The Ethics Centre

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The Ethics Centre (formerly St James Ethics Centre) is a fully independent not-for-profit organisation which provides a non-judgemental forum for the promotion and exploration of ethics and ethical decision-making. The Ethics Centre works with business, professions, community groups, governments and individuals to encourage and assist them to include the ethical dimension in their daily lives.[1] It is based in Sydney, Australia.

The Ethics Centre was launched in 1989 by The Anglican Parish of St James' Church, Sydney in order to work with business in the city to promote ethics and ethical decision-making. In 1996, St James Ethics Centre became entirely independent from the church. It is now a secular organisation, open to those of any or no faith.[2]

Today the Centre is simply named "The Ethics Centre" and still works extensively with business in Sydney, however, its work expands well beyond this sphere, going well beyond the business world and working throughout Australia and occasionally undertaking projects overseas.

The organisation is widely known within and extensively supported by the business community in Australia. It receives no government funding and relies very heavily upon support from business and individuals to provide its services.

The Centre's Executive Director, Simon Longstaff, often appears in the media in Australia to discuss ethics-related issues in the media and ethics more generally.[3]

One of the Centre's most notable services is its Ethics Counselling Service which provides free counselling to anyone who may be facing an ethical dilemma. It is believed to be the only service of its kind in the world and is the reason for the Centre's Public Benevolent Status, which was afforded by the Australian Taxation Office.[4]

The Centre is the trustee for the Corporate Responsibility Index in Australia, partnered by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

In 2011, The Ethics Centre became the initial approved provider of 'Special Ethics Education’ for NSW schools.[5]

The Ethics Centre presents the Festival of Dangerous Ideas along with the Sydney Opera House starting in 2009. In June 2014 FODI announced a lecture by Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar entitled Honour Killings Are Morally Justified.[6] Following negative responses from the community, the lecture was cancelled with Longstaff saying the "Islamophobes" have won the day[7][8] and Badar saying it shows the extent and depth of Islamophobia in Australia.[9]


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