The overarching theme of this innovative conference program is Meditation and Society.

Beyond the view of meditation as a personal practice, our speakers and delegates will share their understanding of how the myriad forms of meditation contribute at a societal level, enhancing collective wellbeing and creating cultural change.


  • Can meditation contribute to cultural change?
  • Is mindfulness enough?
  • Meditation traditions across religions
  • Meditation and neuroplasticity – where are we now?
  • Is meditation medicine?
  • The contemplation effect: more or less ethical?

The primary aim of the 2018 Australian Meditation Conference is to provide a platform for a collaborative dialogue involving a wide range of speakers, representing a rich diversity of philosophies and applications of meditation, mindfulness, contemplation and refection.

Innovative national and international meditation thought leaders will gather to share their research and insight across the fields of health, philosophy, education, business, neuroscience and psychology.

A cross section of dialogue from secular and religious discourses will also be presented in a manner that is collaborative and unifying.

Evening presentation by Dr Rick Hanson

7.30pm Cathedral Hall. Separately ticketed event

Presented by Openground and Mindfulness Training Institute

Dr Rick Hanson, psychologist, neuroscientist and New York Times best-selling author will be joining us on Friday evening. His books include Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing and Mother Nurture and are available in 26 languages.

Rick is the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and has spoken at Oxford, Stanford, Harvard and other major universities and taught in meditation centres worldwide. We are honoured to have Rick join us for our inaugural conference as part of his Australian Tour.



These proceedings will gather over sixty national and international meditation thought leaders to share their research and insight across the fields of health, philosophy, education, business, neuroscience and psychology. Full program will be available in early 2018.

Dr Rick Hanson

Psychologist & Author of
Hardwiring Happiness
Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley

Robin Carnes

PTSD Mind-body Therapist
iRest Certified Senior Teacher,
Honoured by Smithsonian Institute

Dr Craig Hassed

Author & Associate Professor
Department of General Practice
Monash University

Dr Maura Kenny

Psychiatrist, Training Director of MTI
MBCT Co-ordinator
SA Health

Dr Addie Wootten

Clinical Psychologist
Innovator in wellbeing
CEO Smiling Mind

Eric Harrison

Author, The Foundations of Mindfulness
Founder & Director
Perth Meditation Centre

Dr Richard Chambers

Clinical Psychologist
Mindfulness Consultant
Monash University

Petrea King

Author, Your Life Matters
CEO Quest for Life Foundation
Regular Media Commentator

Dr Pak-Wah Lai

Vice-Principal and Lecturer
Historical Theology
Biblical Graduate School of Theology, Singapore

Dr Neil Bailey

PhD Neuroscience
Psychiatry Research Centre
Monash University 

Reverend Dr John Dupuche

Priest, Archdiocese of Melbourne
Assoc. Prof University of Divinity
Hon. Fellow ACU

Venerable Alex Bruce

Buddhist Monk
Associate Professor ANU College of Law
Fellow Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

Meditators Without Borders

Free meditation gathering

6-7pm Phillipa Brazil Lecture Theatre

Presented by Calm in the City

Join us at dusk, at the end of the working week, for this deeply relaxing experience. This one hour free mass meditation will feature spoken word guided meditation, augmented by a harmonic soundscape.

Calm in the City is a not-for-profit community initiative which aims to make meditation and calm easily accessible for all.

Presented by:

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