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History of APIS

APIS has had a long history within Western Australia, with the first Philosophy in Schools event being held in 1984!

Officially founded by Felicity Haynes in 1989, APIS has always aimed to expand the presence of Philosophy within and without the classroom.

The current APIS emblem was selected as the humble bumblebee. This was the favoured animal of the Roman philosopher Virgil and it epitomised APIS's belief that harmonious collaboration could produce a healthy product.

APIS joined the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Association (FAPSA) in 2002 and was recognised as a not-for-profit association in three years later. In 2020 APIS separated from FAPSA.

After growing from Philosophy Cafes, the inaugural Philosothon was held at Hale School on the 7th of November 2007, with the first Philosophy and Ethics course for teachers being held at Comet Bay Senior High School the same year.

After considerable lobbying and tireless work the Philosophy and Ethics course was officially recognised by the Schools Curriculum Standards Authority (SCSA) in 2008 with the first textbooks being published by APIS leaders Stephan Millett and Alan Tapper. The first cohort of young philosophers and ethicists numbered more than 500 students!

After growing out from Western Australia, the first Australasian Philosothon was held at Cranbrook School in Sydney in 2011. To supplement the growing interest in Philosophy in Schools, 2014 saw the publishing of the first issue of the Journal of Philosophy in Schools.


2016 was a big year for the association with more than 20 high schools teaching Philosophy and Ethics in Western Australia and the first of the annual Student Revision days  being used to provide more formalised development of skills and critical thinking. Through assistance from Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, APIS was able to administer the first South-West Philosothon. 

In recognition of the importance of Philosothon for students academic development, the Templeton Religion Trust awarded Matthew Wills a grant to "grow existing Philosothon's and support the establishment of new ones, particularly in remote schools and at schools catering for students from low socio-economic backgrounds" across Australasia.  

We are proud of the significant progress has made in such a short period of time, and much like Virgil, our community with "an innate love of creation spurs the Attic bees on, each in its own way".


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