End of an era with NSW Humanist and UNAANSW Executive Committees

HumSoc LogoAfter 15 years with the HumSoc NSW committee, at different times as  Editor, President, Hon Secretary, Convenor of several events such as Australis 2000 a2k, CAHS Conventions, End of Year Party 2014 with entertainer Sam Pellegrino, Entertainer Sam, PellegrinoAvo Affie dancingand as HSNSW delegate to UNAANSW initiating the partnership event of joanne

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Logo

UN International Women’s Day which began with Waratah Gillespie’s (right) experience in Bougainville and ended 5 years later with The Hon Jillian Minister Jillian Skinner Jan15Skinner MP and which was my final event in March this year (2015) therefore ending my involvement with both committees. imageThe tulips, a lovely farewell gesture from Hum Soc NSW and the roses were presented to me at UNIWDAY by UNAANSW past President Valerie Weekes  whose support for the 5 years has been invaluable. It was also memorable having Robyn Carroll (right) Indigenous Community Worker from Walla Mulla Family and Community Support Woolloomooloo carry out the Acknowledgement to Country and to speak about Indigenous Women’s issues. Every year this event has taken place in Sydney State Parliament House gratis for which we are extremely grateful and proud. The Afternoon tea was delicious croissants with coffee or tea.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Logo
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

International Womens Day flowers for speakersgoodbye flowers

Fear, Anxiety and the Need for Control

Midnight BooAMae Sultana Look into my eyes rose by any other name is still the same – TERROR, TRAUMA then WAR which brings on feelings of retribution, action and  production of  WAR PARAPHERNALIA which in turn swells the financial coffers of the nation (what a relief in time of woe). It’s like a pressure cooker effect at some point the steam is released and all is well the food is superb.  Until that point however the global population is on tenterhooks and fearful like our household pets on fireworks night: planes go missing, get  blown up, innocent  people are beheaded or killed or intimidated, and the hands of powerful authorities seem tied!

THEN out of the blue a few of the powerful countries band together and shout “ENOUGH’ and “NO MORE”

Some sigh a sigh of relief and shout that a band of barbarian terrorists cannot control the powers of the world.

Others shout that it’s vilification and discrimination!

And some wonder is this WAR going to resolve this madness short and sweet or…

is it going to go on for YEARS and YEARS??????

Photos: My cats  Mae (5) Tabby and Midnight Bombay (14)

See for more writing on…


Fear of Rejection see https://affie.com.au/item/fear-of-rejection/


Malaysian Flight 370 spin still not true

Major Development In Search For MH370 May Lead To Black BoxI still don’t believe them – look at the body language it’s “this is what I’m supposed to say”. They say they have heard a ping and it’s past the deadline of expiry but if when they first heard the ping don’t you think they would have immediately dropped a mini sub down with a plane to get there on time and fish for it. What is taking them so long to get there and once they got there immediately they should have sent a mini sub down! come on! Their behaviour sings out stall! stall! bringing it back to my theory that the major powers are  in ’round table talks on how to get the plane back from who they know have it without losing the passengers and without giving into what they want” see Malaysian Airplane 370 missing plane not in sea

UN International Women’s Day 10/3 a Success

Hon Marie FicarraAunty Joan Tranter2IWDPamela Lemoine IWD

UN International Women’s Day (8/3) Seminar was held on Monday 10th March at State Parliament House Theatrette with Australia’s theme Ending Poverty for Women and Girls which was the topic chosen by Sue Conde past president of UNWA.Sue Conde

Aunty Joan Tranter, Aboriginal Elder, Jambunna House of Learning at UTS carried out the Welcome to Country which was so touching.
Pamela Lemoine read out the lovely UN IWD message from Ban Ki-moon.

The Hon Marie Ficarra MLC Parliamentary/Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of NSW representing the Premier for Opening Ceremony in which she addressed female violence as still a pressing matter.


Introduction: Valerie Weekes past president of  kept us mesmerised with her story of how Valerie Weekes IWD

difficult achieving university qualifications in all male family

GRAMEEN FOUNDATION: Duncan Power fascinated us with slides giving an update about the wonderful work done with loans to women from underdeveloped countries, so they may establish their small businesses.

