REPORT | AIS | Uniting or Dividing? Christians and Muslims in ourGlobalised World | Public lecture by Professor John Esposito | Friday 4December 2015 | 6.00-7.30pm

[Some portions from public address, received with gratitude]

A large assembly gathered in a beautiful venue to hear insight from a globally recognised thinker who discusses weighty topics with Humour.

Introductory remarks and introduction given by Father Francis Dupuche.

Keynote Speaker: Professor John Esposito
Director, Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations, Georgetown University
Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, John L. Esposito is Founding Director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Previously, he was Loyola Professor of Middle East Studies, College of the Holy Cross. Esposito’s more than 45 books include: The Future of Islam, Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (with Dalia Mogahed), Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, and Islam and Politics.

From humble Irish Catholic New York origins, a life time of globe-spanning experience has led Professor Esposito to advise audience, in my paraphrasing "don't wait for leaders, get involved for a common goal with your neighbour, in your local neighbourhood, today and build positive inclusive communities to take leaders with you". 

On this occasion: Audience member, GEIFN and Buddhist Council of Victoria representative was hosted by Australian Catholic University, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and the Australian Intercultural Society.
At: Australian Catholic University (ACU), 115 Victoria Parade Melbourne, Phillipa Brazil Lecture Theatre (Daniel Mannix Building). Thankyou for having us at your place, received with gratitude.

Australian Intercultural Society

The Australian Intercultural Society (AIS) is a not for profit organisation that has been operating in Melbourne since 2000 with the aims of promoting multiculturalism and fostering intercultural and interfaith dialogue. AIS believes in reaching out to all members of society by providing a platform for cultural and information exchange.

REPORT | CEH | Youth Ambassadors Zine launch | 4 December 2015 | 3-5pm

[Portions reproduced from public address, received with gratitude]

Educating and supporting young people from diverse refugee and migrant backgrounds on self-acceptance, sexual and reproductive health issues.

A warm and welcoming team and audience assembled to hear about the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health and its Youth Ambassador program. In between formalities, the audience were invited to mingle and get to know each other. 

Besides enticing and delicious food, the entertainment included a charismatic MC encouraging us to mingle. A spoken-word poet who used song fragments with a voice, timbre and message to warm the coldest hearts. And a songstress who sang from the heart with a worldliness usually beyond someone of her years.

The occasion was to launch the most recent outcome, an exciting ZINE created by the current Youth Ambassadors.

This Zine was created by young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds and explores identity, sexual and reproductive health. Key members were present for a panel discussion where they revealed more about their journeys from personal difficulties to positive role modelling and peer support. Not always an easy task when the hormones kick-start in unexpected directions and language, questions and answers may be uncommon or taboo.

For anyone feeling disconnected from their family or community and wishing to explore self and others safely, know their are many pathways to discovering the secrets to getting up, on and along. The Ambassadors have compiled a great Zine for youth of all ages, culture and background. Overcoming fears, taboos and superstition, the language presents the current medical-based facts and laws, is direct, clear and no-nonsense while keeping a sense of humour. 

When asked what advice they would give their younger selves, the panel encouraged their younger selves to:
-- not delay, know and reach out to trustable sources
-- get involved with community building activity
-- know and use things like this Zine and the Internet.

On this occasion: Audience member, GEIFN and Buddhist Council of Victoria representive were guests of North Richmond Community Health, 23 Lennox Street Richmond. Thankyou for having us at your place, received with gratitude.


Rebecca Reeves, Community Projects Officer
Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health
23 Lennox Street, Richmond VIC 3121

For a list of downloadable documents regarding improving general and sexual health and well being for migrants, visit

CEH acknowledges the Wurundjeri people, the traditional owners of the land on which CEH works.

REPORT | LIFC | Love in full colour | Launch Screening | Thursday 3December 2015 | 7pm

Discover the shared humanity and common goals between personal headlines and public sensationalism.

