Secular Party of Australia

The Secular Party of Australia is a minor Australian political party, founded in January 2006 and registered as a federal political party in 2010.[1] It aims to promote secular humanist ethical principles and the separation of church and state in Australia.[2]

Secular Party of Australia
PresidentJohn Perkins
SecretaryShaun Haddrill
SpokespersonTrevor Bell
Founded2006 (2006)
IdeologySecular humanism
Secular liberalism
Political positionCentre


The Secular Party was founded in January 2006 after discussions in late 2005, and registered as a federal political party in 2010.[1]

In 2005, the Secular Party took out a series of advertisements airing in prime time, spoken by party founder and then vice-president John Goldbaum. The campaign often used the slogan "Don't Let the Church Govern Australia", attacking the policies of the Howard Government concerning abortion, contraception, and gay marriage.

In 2007 the party merged with the similar Freedom From Religion Party. The phrase "Freedom From Religion" was appended as a subheading to the main party name on the website and in marketing materials.[3][4] This subheading has since been changed to the sub heading "Freedom of religion and freedom from religion".

The party contested the 2007 Federal Australian election by fielding candidates for each Australian state's representation in the Senate under the campaign slogan "Don't Let The Church Govern Australia - Keep Religion Out of Politics". The party was not registered federally, so the party name did not appear on the ballot paper. Ian Bryce appeared on ABC Radio in a discussion on secularism[5] and John Perkins submitted an article to the Australian political e-journal On Line Opinion,[6] but the party received little other media attention during the campaign.

In 2008 and 2009 the party became more active in Senate Committee discussions around the taxation of religious organisations and the HREOC submission on same sex discrimination.[7]

On 2 July 2009, the Secular Party applied to the Australian Electoral Commission to be registered as a federal political party; its application was accepted on 16 June 2010.[8][9]

The 2010 federal election was the Secular Party's first election as a registered political party. The party fielded 31 candidates across Australia. These included Senate candidates in all states and 19 candidates for the House of Representatives. According to the Australian Electoral Commission the total number of votes cast for the party in lower house seats was 10,287 (0.1%) of the overall total. The party received 8,741 first preference votes (0.09%) in the Senate election.[10]

In the 2013 federal election, the Secular Party received 4,834 votes (0.04%) in the lower house, and 12,698 first preference votes (0.09%) in the senate.[11]

In the 2016 federal election, the Secular Party of Australia fielded 8 candidates for the senate, with 2 each for the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.[12]

In the 2019 federal election, the Secular Party of Australia fielded 2 candidates for the senate for Victoria.[13]

Policies and aims


  • To bring about separation of church and state in Australia
  • To promote secularism worldwide
  • To stand for human rights and social justice, affirming the dignity of each human being
  • To support the maximisation of individual liberty and opportunity consistent with social and environment responsibility
  • To defend freedom of expression everywhere
  • To espouse policies which support a rational approach to human problems
  • To promote the fullest use of science for human welfare
  • To gain and maintain for non-religious people the same rights that are enjoyed by members of religious bodies

The Secular Party believes that the law and policy in Australia isn't that of a truly secular government[14] and that voters in Australia are looking for a secular alternative.[15][16]

The party supports

  • Constitutional separation of Church and State
  • A secular republic, free of hereditary privilege
  • Pro-choice regarding abortion
  • Lesbian IVF availability
  • Same-sex marriage in Australia [17]
  • Contraception and sex education
  • Anti-homophobia education
  • Removal of anti-discrimination exemptions for religious schools and businesses
  • Voluntary euthanasia
  • Embryonic stem cell research
  • Scientific research not to be limited by religious objections

The party opposes

See also


  1. History of Secular Party Archived 13 September 2012 at
  2. "Aims". Secular Party of Australia. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  3. "Freethought Parties Merge - Secular Party Press release". 20 August 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  4. "Losing My Religion" - Herald Sun - 2 December 2009
  5. "The Spirit of Things - ABC Radio National". 11 November 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  6. "Secularism as an ideal" On Line opinion - 15 February 2006 (by John Perkins)
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 March 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "Registration of the Secular Party of Australia". Australian Electoral Commission.
  9. "Secular Party of Australia Information". Australian Electoral Commission. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  10. "Secular Party of Australia". Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  11. "Senate State First Preference By Group". Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  12. "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  13. "Candidates for the 2019 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 24 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  14. Transcript of Radio Interview with Dr. John L Perkins on community radio station 2SER Archived 24 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine - Recorded 3 February 2006
  15. Politics and religion: crossed paths - The Sydney Morning Herald - 26 December 2009
  16. "Policy details of the Secular Party". Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  17. "Secular Party of Australia Website". Policy details of the Secular Party of Australia website. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
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