Wesley College Melbourne Australia
The Wesley College Institute

Public Education

The Samuel Alexander Lecture

 
The annual Samuel Alexander Lecture honours one of Australia’s greatest scholars and one of Wesley’s most significant alumni and, in keeping with his legacy, the lecture recognises the importance of ideas and of having faith in ideas from community debate. Through this lecture the College aims to contribute to community debate on ideas which are critical to our future.

Samuel Alexander was a student at Wesley College in the early 1870s and after studying at both The University of Melbourne and Oxford University, was appointed Professor of Philosophy at Manchester University, England.  He subsequently became one of the most significant philosophers in Western Europe in the early 20th century.

Samuel Alexander was a great influencer of thinking and of ideas.  In keeping with his legacy, Wesley’s Samuel Alexander Lecture recognises the importance of ideas and of having faith in ideas in community debate. Through this lecture the College aims to contribute to community debate on ideas which are critical to our future.

In recent years, the lecture has been delivered by a number of significant Australians including:
  • The Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen KG, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, PC, QC – 2004
  • Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG – 2005
  • Patrick Dodson – 2006
  • Peter Garrett MP AM – 2007
  • Waleed Aly – 2008
  • Carillo Gantner AO – 2009
  • Barry Humphries AO CBE – 2010
  • Louise Adler AM – 2011
  • Edmund Capon AM OBE – 2012
  • Dr Barry Jones AO – 2013
  • The Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser AC CH – 2014 
  • Professor Germaine Geer - 2015
  • Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs - 2016
  • Honourable Kim Beazley AC - 2017

The Wesley College Institute offers a program of community education to bring innovative thinking, regarding the education of young people, to the educational and broader community in the following ways:

Institute Dialogues

Two dialogues are presented each year based on a topic that reflects innovation in education-related thinking. Speakers have included Sir Gustav Nossal AC, Arthur Sinodinos AO, Professor Stephen Dinham, June Oscar AO (Bunuba Elder), Andrew Jaspan, Daryl Jackson AO, Simon McKeon AO, Peter Rathjen, Alan Finkel AO, John Abbott, Patrick Duignan, Richard Stubbs, Forrest Crawford, Jirra Lulla Harvey, Mark Leibler AC, Dr Zane Ma Rhea, Matthew Albert, Dr Tim Costello AO, The Hon Justice Linda Dessau AM, Andrew Rimington, Professor Erica McWilliam and Michael Carr-Gregg.

Monday Series

Part of the ethos of Wesley College is to support and assist parents as their children develop through school and beyond. We want to look clearly at the issues and challenges facing students and parents, and, in response, develop supportive initiatives that help families be better informed about educational and social trends.

The Monday Series - a free forum for all parents, students, teachers and friends offered once a term and open to the wider community, including other schools and the local community - is one such initiative that provides an opportunity for parents to hear well-recognised and expert speakers discuss contemporary and at times, confronting issues.

The focus over many years has been the health and wellbeing of both students and parents. The forum provides a valuable opportunity to meet with other parents, to recognise and share similar experiences, to comment and discuss in a supportive and enthusiastic environment.