BEING HUMAN Conversation


Tuesday 31 May 2022
1 pm – 2 pm AEDT


NSW Parliament House
and Digital Stream


Free, registration essential

Live Stream

Popular wisdom tells us that there are two topics that should never be discussed at the dinner table: religion and politics. Where better to discuss them both than The Bare Pit?


In its third year, The Ethics Centre in association with the Parliament of NSW, presents The Bare Pit, tackling the topic: What place does religion have in politics?


A panel of politicians, journalists and academics, speaking live from the NSW Legislative Assembly, will explore the extent to which religious belief – including uncertainty and disbelief – should inform a politician’s decisions? In particular, what should be done when faith stands in the way of a constituents’ best interest?


The Bare Pit is a unique collaboration between The Ethics Centre and the Parliament of NSW, giving audiences unfiltered access to the workings of parliament in a free, live-streamed event. The Bare Pit is presented as part of the Vivid Ideas program.


Amal Awad

Amal Awad is a journalist, screenwriter, author and performer. She has contributed to such publications as The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, ELLE, Meanjin, ABC Religion and Ethics, SBS and Frankie, and has produced and presented for ABC Radio National. Amal is the author of seven books, which include both fiction and non-fiction titles. Her most recent novel is The Things We See in the Light, and her latest non-fiction work is called In My Past Life I was Cleopatra – A sceptical believer’s journey through the New Age. 

Jihad Dib

 Jihad Dib MP

The Hon. Jihad Dib MP has been the Member for Lakemba since 2015. In that time he has served as Shadow Minister for Education, Youth, Skills and TAFE and Juvenile Justice. He is currently the Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change and Shadow Minister for Emergency Services. He is passionate about education and social harmony having previously been Principal of Punchbowl Boys’ High and a board member of the Australia Day Council, the NSW Police Commissioner’s Advisory Panel and the SBS Community Advisory Committee. He lives in the community with his wife Erin and three kids.

Rose Jackson

The Hon. Rose Jackson MLC

Rose Jackson is a Labor Member of the Legislative Council and the Shadow Minister for Water, Housing and Homelessness. Rose’s passion is ensuring people of her generation: young women, working parents, people with energy and ideas about the future, have a seat at the table and a voice in Parliament. She was formerly the Assistant General Secretary of NSW Labor, a senior official with the United Workers Union representing low-paid workers like childcare educators and cleaners, a Councillor on Waverley Council, President of the National Union of Students, President of the University of Sydney SRC and a Fellow on the University of Sydney Senate. She is a lover of books, the ocean and frozen yoghurt. Rose lives in Rockdale with her husband Sam and her two kids – Charlotte and Oscar – who are the light of her life. Rose’s love for her family drives her every day to be active in creating a better world.

John Safran

John Safran

John Safran is a writer and filmmaker who always gets in too deep for his own good. His debut book, Murder in Mississippi, won the Ned Kelly Award for best true crime. His follow up, Depends What You Mean by Extremist, found him lost among radicals and was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards. His wild and hilarious documentaries, such as ‘John Safran vs God’ and ‘Jedis & Juggalos’, have received accolades from the Australian Film Institute and Rose d’Or Festival. His latest book is Puff Piece: How Philip Morris set vaping alight (and burned down the English language). 

Rob Stokes

The Hon. Rob Stokes MP

The Hon. Rob Stokes MP is the NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport. He has been a Member of the NSW Parliament since 2007 and has served as Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Minister for Transport and Roads, Minister for Education, Minister for Environment, Minister for Heritage and Minister for the Central Coast. Rob is an Honorary Fellow with Macquarie Law School, holds a double degree in arts and law from Macquarie University, a Masters of Science from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in planning law.

The Hon. Gabrielle Upton MP

The Hon. Gabrielle Upon MP was re-elected for a third term as the Member for Vaucluse at the March 2019 NSW Election and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier. Gabrielle previously served as Minister for the Environment, the first female NSW Attorney General, Minister for Family & Community Services and Minister for Sport & Recreation. As Parliamentary Secretary to the NSW Premier, Gabrielle has been tasked by the Premier to lead the recent initiative to accelerate R&D in NSW.  

Dr Simon Longstaff AO

Dr Simon Longstaff has been Executive Director of The Ethics Centre for 30 years, working across business, government and society. He has a PhD in philosophy from Cambridge University, is a Fellow of CPA Australia and of the Royal Society of NSW, and an Honorary Professor at ANU National Centre for Indigenous Studies. Simon was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2013.