Duncan Power IWDRESETTLEMENT OF IMMIGRANTS IN AUSTRALIA FROM GREAT LAKES OF AFRICA: Dr Nadine Shema spoke about the difficulties experienced by her people as they adjust to their new country.Dr Nadine Shema IWD

INDIGENOUS WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA: Aunty Joan Tranter spoke about her struggle in life to become an educated Aboriginal family woman when it was expected of her to become domestic help. Sadly we were reminded of the indigenous woman’s plight once again.

PALESTINE & ISRAEL – A WOMEN’S VIEW: Vivienne Prozsolt (Straight from the Airport to IWD Seminar) Vivienne showed slides of some of the  atrocities that have taken place and as she is Jewish it was a sensitive situation to witness. However when my Jewish friends were offended Valerie reminded me that the UN have investigated the allegations and found them to be true ttherefore they have a peacekeeping effort campaign there at the moment. As this was an UN event at the time I thought it had been a relevant  presentation. However  at some time I will invite representatives of both sides to discuss the issue  at a Humanist Afternoon Talk (HuVAT).Vivienne Porzsolt3 IWD

AFTERNOON TEA: We enjoyed a get together and delicious afternoon tea


Valerie Weekes prepared beautiful floral arrangements of white roses with a small green hydranger
which she gave to the speakers and purple delicate ribbons for all particpicants to the UN IWD. In this picture is also a beautiful vase of red roses for my 70th from my cousin Harry Polymeris, the President of the Hellenic Cultural Association “Akropolis” (Greeks from Romania): the committee of which I am a member due to the fact that my family and I were in the 300 families who came out on the same ship the General Ballou to Australia in 1950.Harrys 70th roses

Malaysian Airplaine 370 missing plane not in sea

Malaysian airplane370[it should have read aeroplane or flight, before some pedantic takes this post off on a different tangent]

I cannot believe that one of the best airlines in the world with well qualified pilots can have a plane 370 disappear and crash into the Indian Ocean disappearing to the extent that so many powerful countries with advanced technologies are unable to find any trace of it.  And yet they persist in spinning the story that they firmly believe that is where the rescue teams will find what they are looking for after all this time! This is a united front to just  either keep grieving people satisfied that something is being done while they work out how to disclose to the world what has really happened or to cover up a plan of attack on the offending nation that has been responsible for this terrorist action.  I believe the people on board are still alive and will be used as hostages or something extremely weird such as that.

People don’t disappear off the face of this earth without us finding out what happened to them when we have full co-operation from the major powers to find them unless those major powers are involved in secret negotiations and this is all to keep the “natives” quiet.  How foolish I’ll be if I am wrong but it just does not make sense with the magnitude of the search coming to no positive result. How useless are we as human beings with all our power and  technology and unity if we are unable to find one plane which has crashed?! Come on!! Something else is going on and we are being hoodwinked in the worst possible way!  Then again what terrorist group would benefit from one plane full of tourists! Does it languish in conceit that it has managed to mobilise the major powers and some others to spend their resources and time uselessly and focus the world’s eye on such a tragedy with no possible resolution achieved and creating the greatest mystery mankind has had? Terrorists playing GOD? As long as the passengers survive it will truly be a lesson to the world. My Sympathy to their relatives and friends. Let’s Wake Up Australia and see the big picture – isn’t it all a bit strange?! Have you got a knot in your stomach that isn’t grief?!

Affie’s 70’s Birthday/IWD Fundraiser the Party

Patricia Diane kicking up a stormtwist againI twisted like never before and so went my 70th which was the best I ever had. My granddaughter Talia Nicolitsis who had turned 11 two days earlier is so talented and has taken after my late mother who used to sing love songs. Tina my daughter is her mother, and we sat hugging each other like to chooks watching Talia. Sam Pelegrino had us dancing rock n roll where Diane and Patricia were kicking up their heels, samba for Silvana and Victor. The Hellenic Cultural Association Akropolis (Greeks from Romania- we came out 64 years ago and I’m on the committee) were here with President my cousin Harry Polymeris, Michael Contos, Panagaki Dimitriadis.   Then there’s a great photo of The UNAA(NSW) Committee Lindsay Mell (past President), Diane Sackellariou (whose late husband was Greek Victor Silvana Samba at my 70thRomanian, Peter Airey (past President) and Patricia  Jenkins. Also a photo with the other sponsoring committee of HumSocNSW Sturt Duncan, John Levack (ex committee), Silvana (Victor’s wife), Victor Bien, Brian Edwards, Fred Flatow and dog Coach, Angela Drury and dog Panda, me and dog Pepi.  We are short of $1,000 for each sponsor UNAA(NSW) and HumSocNSW so please keep the donations coming into whichever organisation you support no matter how small an amount and I will keep you posted through the Newsletters as to our progress.

