Ian Robinson is President Emeritus of the Rationalist Society of Australia and an Honorary Life Member. He has been active in the Australian rationalist movement for more than 40 years. He studied philosophy and history at Melbourne University. Ian has taught at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. He has worked for the Education Department in curriculum development and teach development and help develop a number of cutting edge educational programs. He has edited a number of journals and written a number of primary mathematics textbooks. He has written extensively on atheism, spirituality and religion. He has taught writing and editing at diploma level. He founded and still convenes the “Central Victorian Atheists and Freethinkers Gathering” which has been very successful with a large membership and speakers at their monthly meetings such as Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty, former Port Melbourne Mayor Dick Gross, former leader of the Democrats Senator Lyn Allison, and human rights campaigner Philip Nitschke.
Educated in Australia and Italy, Des Cahill, Professor of Intercultural Studies at RMIT University, has been a world leading researcher and teacher in the areas of immigrant, cross-cultural and international studies for more than three decades. His Ph.D. was a study of family environment and the bilingual skills of Italo-Australian children. His many publications and research projects have focussed on many immigrant and refugee groups in Australia. Since the events of September 11th 2001, he has played a major role in researching and bringing together the various faith communities in Australia and across the world through his research and community activities. He currently chairs the Australian chapter of Religions for Peace International, the world’s largest interfaith organization, and represents Australia on the executive committee of the Religions for Peace Asia. He established the Associate Diploma of Ethnic Studies in 1981 and the Bachelor of Arts (Multicultural Studies), begun in 1986, and managed the Graduate Diplomas in English as a Second Language and in Languages other than English. In 1997-98, together with Professor Michael Singh, he developed the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (International Studies), now the top such course in Victoria.