What: This local documentary explores what it is like to be a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex (GLBTI) individual in present day Victoria. The audience gains deep insight in what it means to be a member of an often misunderstood, vilified and ostracized minority. Share the personal experiences of Nevo, Steph, Gordo, Nick, Margot, Erin, Michael, Jules, Maddy, Harry, Domi, and Edward. Discover the importance of the Minus18 Formal that makes them feel at home in their own skin.
The heartfelt and clear message is on point, on target for the entire duration. Full of gems, with this example from Maddy: "... I want kids to know that it’s OK to be who you are. If you’re a tomboy or a boy who’s a bit more feminine, or if you don’t feel like you’re a boy or a girl, that’s fine. I don’t want kids to grow up thinking: there’s husbands and wives, there’s boys and girls, and that's it."
Edward hopes for a time "When sexuality becomes more like a footnote description to who you are, rather than the overall description, that’s when I think we’ll see a lot more positive change."

Director Suzi Taylor gave an inspiring speech and highlights that statistics show Australia's alarmingly high youth suicide rate, and that GLBTI individuals as a proportion of population are over represented in self-harm and suicide data. Factors like Non-Religious and religious backgrounds were unuseful as predictors whereas family relationships, societal inequities, disadvantage and prejudice were consistently significant causes. She acknowledged the contribution by the team re-editing the film, colour grading and creating a beautiful crisp audio edit to do justice to the wonderful stories. Post-production was possible thanks to generous donations through a crowdsourcing Kickstarter campaign.

Movie runs 45 mins, followed by an audience Q&A with a panel of most of the featured individuals. The panel were asked to speak on spirituality, religion and its role and their answers revealed the movie can also be read as a comparative study of how religious leaders, backgrounds and teachings influence an individual's choices through natural life's transitions.

The night continued at a party on-site at Lido bar where the welcoming assembly mixed informally enjoying delicious food made by the Director Suzi Taylor and her family.

The suffering caused by Ignorance has no limits, and may this documentary be successful in shining a light into historical, ongoing and needless prejudices against this section of our community.

On this GEIFN GOES occasion: Lido Cinema, Level 1, 675 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3121


Images courtesy official website

PWR | Karenna Gore to Represent Parliament in Paris

[Edited extract from public address]

Appointment of first Parliament Ambassador on Climate Change

Karenna Gore, Director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, has been appointed as the first Parliament Ambassador on Climate Change by Parliament Board Chair Imam Malik Mujahid.

In Paris, Gore will share "Embracing Our Common Future: An Interfaith Call to Action on Climate Change," the declaration presented at the 2015 Parliament and signed by both leaders, scholars and activists within the interfaith and environmental movements.



PWR | Mary Evelyn Tucker Q&A Gives Deseret Good News on Faith-Based Climate Action

[Edited extract from public address]

The relationship between religion and the environment and how faith leaders can encourage church members to be involved in efforts to end climate change

"In October, when she was in Salt Lake City to attend the Parliament of the World's Religions, Tucker shared her thoughts with Deseret News National..."

Read Tucker's Q&A with Deseret News National Here

PWR | Dalai Lama's Three Key Points on Climate Change to the Parliament

[Edited extract from public address]

How climate change and poverty are interrelated, and why it's necessary to understand the overlapping of these crises.

In September, 2015, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Parliament Board Chair Malik Mujahid recorded nearly an hour of exclusive interview for the 2015 Parliament.

View this first clip:

VMC | Volunteer Grants 2015 | Strengthening Communities – Volunteering | Now Open, Closing 9 December 2015

[Edited extract from public address]

The Australian Government is offering grants to community organisations in support of the work of their volunteers.

What: Organisations can apply for Volunteer Grants  under the Strengthening Communities – Volunteering sub-activity category of the Australian Government Grants.
Who: Community organisations can apply for grants of up to $5,000 for a wide variety of activities, including purchasing small items of equipment that assist volunteers, fuel and transport costs incurred by volunteers, training courses and background checks.

