth, ultimately about your own Self (“Know thySelf”). Let’s dive deeper into this art and ultimately penetrate the depths of our own Selves through practice. The discoveries are always phenomenal, enlightening and deeply refreshing. See for yourSelf!

    (Mr. Rajesh Bhandari) Session 3

  5. Being Happy

    Where do we find happiness? How do we become happy? We usually seek out external things to make us happy, such as friends, partners, careers, security and wealth. However traditional wisdom tells us that true, lasting happiness is found within our being. It is part of our make-up. Living a life according to the Greek and Roman virtues results in happiness. This presentation will look at the advice of various philosophers on happiness and pose the question “What do I need to do to achieve lasting happiness?”

    (Mr. Peter Stoddart) Session 1

  6. Caring for the Creation

    Over the centuries, mankind has become expert at utilizing the natural resources of the Creation. How well has mankind understood and cherished a Creation that has allowed us to flourish? In an era of polarized opinions, how should a philosopher engage with the question of caring for the Creation. Join a dialectical discussion about how the principles of “natural law” may guide our responses in caring for the Creation.

    (Mr. Garry Martin) Session 1

  7. A Case of Mistaken Identity?

    The story of Adam and Eve seems to point to a time when we lived as we truly are. Yet this state of living truly and happily was lost when we became something we are not. The fall of Adam and Eve provides not only a description of becoming and living in ignorance, but also may be a signpost on how to find our way back to truth and who we really are.

    (Mr. Chris Ford) Session 2

  8. Do You Do It, or Does It Do You?

    Alan Watts was no ordinary philosopher. Like Socrates over 2,000 years before him, he liked to challenge people to be more than they thought they were. Alan Watts was a Christian minister who translated and popularised Eastern philosophy in the West — a serious academic who described himself as “a spiritual entertainer”, and a great life expert who couldn’t quite manage to avoid drinking himself to death at the age of 58. In this session, you’ll have a unique opportunity to be informed, inspired and transformed by a very individual man with a very universal message.

    (Dr. Stephen McKenzie) Session 3

  9. Finding a Home: How Can Philosophy Help?

    Finding a home can be a daunting task. We face the challenges of the real estate market; even greater are the challenges presented by our own desires and aversions, aspirations and fears. What is needed to actually enjoy the search? What guiding principles can help us in this most important aspect of life’s journey?

    (Mr. Warwick Brewster) Session 1

  10. Haiku: A Journey into the Present Moment

    Haiku are short poems that originated in 17th century Japan, but are now popular worldwide. In their few words, haiku can vividly capture the present moment, by celebrating the natural world, expressing a personal experience or emotion, or by making a powerful statement about the nature of our world. In this interactive workshop, we’ll begin our haiku journey by reading and enjoying some famous haiku, and learn enough about their form and structure to begin writing our own.

    (Ms. Sue Helme) Session 3

  11. Hymn to the Sun

    The Hymn to the Sun — or Gayatri Mantra — is the oldest and most auspicious of mantras from the eastern tradition which has also profoundly influenced the West. When sounded sincerely, it erases the ordinary negative tendencies of the mind and awakens the vital energies which lead to liberation, health and happiness. An introduction to the history and meaning of the mantra will be followed by group sounding for a practical exploration of its effects on body, mind and emotions. “The person who recites the Gayatri cannot fall a prey to illness.” — Mahatma Gandhi.

    (Mr. Robert Udovicich) Session 2

  12. It Is as It Is

    Inner non-resistance to what is leads to a life of Harmony, Simplicity, Love and Peace. This practical interactive session will allow you to experience inner non-resistance.

    (Dr. Neil McNab) Session 1

  13. Learning from Indigenous Cultures

    How much do we know about what underlies the world’s oldest surviving continuous culture, here in our own country? What sort of spirituality and philosophy has been practiced? What lessons can we learn? We’ll set out to explore some traditions and practices concerning lawfulness, carefulness about family and land, and living out the truth of the connectedness of all things. We’ll also briefly discuss the recent trip that a group of us took to some Aboriginal communities in NT. You can get an advance taste of this workshop at

    (Mr. Frank Kennedy) Session 1

  14. Let Your Soul Sing

    The voice is the one musical instrument we are all born with and song is the most powerful medium for communicating words of truth. Join in the restful art of singing in unison and harmony. No prior experience is required for this joyful activity.

