FAMILY: by Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
The not-to-be-missed World Congress of Families, Sydney
, April 13, 2013
The program for next month’s World Congress of Families (WCF) in Sydney shows that the congress will bring together many of the best thinkers and writers on the natural family, along with leading practitioners and family organisations from Australia and the rest of the world.
The program is available on the congress’s website at www.wcfsydney2013.org.au/program.
The theme of the Sydney congress is Happy Families, Healthy Economy — a New Vision for National Prosperity and Social Progress.
The congress will consist of plenary sessions with keynote addresses by world experts in family policy, followed by simultaneous break-out sessions covering a vast range of issues related to the successful functioning of the family in society.
It will be held at the Sydney Convention Centre, in the renewed former Eveleigh Railway Workshops near Redfern Station, during May 15-18. The congress will be opened by New South Wales Attorney-General, Greg Smith.
After an opening address by WCF president, American author and long-time family advocate Dr Allan Carlson, there will be a series of keynote addresses from Bishop Peter Elliott, director of Melbourne’s John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family; from Professor Ian Harper, the distinguished Melbourne University economist and author, who will speak on “The Healthy Economy: Growth with a Purpose”; and from Professor Brad Wilcox, a leading American sociologist, who will speak on “The First School: How and Where the Two-Parent Family Gives Children an Educational Advantage”.
Other keynote speakers will include, from Australia, Sydney archbishop Cardinal George Pell and former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, and, from the United States, Dr Patrick Fagan, director of the Marriage and Family Research Institute, Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, and Don Feder, an American conservative Jewish activist, lawyer and author of polemical articles on the culture wars.
Among the many Australians participating will be people well known to News Weekly readers, including Melinda Tankard Reist, Angela Shanahan, Andrew Mullins, Patrick J. Byrne, John Ballantyne, Dr David van Gend, Bill Muehlenberg, Warwick Marsh, Maggie Hamilton, Professor Alan Tapper and Dr Adam Cooper.
They will cover a very diverse range of issues including the demographic decline; the social and economic value of the home; the impact of government policy on the family; fathering and mothering; work and the home; marriage legislation; and the means for strengthening marriage and family life.
Additionally, time will be given for discussion of the impact on society of popular culture, the sex industry and the use of technology to assist the family.
Alongside speakers from Australia and the US will be speakers from New Zealand, Western Europe, Africa, Poland and Russia, giving the Sydney congress a truly international flavour.
The conference dinner will be addressed by Ken Duncan OAM, regarded as Australia’s most acclaimed landscape photographer.
The conference will provide ample opportunities for leaders and members of many family organisations from Australia and overseas to meet and discuss issues of common concern.
It will also give many parents and young people the unprecedented opportunity to hear a good number of Australia’s and the world’s leading analysts on the future of the family.
People can register for the Sydney World Congress of Families on the congress website, www.wcfsydney2013.org.au. Those registering from interstate can also obtain accommodation through the same website.
For those who prefer not to use the internet, the official registration papers can be downloaded from the congress website, filled in by hand, and returned to the conference organisers. There are attractive discounts available to members of pro-family organisations.
Many leaders of family organisations have predicted that this will be the best family conference ever held in Australia.