How: To be eligible, applicants must provide enough information about the organisation to demonstrate that they are an Australian not-for-profit entity.
Email: (link sends e-mail) or call the VG Hotline 1800 183 374.

When: Applications are open now and will close at 2.00pm AEDT on Wednesday 9 December 2015.
Funding is expected to be offered to around 5,700 organisations with grants to be paid by 30 June 2016.


Department of Social Services
General enquiries: 1800 625 136
Technical support: 1800 020 283
TTY: 1800 555 677

IDC | Khaita Joyful Dances | Melbourne | December 2015

[Edited extract from public address]

A Melbourne opportunity to experience sacred Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen public dance workshop.

Kha = space / sky. Ta = harmony / melody.
Khaita is Tibetan word for harmony in space. These words and symbol (the golden infinite knot of love on our globe) were chosen by the tradition's spiritual leader Chögyal Namkhai Norbu to represent all activities of Dzogchen Community related to movements and sounds. Khaita Joyful Dances, Vajra Dance, Yantra Yoga, are all part of this.

Tuesday 1 December, 7-9pm
Thursday 3 December, 7-9pm
Saturday 5 December, 10-12pm, 2-4pm
Sunday 6 December, 10-12pm, 2-4pm

Where: Fleming Park Hall, 98-100 Victoria Street, Brunswick

How: Inquire or book via Email


Dzogchen Community of Namgyalgar Incorporated
Registered QLD address: PO Box 307, Glasshouse Mountains, QLD 4518, Australia
Registered NSW address: PO Box 40 , Narooma, NSW 2546, Australia

FCCV | Statement on Climate Change | 26 November 2015

[Edited extract from public address]

Across Victoria's faith communities, we share the call for Australia's and world's leaders meeting in Paris in December for the United Nations climate summit to act with courage and compassion to address fundamental drivers of climate change, to care for sacred Earth, and to protect the most vulnerable.

As representatives of many religious traditions and different faiths, we stand together in our moral obligation to care for sacred Earth, the most vulnerable people and all human life as a gift entrusted to our common care as we are confronted by the growing impacts of climate change in all corners of the world.

More extreme weather events disrupt food production and water security, exacerbate hunger, cause economic insecurity and forced displacement. We share a common concern for nature and for global social justice, and are deeply concerned that climate change is a threat to precious human life, and to the survival of humanity unless strong and urgent action is taken to address the causes.

We acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is human induced, and that the failure to address its root causes will result in impacts escalating in intensity and frequency, especially amongst the world's poor and vulnerable who are already bearing the burden disproportionately.

We want world leaders to listen and act decisively for a just transition to clean energy. Australia has the technological and economic capacity to deliver this life-preserving transformation, and it is an opportunity to play our part in addressing the common environmental challenge humanity faces.



General & Media Enquiries:

Murray Davies
Chairperson of Faith Communities Council of Victoria

Promotion of Multifaith/Interfaith Events:
Sandy Kouroupidis
Multifaith Officer of Victoria


The Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) is comprised of the following peak bodies: Baha'i Community of Victoria, Brahma Kumaris Australia, Buddhist Council of Victoria, Hindu Community Council of Victoria, Islamic Council of Victoria, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria and Victorian Council of Churches.

This statement issued on the eve of world leaders meeting in Paris for the United Nations climate summit (Nov 30-Dec 11).

PWR | Planting Good Seeds in the Fertility of the Mind

[Edited extract from public address by Sr. Joan Brown for the Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter]

Rise up to the Paris Climate Pledge

The pomegranates on our tree cracked open while I was at the World Parliament of Religions in Salt Lake City in mid-October. Green flesh burst forth revealing multitudinous iridescent juicy ruby seeds. When they burst they are not spoiled, but very ready to be eaten and shared.

This pomegranate experience for me has become a heralding of this moment beginning with the amazing Parliament of the World’s Religions experience. "Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity" drew some 10,000 people of all religious traditions to chant, sing, pray and most importantly to enflesh religious traditions with action. For the first time, the parliament pleaded for religious leaders to address climate change, poverty, indigenous rights and equality of women.

