Connecting with Academics, Authors and Thought-leaders to
open the conversation about living a meaningful life.


Stephen Chavura is a political theorist and intellectual historian. He holds a Ph.D. in the history of early-modern English political thought (UNE, 2007) and has coordinated courses on a range of topics including the history of political thought, the philosophy of sociology, Australian history, religion and politics, and nationalism and self-determination. His research interests include the history of political thought, Australian intellectual history, and philosophical issues relating to freedom of speech and church and state. His book Tudor Protestant Political Thought (Brill) was published in 2011, and his work has appeared in journals such as History of European Ideas, Journal of Religious History, and Australian Journal of Political Science. He is currently an ARC Senior Research Associate.


Matthew Del Novo is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, with wide-ranging multi-disciplinary interests. A prolific author, his books include The Valley Way of Soul (St Paul’s, 2008), The Work of Enchantment (Transaction, 2011), Art Music: Love, Listening and Soulfulness (Transaction, 2013) and The Metaphysics of Night (Routledge, 2014). He has also published translations of the work of Swiss-German philosopher Max Picard and the first Freudian female psychoanalyst, Lou Andreas-Salomé. Matthew’s latest book is Finding Harmony (Wipf & Stock, 2018)

Dr Andrew Firek | TRF Director

Andrew Firek is a scientist and chemical engineer. He has been prominent in the resources industry for almost 40 years, working (in among other capacities) as a United Nations expert on resource projects in Europe and Africa and as a team leader at the CSIRO’s Division of Fossil Fuels in Sydney. In the latter role he was involved in the development of advanced processing and low-emission technologies. Andrew is also the former CEO of a publicly-listed resources company and has participated as executive or director in a number of other ventures.


Susannah Fullerton is an author and literary historian. She has been president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia since 1996, which is the largest literary society in Australia. She is also patron of the Rudyard Kipling Society of Australia and a Fellow of the Royal Society. In the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours List she received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for Services to Literature. Her spheres of expertise and interest include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, the Mitford family, Samuel Pepys, Vita Sackville-West, Oscar Wilde, George Eliot, the Romantic Poets, and Shakespeare.

Chris Hagan | TRF Director

Chris Hagan is a lawyer and author.  After majoring in philosophy, mathematics, geosciences and law at the University of New South Wales, he founded his own law firm in 1982. During the following year, 1983, he floated on the Sydney Stock Exchange one of the first biomedical companies to list in Australia. For over 30 years Chris has acted in many roles as a public company executive and supported other innovators in launching their businesses. Recently he has authored two books on the philosophy of science. His special interests are origin-of-life biology and the philosophical implications of mathematics.


Roy Williams is an author and public speaker. Formally trained in law, he practised for 20 years as a litigator at one of Australia’s leading firms of solicitors, Allens Linklaters, and now teaches law at the University of Sydney. Since 2006 Roy has worked as a freelance journalist – principally as a non-fiction book reviewer for The Weekend Australian – and written four books exploring religious themes in Australian history, politics and society. His best-known book, God, Actually (ABC Books, 2008), was a best-seller on release and has since been published in Britain and North America. Roy speaks regularly at public forums and in the Australian electronic media.


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