The AAI Global Atheist Convention, held 12 – 14 March 2010 in Melbourne, Australia, will go down in history as the time Atheism came of age in Australia. Some 2,500 attendees – by some estimates the largest such gathering ever – and some of the most prominent luminaries, such as AC Grayling, Taslima Nasrin, Peter Singer, and of course Richard Dawkins – gathered for 3 days at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center to celebrate and learn.
The response to The Rise of Atheism convention by the media who were taken by surprise had some sections reeling off and exaggerating inconsequential negatives as though a hole had appeared in the centre of the city of Melbourne and was devouring all before it. The Global Atheist Convention was a resounding success judged by any criteria save the one cocooned in bigotry. The social isolation experienced by Atheism has suffered a severe blow and things will never be the same again. Atheism is not going away. To a greater extent each year it will impact positively on the education and political systems to the benefit of all the population and not just the few who shelter under the umbrella of religion.