Melbourne Forum gives you access to the highest level of expertise and real-world lessons that our conversation leaders – all with a reputation for excellence – bring to the table under the Chatham House rule.

We are committed to providing a platform for, and the increased visibility of, diverse voices.

With varied formats (in-person or virtual; conversation leader or members engaging with each other; learning from experts or exploring viewpoints) there are multiple ways to participate.

Explore our upcoming program of events and forums.

Loading Events

« All Events


October 28, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Venue: The Mail Exchange Hotel
688 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
  • This event has passed.

Dangerous Dinner – Political Correctness and Freedom of Speech

An In-House Series event

Hosted by:
Dr Michael Liffman AM
Nina Christesen

October 28, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Dangerous Dinners is a members’ only, member led In-house event; exploring an issue in depth through members sharing ideas, experiences and expertise.

Has political correctness endangered freedom of speech in Australia?

The capacity for thoughtful dialogue, considered debate, dissenting views and expression of opinion is valued in open, diverse and democratic societies; but free speech cannot occur in a vacuum.

Community values, social norms and institutions drive different views about what is offensive, and some can be viewed at odds with freedom of speech.

This event will explore the nexus between freedom of speech and freedom of civil discourse.

Some questions to consider might be:

When, and how, does free speech flourish in a society?

What does political correctness mean in the day-to-day lives of Australians?

Does framing free speech and political correctness as opposites create a false dichotomy for uncomfortable but necessary conversations?

Is silencing of an opinion, no matter how wrong or hurtful, an act against knowledge?

When do speech acts qualify as acts of hate?

How is civility, privacy and social cohesion affected by call-outs and social media?

Are trigger warnings, safe spaces and no-platforming changing the nature of debate?

Is free speech for those who can access the judicial system?

Start the Conversation: 

This event will draw on members examples, experiences and thoughts; so, add your comments prior to the event:

Click the Menu for Members Forum, open Political Correctness and Freedom of Speech, subscribe (top right hand of posts) and add your comments.


What are In-House events?

Dangerous Dinners is part of the In-House Series; events that draw on the diverse expertise of our members sharing their ideas and experiences on contemporary, complex or controversial topics.

Developed and moderated by members, under the Chatham -house Rule. Instead of a guest speaker we learn from each other, challenge assumptions, spark new ideas or point the way for potential actions.

We continue to learn and share on the Members Forum, the online chat room on the website. This provides access to pre-event and post-event reading and discussions and where members (irrespective of attending the dinner) can share insights and comments on a range of subjects.

Melbourne Forum – Feeding minds and stimulating valuable contributions to Melbourne life.

Please to book tickets