    (Mrs. Janet Mason) Session 3

  15. Philosophy and the Family

    A large view of the family includes seven generations: from great-great grandparents to grandchildren yet to be born. This session will be a forum for discussion on how we can meet the challenges of family life, recognising its different stages, in the present age. We’ll listen to what the wise have to say on the subject of parenting and education, as well as contemporary commentators.

    (Mrs. Melanie McKenzie) Session 2

  16. Philosophy and Minimalism

    Ever wondered how your external environment can impact on your internal peace of mind? Our stuff isn’t just things we own. Sometimes they own us. We have to buy, use, clean, maintain, store and dispose of all of our things. Minimalism explores the idea of living a more meaningful life with less.

    (Mrs. Belinda Fyffe) Session 2

  17. Plato in the Modern World

    The remarkable thing about the works of 4th Century BC philosopher Plato is their relevance to us in this day and age. In 26 “dialogues”, which are regarded as works of philosophical and literary genius, Plato manages to span every aspect of human life in the world. In this workshop, we’ll explore fundamental aspects of Plato’s work that have the power to change our lives forever, should we be open to receiving his wisdom.

    (Mrs. Marita Brewster) Session 3

  18. Resilience: Finding Your Inner Strength

    At certain points in life, we’re all faced with challenge and adversity. How do we respond under these pressures? Are we resilient? This interactive and practical workshop will explore the nature of resilience and examine the lives of some everyday people who’ve been exceedingly resilient through great difficulty. Be inspired to become more resilient and meet life with greater confidence, stability and happiness!

    (Mr. Michael Luscombe) Session 1

  19. Spending Our Energy … Wisely!

    Sometimes our lives seem to spin at a maddening pace. At other times there is a transcendent calmness. Why is this? The Bhagavad Gita describes the three-fold energy (guna) that powers the Creation. What is it? How does it affect our daily lives — our feelings, thoughts, actions and interactions? Discover how a fundamental understanding of the guna can help bring balance and measure to our lives, and the secret of work that allows us to spend our energy … wisely!

    (Mr. Chris Hutchins) Session 3

  20. Truly, Madly, Deeply: Marvellous Mystics or Magnificent Misfits?

    “What experience, mystically divine,
    Transcending all concepts of time,
    Made the participants,
    All kinds of miscreants,
    Taste a magic superbly sublime?”
    Particularly Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, Rumi, St. Francis of Assisi, Meister Eckhart, and more recently, Eckhart Tolle and Simone Weil. What did they know? What was their secret?

    (Mr. John Jepsen) Session 1

  21. When Life Throws You a Curveball

    Should I hit it for a six, catch it and perhaps bury it, or ignore it and let it hit me? What should I do?

    (Mrs. Lynette Kennedy) Session 2

  22. Where is my Soul?

    Do I have a soul? If so, what is it? Is it just part of my psyche? How can I know it? Is it transient or eternal? If I have one, how do I take care of it? This presentation is an exploration of the concept of soul using the guidance of various philosophers.

    (Mr. Peter Stoddart) Session 2

  23. The Wisdom of Eckhart Tolle

    Eckhart Tolle, made famous by his bestselling book The Power of Now, reported experiencing a radical spiritual awakening in 1977 when he was 29. He has since “become a spiritual teacher in the eyes of the world”. In this workshop, we’ll listen to selected recordings from the man himself, and by using a reflective practice aim to hear his words not just as information but as an experience of the underlying truth.

    (Mr. Brett Williamson) Session 2


“A beautiful day! I have found some solutions to difficulties in my life, and have a much more expanded perspective—very inspirational!”

“Enlightening, a chance to focus upon ideas, thoughts, and ways of being, that I don't often take time to consider.”

“Excellent and thought provoking. Encourages one to want to learn more.”

Cultural Day logo

During a tea break

A session in progress

Practising fine attention

The glorious buffet lunch

Enjoying good company


The bustling tearoom

Fine results

A session in progress

A session in progress