Atheist Foundation of Australia

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Atheist Foundation of Australia
Atheist foundation of Australia logo.jpeg
Area served
Key people
Scott Sharrad

The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) was established in South Australia in 1970, when The Rationalist Association of South Australia decided upon a name change to better declare its basic philosophy, namely atheism.

The foundation defines atheism as "the acceptance that there is no credible scientific or factually reliable evidence for the existence of a god, gods, or the supernatural." It rejects belief in a deity, the supernatural and superstition in general. The foundation considers religion unnecessary and often harmful. It favours the scientific method, and the discovery of physical laws, as the best way to understand the truth about reality. The foundation believes that humans are rational and ethical beings, capable of making responsible and creative contributions to society. The current president is Scott Sharrad.

The foundation's stated aims are:

  • To encourage and to provide a means of expression for informed free-thought on philosophical and social issues.
  • To safeguard the rights of all non-religious people.
  • To serve as a focal point for the fellowship of non-religious people.
  • To offer reliable information in place of superstition and to offer the methodology of reason in place of faith so as to enable people to take responsibility for the fullest development of their potential as human beings.
  • To promote atheism.

The foundation publishes six issues of The Australian Atheist per annum.


The foundation organised the 2010 Global Atheist Convention in conjunction with Atheist Alliance International,[1] and also helped organise the second Global Atheist Convention in 2012.[2]

The foundation ran a campaign encouraging people to mark "No religion" on the 2011 Australian Census. AFA president David Nicholls stated that many people "simply marked down the religion they were born into, despite not now being religious people at all", and that as census results are used to gauge public funding to religious groups, this was giving religion more tax-payers' money than its entitlement.[3] The AFA hired billboards around the country promoting the campaign.[3][4][5] The 2011 census results showed that the percentage of people declaring no religion had risen from 18.7% in 2006 to 22.3%, becoming the second largest response.[6] The Foundation, via signage and social media, campaigned to raise public awareness inviting Australians to mark "No religion" on the 2016 census form. The percentage of people declaring no religion rose from 22.3% in 2011 to 30.1%.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Holkner, Rachel (15 March 2010). "The rise and rise of atheism". Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  2. ^ Taras, Nick (21 February 2012). "Global Atheist Convention". Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Craven, Jessica (July 25, 2011). "Not religious? Don't give religions cause to take chunk of your tax, say Atheist Foundation". Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  4. ^ McKenny, Leesha (5 February 2011). "Atheists call on like-minded to declare lack of religion in census". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  5. ^ "Atheism wins converts as census looms". Herald Sun. 25 July 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  6. ^ "2011 Census QuickStats". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2013.

External links[edit]