Talia singing    Akropolis at Affie 70th         UNAANSW at Affie 70th       Humanists at Affie 70th






Nella Pip chattingThe lovely Maori Hut in my lovely garden with my my daughter-in-law Nella Zagoridis and close friend Pip chatting away. Nella and her eldest daughter Gaby (a member of HumSocNSW) Nick my daughter’s 16 yrs old son. Angela is involved in a tet a tet with another friend and new member Vivienne Weidler. Also hard workers together Fred Flatow Vice President of HumSocNSW Nella Zagoridis wife of CAHS President Paul.

Vivienne & Angela                           Fred Nella

dancing at my 70th The dancing goes on and everyone is in a good mood – good KEFI as the Greeks call it or good MOJO as the Americans call it. It was sunny even though the weather forecast was going to be showers so I hired a tarpaulin which we didn’t even open up. We had 10 bbq chickens in pieces ($100 donated by Fred Flatow), a huge potato salad (Tina donated) huge rice salad (Angela donated) huge pasta Bolognaise (Nella donated), a huge cabbage salad and cutlery, plates, drinks, venue etc (Affie donated), Birthday cake ($130 donated by UNAA(NSW), Entertainer and tarpaulin($350 donated by Molly Campbell HumSocNSW member). Avo and his fiancee Lee straight from Bangkok enjoyed themselves in the Maori Hut and he saved us $50 by delivering the tarpaulin back to Meadowbank on Monday morning for me. Thanks Avo.

Avo and partner           Pip with her Aussie family at my 70thPip having fun

Nick Gaby Zia Nella

UN IWD International Women’s Day Seminar March 10, 2014

UN IWD International Women’s Day is officially on 8th March and this year that takes place on Saturday. However  a Seminar  is held on Monday 10th March. In Sydney UNAA(NSW) and co sponsor Humanist Society of NSW are committed through me, the Convenor/Founder, to celebrate this important women’s event by raising women’s profile and at the same time enabling access for the community to State Parliament House.



HumSoc Logo

                       HUMANIST SOCIETY OF NSW


                               INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY on 10th  MARCH  2014

                                     STATE PARLIAMENT  HOUSE THEATRETTE

                                      THEME: Ending Poverty for Women & Girls


                                                                                          (photo: girls from Afganistan)

2.30 MC/Convenor: Dr Affie Adagio Exec Ctee UNAA(NSW), HUMSOCNSW Hon  Sec, Past President

Welcome to Country: Aunty Joan Tranter, Aunty Joan Tranter, Inaugural Elder in Residence, Jumbunna, Indigenous House of Learning – University of Technology

Opening Ceremony: The Hon Marie Ficarra MLC Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of NSW representing the Premier and Parliamentary Sponsor for the Event

2.45 Introduction Valerie Weekes Past President UNAA(NSW)

3.00 Grameen Foundation : Duncan Power

3.15 Ending Poverty for Women & Girls: Sue Conde Past President UNWA

3.30 Resettlement of Immigrants in Australia from Great Lakes of Africa: Dr Nadine Shema (GLAPD)

3.50 The Position of Indigenous Women Today: Aunty Joan Tranter, Inaugural Elder in Residence, Jumbunna, Indigenous House of Learning – University of Technology

4.10 Palestine and Israel: A Woman’s View: Vivienne Porzolt (from the Airport to the IWD Seminar)

4.30 Afternoon Tea : please RSVP asap for catering purposes

$10 pre-payment to UNAA(NSW) or HUMANIST SOCIETY OF NSW  PO Box K229 Haymarket 1240 Peter Airey

payments will be accepted on the day but it will be easier if payments are made before by Friday 7th March by post.

End of Year Party Humanists NSW 2013

Every year the Humanist Society of NSW has an End of Year Party in DecembeSamENY'14r instead of a Xmas party because we are not religious and as secular Humanists we do celebrate the season without the religious tones.