REPORT | PCM | Melbourne Friday 27 November

[Edited extract from public address]

To make a powerful message for delegates to the UNFCCC CoP21 in Paris, 60,000+ people assembled in Melbourne, with millions more to march around the world over subsequent days.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are among the first and worst impacted by global warming, which is why they led the People’s Climate March – putting climate justice front and centre of the better world we are creating.

Near the end of the march, a minute’s silence was held to honour those impacted by climate change already, and reflect on the hope and determination we hold collectively for our future. People raising their hands in the air was the sign the moment of silence was beginning.

Then, high-profile singers joined a big bunch of community choirs to raise our united voice for a brighter future. Organisers aimed to be so loud, travelling politicians would hear the message all the way to Paris.

Contributor and participant Virginia Mosk offered these constructive advices how we can all play a daily role:
-- minimise unnecessary driving cars, cycle and walk instead, 
-- support local small traders instead of driving across town to shop
-- consider installing solar panels on our roof tops
-- install and use rainwater tanks
-- switch our bank accounts to ethic banks and providers
-- take holidays in this magnificent country of ours in preference to going overseas
-- consider eating less meat (or none at all)
-- consume less and be mindful of not wasting food (not one grain of rice)
-- not buy anything unnecessarily (clutter and waste of resources)
-- cease, and if not cease, reduce, reuse, recycle plastic and single-use bags
-- we will care for our natural environment and help it to reinvigorate itself,
-- care for our oceans
-- assist in educating impoverished and homeless wherever they are in the world, 

And if we do one, some or all of these things, we will become more attuned and more kind and actually doing so many other things to heal this beautiful, unique planet"


People's Climate March

Images reproduced with gratitude from Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF)

JTD | Welcome Dinner Project

[Edited extract from public address]

The Welcome Dinner Project invites newly arrived people and established residents to meet for a casual dinner in a local home. 

Volunteers choose to host a dinner then an equal mix of old and new residents bring a plate of their favorite food. The aim of the welcome dinner is is to provide a low-key way of people of diverse cultures to connect. The first Melbourne dinner was held in Port Philip in October 2015.


KHT | A Very Koorie Krismas | 19 December 2015 | 1-4pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Celebrating Krismas with a K - an afternoon of festival family fun!

  • Traditional basket weaving demonstrations and workshops, from 1-3pm
  • Choirs, live music and storytelling throughout the afternoon
  • Kids activities inspired by Koorie culture
  • Pickup the perfect gift for Christmas from our shop
  • Check out the Koorie Art Show 2015
  • A special appearance from Koorie Klaus at 3pm

Koorie Heritage Trust Inc
Levels 1 & 3, Yarra Building, Federation Square, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
Tel +61 3 8662 6300

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Melbourne, the people of the Kulin Nation

COSM | International Human Rights Day | 10 December 2015 | Arrive 11.00am for 12-2.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Human rights are the basis of everything people cherish about their way of life.

11.00 Arrive and Lunch
Keynote Speaker Jasmine Stone M.Ed
Feature Performance Ali Ainsworth and Jess Fairlie

Bookings Elana
Tel 0409 046 172


Church of Scientology Melbourne
Youth for Human Rights International
231-251 Alexander Road, Ascot Vale Vic 3032

FCCV | Statement on Preventing Domestic Violence | 25 November 2015

[Edited extract from public address]

A strong community is one where we can all contribute and participate equally.

As leaders and people of faith, we oppose family violence and violence against women and their children in all its forms. Across our faith traditions, we declare that:
  • Family violence and violence against women is wrong and unacceptable.
  • Every human being should be seen as valued, important and equal. All should be treated with respect and equality.
  • Sacred texts, scriptures and cultural traditions should not be used as a way to justify or excuse violence against women.
  • True religion will use its sacred text with reverence and awe, not as a tool to justify imperfection and failing, but as an inspiration to live a better way. 
  • Our faiths affirm that love, respect, equality and living well together are ideals to aim for.
We are committed to preventing violence against women in our communities by promoting equality and respect toward women. To live in a world where our families and communities are free and safe from violence, we must treat all individuals – women, men, girls and boys – with dignity, equality and respect. Promoting equality and respect in our communities benefits us all and strengthens our communities.



