Thriving Minds

Australasia Senior Conferences

Australasia​ (AU/NZ) Senior Programme

July/August 2022

More Able & Ambitious Study Day

Think Like An Oxford Scholar

Think Like An Oxford Scholar

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What to Expect on the Day

This is a day for bright ambitious students who are interested in ideas. The best way to stretch clever youngsters is to give them a solid platform from which key questions and big ideas can be explored. Students will spend the day with like-minded youngsters all keen to reach the ceiling of their ability and share ideas. Experienced gifted educator, Julie Arliss and lecturers from Oxford University, Aberdeen University and London University will stretch and challenge your students. This is a unique, not to be missed, opportunity for your students.

Why Attend?

  • Oxbridge Masterclass
  • Promote equity and excellence for diverse learners
  • Target the development of capabilities in GT students
  • Add depth, complexity and richness
  • Challenge GT students with abstract ideas
  • Engage the thinker within
  • Share ideas with like-minded people
  • Meet world-class thinkers

Join us on Snapchat – aconferences – for your daily philosophical thought of the day, plus access to free resources.

Click the document above to download print or share

Click the poster above to download print or share

Course Content

Oxbridge Interview Questions

Julie Arliss

At Oxford University, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, admission interview questions are designed to give candidates a chance to show their real ability and potential – which means seeing if a candidate can think laterally, and apply their thinking to new ideas, and different contexts. Interviews are not about reciting what you already know, rather, they give candidates a chance to show their real ability and potential. There is no ‘right’ answer to many of the questions: the focus is on how well you can think. This session will provide students with essential Oxbridge standard thinking tools, and ideas for developing high-level lateral thinking skills. A number of genuine questions will be examined as test cases.

The Philosophy and Politics of the Embryo

Julie Arliss

More people than just developmental biologists are busily talking about embryos. Human embryos are central players in proposed legislation at state, federal and international levels. But what is meant by an embryo and when does human life begin? Rarely are the terms of the debate defined clearly and increasingly the beginning of human life has become a question of politics. Within the political debate science is frequently used as an authority, but how authoritative is science over people’s values? This session will help students to understand the metaphysical and epistemological considerations essential for clear thinking about the nature and status of the embryo, and equip them with essential tools for honest debate.

‘I count therefore I am.’ Is Mathematics Discovery or Invention?

Dr Andrew Pinsent

Mathematics has been the most successful and is the most mature of the sciences and yet Paul Erdos claimed that, ‘God may not play dice with the Universe but something strange is going on with prime numbers.’ Why are numbers beautiful?

In mathematics there is rarely disagreement over whether or not we have a proof but do we need more than number and rationality to make sense of the world? This talk will open up discussion about the importance of imagination, poetry and music as well as the second person perspective to make sense of wholes and not just parts.

Eating Meat and Eating People

Our relationship to animals is very important. Is there something about the nature of ‘rights’ that restricts them to humans? Should animals have the same rights as people, and if not, why not? The case from evolutionary biology to vegetarianism will be examined. Are there no morally relevant differences between animals and people that justify treating an animal in ways we would never treat a person? Student participation desired for this topical session.

The BIG Debate

This House believes that Science has not replaced God

Contributors to the Australasian 2022 Programme

Julie Arliss

Julie Arliss

A Farmington Scholar at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, Julie Arliss is a highly accomplished teacher and author. Julie Arliss is a well-known international educator of gifted students with a gift for making the complex simple, and the simple complex. She is committed to the provision of world-class extension activities for these students, to extend their reach well beyond the curriculum to new areas of knowledge. She is on the examining team for Cambridge International Examinations and founder of Academy Learning.
Dr Andrew Pinsent – Oxford

Dr. Andrew Pinsent

Dr. Andrew Pinsent is Research Director at the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, Faculty of Theology and Religion, Oxford University. Formerly a particle physicist at CERN, he is a philosopher, theologian and contributor in the media and schools to engagement with science, faith and the big questions of life.

Tour Venues


21st July 2022
Scotch College


26th July 2022
Ascham School


1st August 2022
Bundaberg Christian College


5th August 2022
Genesis Christian College

Sunshine Coast

Please contact the office.


8th August 2022
St Andrew’s College


10th August 2022
Ministry of Inspiration


Please contact the office.


15th August 2022
Scots College


TBC (18th 19th August)



GATE training day

26th August 2022
Servite School

Conference Fees

A fixed fee of $50 if paid prior to conference.

We have access to sponsorship for students wishing to attend but for whom the cost is a significant challenge for their families. Please contact us for further details.

Early Bird Special:
Discounted tickets – $40 if paid by 12th July 2022.

A fixed fee of $50 ($40 if paid by 12th July 2022).

One free staff place with every 12 students booked.

Unaccompanied teachers attending for CPD to pay $95.


These events fill quickly but we appreciate that many schools need time to collect money from students. Please contact the office with your numbers as early as possible to secure your places.

[email protected]

Places may also be booked and paid online. Full terms and conditions are detailed on the website.

Staff are warmly invited to join the team for informal discussion over break and lunch with refreshments provided. Students will need to bring their own equipment and refreshments. Please note that we do not allow recordings of the day.

Student & Staff Bookings

Please enter a number greater than or equal to 5.
Please enter a number greater than or equal to 1.
For bookings for smaller numbers please address requests to [email protected]

Continuing Professional Development Bookings

Early Bird Special:
Discounted tickets – $40 if paid by 12th July 2022.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email below if you have any further questions.

[email protected]