George Eynon Entertainer                                                                                                                                   Silvana Victor ENY'14

Christmas ornament, photo by Kinki Chew, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, cc.1asphost/mydreamsland, Chrismas time


Viky's bright skirt


  2012 was held at 2pm 2nd Saturday in December 9 and our entertainer George Eynon a New Zealand ex-patriot who can croon the most romantic tunes of Sinatra Elvis and Bee Gees to Country and Western and jive (also transform as he sings the most amazing Maori songs) kept us entertained. We had a great time and enjoyed each others company over food and drinks.

2011 and 2010 the wonderful Rubella caused full house at Humanist House with his Latin American diva act which he performed on cruise ships.

So up until 2009 our parties were Mad Hatters or such which were fun nevertheless poorly attended by a handful of people


Mind you some of us have family who celebrate Xmas and we respect their needs.For example on Xmas eve I have my family over and we have Xmas Eve with the carols the Xmas tree and as in Europe (as we are origiChristmas Tree, photo by Martin Boose, Dresden, Germany, Christmas Evenally Greeks from Romania)  open our presents. In that way I don’t compete with my offspring’s family personal time and the time they spend with their father and in-laws.

Xmas at Tina '12


CAHS Convention June 2013 SYDNEY

Humanist Society of NSW bravely accepted its the responsibility to take on the helm of the national body of all the HumanistSydney States – the Executive of the Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS) 2013-16 and that meant convening the CAHS Convention in Sydney which included the AGM with the election of the new Executive.  The Sydney Committee takes great pride in putting on a ‘good’ show and as I have the experience and enjoy the effort usually end up being the Convenor. The Committee is a great supportive group of people and this can make the planning quite enjoyable. The outcome was quite a success as we had:-

Friday 3rd May: 6pm Registration – Humanist House then Dinner Broadway Food Court

Saturday 4th May: 9.30-3pm CAHS AGM – Humanist House morning tea and lunch resulting in Paul Zagoridis as the new President, Mary Bergin -  Secretary and Ken Wright – Treasurer

Saturday Dinner Dance: 7.30 Ridges Hotel $65 (free under cover parking)


Paul, Robyn Williams, Ross, Mary





Entertainers:      George Eynon

George Eynon Entertainer




Talia  Nicolitsis, sang the Eva Cassidy version of  somewhere over the rainbow so see for her recent version see link:


for other Talia performances see You Tube : Talia Georgia Nicolitsis






Speakers: AHOY 2013 (Australian Humanist of the Year) Jane Caro and AHOY 1993 Robyn Williams AM (HumSocNSW Patron), Fred Flatow OHA 2013 (Outstanding Humanist Achiever), Dorothy Buckland Fuller (HumSocNSW Patron), Roslyn Ives (Past President CAHS), Paul Jane, Robyn& AffieZagoridis (President CAHS 2013),  Affie Adagio MC. Others present were Lee Rhianon The Hon member for NSW MLC Lee & John

(a HumSocNSW  member since her youth whom I believe, if I have the correct title, will  not be pleased with me using it), delegates from interstate, our Viewpoints editor (Frank Gomez and his partner Marco),  our Treasurer – Victor Bien and his wife Silvana, and our President – John August, of course Angela Drury, Brian Edwards and our pioneer Vicky Potempa and our generous an lucky Sturt Duncan who not only bought one of our Affie artworks but also won the second one that was raffled. We also had guests who were friends of our members and hence had a full house at the dinner. Our entertainer George Eynon who is originally a New Zealander ended his performance with some Maori amazing songs. Fantastic evening it certainly was.Silvana Victor

Marco Fabiani  Frank Gomez Editor





Fred OHA











Sunday: The Manly Ferry trip was the chosen tourist attraction and John August led the group of interstate and Sydney hosts to Manly on the beautiful half hour ride on our fascinating harbour which can get a bit choppy at the crossing of the heads but I thought everyone would benefit from a little adventure. One they reach Manly they had a walk to the Promenade and lunch at a lovely place near the beach                    What memories?Manly tour


Monday:   At State Parliament House Theatrette we had a Conference

9.30 Paul Zagoridis – CAHS President – WelcomeDr Nadine ShemaPaul Affie & GLAPD Panel





9.45 The African GLAPD Panel (Great Lakes Agency for Peace & Development)  led by Dr. Nadine Shema who introduced us to their work of raising awareness and funds for the countries surrounding the Great Lakes and not only the situation improvement but how much needs to still be achieved. As a result HumSocNSW became an organisational member for $100 p.a. to support them in there work and a resolution had eventuated from that session encouraging assististance.

