The Society’s most recent conference took place on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at Campion College in Sydney.
The conference addressed the theme of children and the family in the light of Chesterton’s wisdom. Chesterton had a special love of children, which drew upon the joy of his own childhood. He cherished a lifelong appreciation of playful entertainment, such as toy theatres, and of fairy tales, and recognised the value of these childhood experiences in sustaining a sense of wonder and reality in adult life.
A keynote speaker at the 2018 Conference was the American author, Nancy Brown, who delivered two papers – one on Frances Chesterton (of whom she has written a definitive biography), the other on the Father Brown stories (which she has adapted for younger readers) and other works appealing to the imagination of children.
Other speakers were Sophie York and David van Gend, who looked at various critical issues affecting children and the family in contemporary Australia; Karl Schmude, who explored the meaning of innocence in Chesterton’s life and in his detective character, Father Brown; and Gary Furnell, who illustrated the historical significance of toy theatres in developing the imagination of children.
The papers were recorded and will soon be available for viewing on the Australian Chesterton website. The text of the papers is also being assembled into a publication, which can be requested by leaving a message clicking onto ‘Contact’ in the ‘Menu’.