General & Media Enquiries:

Murray Davies
Chairperson of Faith Communities Council of Victoria

Promotion of Multifaith/Interfaith Events:
Sandy Kouroupidis
Multifaith Officer of Victoria


The Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) is comprised of the following peak bodies: Baha'i Community of Victoria, Brahma Kumaris Australia, Buddhist Council of Victoria, Hindu Community Council of Victoria, Islamic Council of Victoria, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria and Victorian Council of Churches.

The above statement is drawn from the resource, 'Promoting Equality and Respect: An interfaith collaboration on preventing family violence’, developed as part of the CHALLENGE Family Violence project. This project is a partnership between City of Casey, Cardinia Shire Council, City of Greater Dandenong and Monash Health, and funded as part of the Victorian Government’s Community Crime Prevention Program.

REPORT | FCCV | Victorian Interfaith Conference | 22 November 2015 |12pm-4.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

The reality of living one's faith in today's society

A large assembly, joining in unity for the afternoon, opened smoothly with registration, art exhibition and delicious vegetarian food made by Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Catering and Hari Krishnas Albert Park.

Scott Harrison on organ and Zimcommunity performed spirited renditions of "Whole world in his hands" and "Sweet Chariot".

Welcome to Country was given on behalf of Auntie Carolyn Briggs acknowledging Boon Warrung, Warundjeri and Kulin peoples. Presentations were given by Murray Davies of Faith Communities Council of Victoria and Genevieve Marie as MC and Chairperson of Kingston Interfaith Network.

Talks, endorsement, encouragement and well wishes were given by honoured guests Councillor Tamsin Bearsley, Mayor of City of Kingston and Mr Chidambaram Srinivasan, Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission

Key Note speaker Helen Heath OAM spoke of her's and others heartfelt experience with "The reality of living one's faith in today's society". Helen expanded the concept of "Being faithful", "Having faith in Interfaith" and "Keeping faith".

Workshops & Plenary Sessions:
The large assembly then divided into four groups into a preferred workshop.
Workshop 1: Mixed Identities, religious and civic - Can I be true to my religious identity and at the same time be a fair dinkum Australian?
Facilitator Gary Bouma joined with a panel comprised of Rabbi Fred Mirgan, Reverand Ian Smith, Sherene Hassan, Bhakta Dasa, Lena Van der Vis and Nivy Balachandran.

Workshop 2: Refugee Stories - Celebrating the courage and achievements of refugees
Facilitator Kate Daddo joined with panel Sister Brigid Arthur, Mariam Issa, Florence Kasengela Shinandula and Zena Lythgo

Workshop 3: Understanding Head Coverings - Why women of faith wear scarves, wigs, hats and turbans
Facilitator Ginette Everest joined with a panel comprising Rabbi Allison Conyer, Rupinder Kaur, Sister Melissa Anne Brown, Dilnaz Billimora and Sarah Sabagh

Workshop 4: Skills for Conflict Resolution - An introductory workshop
Dr Siew-Fang, Law Victoria University, facilitated 6 dynamic groups exploring three emotive topics.

Summaries of each workshop were given by facilitators, Darebin Interfaith were announced as host for next year and closing performance was given by Zimcommunity with Kingston Community Choir and friends.

On behalf of Glen Eira Interfaith Network, thankyou for having us at your place, received with gratitude.


For more information please contact: Sandy Kouroupidis, Faith Communities Council of Victoria - Mobile: 0412 670 369
This event was proudly supported by the Faith Communities Council of Victoria, City of Kingston, Kingston Interfaith Network and the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

PHA | 2015 Solstice Global Healing event | Sunday 20 December 2015 | 1pm-5pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Prepare to celebrate the 'Magic of the Solstice' to heal and transform our lives and others. 