11.30 Ethics Education Initiatives in Australia – After morning tea Ian Bryce  convened a panel of outstandingIan Bryce leaders in the field of ethics classes: St. James Ethics School – Simon Longstaff AOM (Executive Director) and Teresa Russel (General Manager) Ethics Classes; John Kaye – Greens MP; John Russell (Social Worker) Humanist Society Vic, Dr Victor Bien originally member of Federation of P&C Association commissioning (2005) St. James Ethics Centre instigating ethics classes.

Ethics Panel





Dorothy Buckland Fuller (Humanist Society NSW Patron) expressed our appreciation and gratitude to the speakers of both Panels.






   1.oo Lunch and close of CAHS Convention

Feedback from attendees from Sydney and interstate was extremely favourable as to the standard of the CAHS Convention and that it had been an enjoyable experience. We were all grateful for participants being so thoughtful as to give us feedback as this makes all the effort worthwhile. For example, 2 weeks prior to the weekend of the Convention we had 9 firm bookings when the function room was booked for 50 people! Cancelling the dinner dance was not at all in question and on the night we had a full house. So it was worth the stress because it was indeed wonderful to connect with everyone from interstate  and celebrate.





Bougainville Seminar a Success

Bougainville Topography mapThe Bougainville Women’s Seminar in International Women’s Day Week on Wednesday 11th March in State Parliament House was a success. It was in the Theaterette and attended by over 80 people. However, the Lateline DVD which had worked well at Humanist House previously did not work in the Theaterette.

Waratah Rosemarie Gillespie who had experienced some of the trauma in Bougainville, and wrote a book with sworn statements from Bougainvilleans, spoke explaining those statements some of which were read out by several actors of note such as Lynda Stoner, Andrew Vial, Fran Macpherson, Isobel Kirk, Gillian Levett, Janice Potten, Jonathan Marshall and Sean Foley.

The Chorus of Women in their attractive red outfits sang several meaningful songs to enhance the occasion.

Waratah, Joanne & Affie
Waratah, Joanne & Affie

Joanne Dateransi one of the Bougainvillean women who had experienced the trauma, was brought out by Waratah with the help of Ann Young as well as finances from the Humanist Society of NSW, members of the UNAANSW Executive Committee, and WILPF NSW.? These organisations had joined together to convene this event.? Joanne was to be the keynote speaker and had applied for a 3 month visa but had only been given a month visa by the Australian High Commission. Also her trip was full of obstacles so that she arrived 1 hour after the seminar. Why the sabotage?! Therefore, some of her speaking engagements which had been shown in the letters of invitation had to be cancelled.? Nevertheless, as the Convenor, I was able? to arrange for Joanne to speak at HumSocNSW, UNAANSW Executive Committee and WILPF NSW. Waratah managed to get Joanne to speak at the Open Forum and some other venues. We also managed to have 2SER interview Joanne on air. So we were able to make the best of her limited visit.

Furthermore, Valerie Weekes and Dr. Stefania Siedlecky spoke at the Seminar on the UNAA Resolution 1325 which, put simply, has to do with women being consulted in disputes before war is declared.

The book written by Waratah Rosemarie Gillespie: “Running with Rebels, behind the lies in Bougainville’s hidden war” (Ginibi Productions) was ready for sale at the seminar and I highly recommend it. For information about where it can be purchased contact me on 0421 101 163.

Oddly enough, after media releases were sent out to several media sources there was no media covering the event, apart from 2SER. What can we think other than there is apathy for the atrocities experienced by people in that war, or that mining companies put pressure on the media to keep everything quiet! Regardless of this sabotage we overcame and people heard the truth about the situation.

Our thanks to Lee Rhiannon MLC who was our host at the Seminar and made the opening speech.

The women of Bougainville who are the landowners will fight to keep the mining company giant out of their land, unless their needs are met.