Seminars & symposiums

Seminars & symposiums

The College stages and hosts various intellectual gatherings during the year.

Some are for our own advantage only, such as the research presentations held each semester, when students and senior scholars engaged in research at all levels have five minutes each to describe their work and take questions. Others events include the College and University Dinner and the annual Music Dinner.


Our forums are seminar discussions held more or less monthly in term time, when a leading scholar or public figure, usually a visitor, delivers a paper. The series was established by the former Senior Tutor, Dr Dugald McLellan. It is open to all members of the College. It is usually held in the Senior Common Room, where there is a table seating about 22. The speaker typically is a guest at Dinner which starts at 6.30 pm with the Forum itself beginning at 7.30.

The presentations are 30-40 minutes in length and the subsequent discussion usually takes roughly the same time. The subjects are topical but weighty in theme, for a non-specialist audience but rigorous in presentation, controversial without being sensationalist. The objective is to stimulate thought, stir curiosity and challenge boundaries. See the program since 2008.

History of University Life Seminars

These seminars are held monthly in College during term, over lunch in the Senior Common Room. They are coordinated by the Senior Tutor, in consultation with Dr Julia Horne, University Historian, and Professor Geoffrey Sherington, of the Faculty of Education. They aim to cover the whole area of university experience, especially student activities and ideas, mainly but not necessarily in the University of Sydney. See the program since 2008.

The St Paul’s College Symposium

The St Paul’s College Symposium is a full-day event, including the after-dinner Cable Lecture, held after the end of lectures in Second Semester. This symposium is managed by the Warden and Senior Tutor, and its theology/history theme commemorates the College’s Anglican foundation and its historic contribution to the intellectual life of the Church in Australia.

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment” lao tzu