ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0121 Humanist Society of Canberra Records

Scope and content notes

Call Number

HMSS 0121


Humanist Society of Canberra Records

Date Range



0.18m (1 manuscript boxes)

Access Conditions


Copying Conditions unstated
Related Collections -

The Humanist Society of Canberra was formed on 26 July 1964 and was incorporated in December 1965. By 1983 the name had been changed to the ACT Humanist Society.

The objects were to encourage a rational and constructive approach to human problems, to defend freedom of expression and other civil liberties, to work towards a non-dogmatic outlook and ensure that the opinions of people with such an outlook are heard, and to encourage education and the use of science and the arts for human welfare.

Speakers addressed regular meetings and there were occasional public lectures on topical or controversial subjects. The Society also made submissions to government and other authorities on a variety of issues from law reform to nude bathing beaches and religious education in schools. The Society played a prominent part in the formation of the Council of Australian Humanist Societies, and cooperated with various religious groups in forming the ACT Conscientious Objectors’ Advisory Committee when National Service was reintroduced.

The Society published a newsletter under changing titles: Humanist Newsletter, The Canberra Humanist and Humanist Society of Canberra. Newsletter. Copies have been incorporated into the Heritage Library collection.

Box List

Box No. Description Quantity Date Range


Constitutions of the unincorporated and incorporated body, 1964-1965
By-laws of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, 1971

1 folder 1964-1971


Minutes of general and annual general meetings, some annual reports and financial statements

1 book, 1 sleeve 22 August 1965 - 12 July 1976


Correspondence with Council of Australian Humanist Societies

1 folder




General correspondence, membership lists, reports, flyers, newscuttings

2 files

1969 – 1976


Social Issues

Religion in schools

  • Correspondence, notes, photocopies of background information
  • Keep out Religious Indoctrination. Submission to ACT Education Inquiry, November 1977
1 folder

1972 – 1977


Social Issues

Perpetual calendar

  • Correspondence, journal articles, petition
1 Folder

1965 - 1973


Other social issues

  • Nude bathing areas, 1976. Submission
  • Separate Mental Health Ordinance, 1975. Submission
  • Draft Legal Aid Ordinance, 1977. Submission
  • Law Reform Commission, 1973. Background papers
  • Sexism, 1974. Background papers


Kevin Bryant. Humanists, Humanism and the Humanist Society. Humanist Society of Canberra. Revised edition, October 1966

  • Humanist Society of Canberra. The Humanist Outlook. October 1964
  • World Humanism. What is the International Humanist and Ethical Union? 1973
  • NSW Humanist Society. Euthanasia (Compassionate Death). February 1973
  • NSW Humanist Society. People First: A Humanist Manifesto. 1972
1 folder 1964-1973