CDU-UWA Philosophy in Action Workshops

Updated: Jul 19

Acknowledgement of country: we respectfully acknowledge the past and present Traditional Custodians of the land on which we will be meeting. The team based in Darwin acknowledges the Larrakia people; and the team based in Perth acknowledges the Noongar people. It is a privilege to be meeting on both Larrakia country and Noongar country. We extend this respect to all First Australians, and to all Indigenous Peoples.


Upcoming Meetings

Wednesday, 21 July 2021, Philosophy in Action, Meeting 2: Truth Telling Archives and Projects

3:00-4:30 PM ACST / 1:30-3:00 PM AWST: Truth Telling Archives and Projects. Part I: the Eugenics Archives Website. In the first part of the meeting, Professor Rob Wilson (University of Western Australia) will provide an overview of the resources available at, which includes over 900 articles, 250 images, a 47-minute documentary and classroom discussion guide, and video stories from eugenics survivors and people parenting around disability. In the course of the overview, we will be welcoming participant suggestions about how these resources could be readily expanded and adapted to facilitate critical discussion in schools and universities of eugenics in an Australasian context. Part II: Truth Telling Projects in the NT. In the second part of the meeting, our CDU team will discuss several community-led truth-telling initiatives that are being developed in the Northern Territory. Anyone is welcome to join the workshop.

Philosophy in Action, Meeting 3 (date TBC)

Part I: Philosophy for Children, the Basic Idea, a discussion led by Rob Wilson. Building on children’s natural curiosity, the philosophy for children (P4C) movement has developed a range of ways to cultivate critical thinking skills in children, both in and out of school contexts. In this workshop, we will have a participatory introduction to the community of enquiry methodology at the heart of P4C and consider some of the diverse ways in which communities of enquiry can be constructed with school-aged children. Part II:Adapting Philosothons to Cultures of the Northern Territory. Philosothons are children-focused events that showcase the critical thinking skills developed through active participation in a community of enquiry. They are held across many cities and towns in Australia. Here we will focus our discussion on ethical considerations, truth-telling principles, and best practices for conducting Philosothons appropriate to the distinctive cultures of the Northern Territory. Given the wide spatial distribution of the small population of the Northern Territory, one key challenge in developing culturally appropriate communities of enquiry and Philosothons in the NT concerns in-person participation in exposure workshops, training sessions, and key meetings. These challenges are made more acute by the current COVID-19 pandemic. In this workshop we will also explore the contributions that multimedia productions and digital technologies could make to address these issues, foster truth-telling in the Northern Territory, support the flourishing of magnificent regional philosophies.

Organisation committee: Nicolas Bullot (principal convenor) with Kaz Bland, Stefan Enciso, Sulay Jalloh, Kellie Pollard, Daniel Robins, and Rob Wilson.

Funding Acknowledgement: We acknowledge and thank these funding sources: Templeton Religion Trust for TRT00390 Grant Philosothon Project to Rob Wilson and colleagues, SSAF grant to Nicolas Bullot and CIFEA colleagues, and CDU Rainmaker grant to Nicolas Bullot.

Past meeting

Friday, 9 July 2021, Meeting 1: Elements of A Philosophical Critique of Eugenics

9:30-11:30 AM ACST / 8:00-10:00 AM AWST: Truth Telling Webinar: Elements of A Philosophical Critique of Eugenics. This webinar will be an interactive conversation with Professor Rob Wilson (University of Western Australia). In this workshop, Rob will provide an introduction to his own introduction to eugenics 20 years ago, his subsequent work in building oral histories through collaborations with eugenics survivors in Canada, and the relevance of that community-focused engagement for marginalised groups in contemporary Australia.


Dear all,

Professor Rob Wilson from the University of Western Australia was scheduled to visit the College of Indigenous Futures, Education, and Arts, Charles Darwin University in early July 2021. However, COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns in both Darwin and Perth at that time have forced us to turn this visit into a series of online webinars and interactive workshops. We would like to kindly invite you to join us for any of these workshops. Some of these events will engage with Rob’s critique of eugenics. Other meetings will investigate ethical protocols for organising events in philosophical education and Truth Telling in the Northern Territory. The program is outlined below. The workshops will be broadcast via Zoom and the interactive components of each workshop will be managed by means of the Slack platform.

If you wish to attend one of these online workshops, please RSVP by sending your name and contact email to both Daniel Robins at and An organiser will respond with information concerning videoconferencing links and guidelines for taking part in the interactive workspace.

Rob Wilson ( was born in Broken Hill, where he spent much of his childhood, moving to Perth during his primary school years. After completing a PhD at Cornell University in New York in 1992, Rob built an international reputation teaching and researching in Canada and the United States of America before taking up a position at La Trobe University in 2017. Since 2019, he has been professor of philosophy at the University of Western Australia. Rob explores fundamental questions in the cognitive, biological, and social sciences, and takes philosophy into non-university spaces, such as school classrooms and public events.

For the past decade, the study of eugenics has been Rob’s research and community-engagement focus. His work here continues in modified form in the Australian context, with interests in cultural forms of eugenics (such as Indigenous child removal practices) and technology and social policy. Rob’s most notable career achievements include his directorship of the five-year project ‘Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada’ as part of which he hosted 80 public events and helped to build the public resources at, and his longstanding commitment to his ‘Philosophy in the Schools’ project in which he directed the first Western Australia Conference in Philosophy for Children in 1986 and founded Philosophy for Children Alberta in 2008. Feel free to drop Rob a note at rwilson DOT robert AT gmail DOT com, or check out what he has written at PhilPapers, searching for “Robert A. Wilson”.

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