Healing Self - Mind, Body & Spirit. 
Program: Be introduced to healing therapies with benefiting a cross section of community. Supportive healing and well being for all to participate in. Starting with a yoga session, then our Indigenous & faith group presentations, followed by other spiritual & healing therapies.

Who: All welcome to join and be part of the event.

Where: near the Rotunda at Catani Gardens, corner of Fitzroy Street & Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda.


Planetary Healing Artists
Tel 0415 552 488

PHA | Art Workshop | Sunday 6 December 2015 | 1pm-5pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Healing the Self

What: Art workshop run by Lisa Fam, Art Therapist
Where: Elwood / St.Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre
87 Tennyson Street, Elwood VIC 3184
Previously: Last year we did a magnificent mandala, unveiled by Fr Bob at the Solstice event.
Who: All Welcome. People who attended and were not artists joyfully participated. 
RSVP: As a courtesy to organisers, please confirm attendance.


Planetary Healing Artists
Tel 0415 552 488

ICPC | End of Year Concert and Fundraiser | Sunday 13 December 2015 | 11am - 12.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Hear the organ, piano and choir then stay for buffet lunch and barbecue afterwards. Celebrate peace and harmony in togetherness.

Fundraiser: Raising funds for The Interfaith and Community Peace Coalition
Where: 110 Grey Street, East Melbourne
Who: Everyone welcome


Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memoral Church
Tel 9338 2883

JCMA | Statement On Acts of Violence in Paris and Beirut

[Edited extract from public address]

We share the grief of those who have lost loved ones as a result of this appalling and wilful slaughter of innocent people. 

Once again we re-state that the terrible events at the weekend, both in Beirut and Paris, are completely at odds with our relationships of friendship and decency as Australians who are Jewish, Christian and Muslim.

Each of us, from the depths of our own tradition, pray for all involved – the deceased and those who grieve for them.  From the depths of our spiritual common ground we pray afresh and renew our appreciation for the sanctity of life.

Once again we plan how to strengthen our efforts to deepen the friendship between us and thus enhance our work for reconciliation and peace.


The Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia issued this statement in response to the recent acts of violence in Paris and Beirut. 

Media inquiries: Bishop Philip Huggins, JCMA President, 0418 799 515

For more information email or go to the website:, Twitter:  or Facebook page:

PPLS | Wild Action wildlife action – for adults | Wednesday 2 December 2015 | 6.30 – 7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join Wild Action for a hands on wildlife experience– for adults! 

Wild Action are Victoria’s premiere wildlife educators, dedicated to teaching the public about Australia’s remarkable biodiversity and introducing Australians to their own native animals. Be prepared to meet a variety of Australian indigenous animals, up close!

Places are limited and this is an adults (16+) event.

Cost: $6 per ticket. Refunds can only be given up to 24 hours before the event. Please advise us prior to this time if you cannot attend.

Where: St Kilda Library Community Room

How: Please book online through Eventbrite:
A waiting list is available on Eventbrite if you are unable to secure a ticket. If you book and are unable to attend please let us know so that we can pass your ticket on to another patron.


Tel 9209 6655 or

FCCV | Statement on acts of violence in Paris and Beirut: Faith Communities Council of Victoria | 16 November 2015

[Edited extract from public address]

As leaders and people of faith, we offer our prayers and sympathies to family members and loved ones of those killed and wounded in Paris and Beirut. The loss of innocent life is senseless and we pray for the victims of these horrible attacks.

We unequivocally condemn these callous and senseless acts of violence - no belief, cause, or grievance justifies such acts of violence. We pray that the perpetrators are found and brought to justice.

We must remember these acts are committed by extremists, who although claim to be Muslims, do not represent the mainstream Muslim approach to religion or sanctity of life.

The Faith Communities Council of Victoria has issued this statement in response to the recent acts of violence in Paris and Beirut.


General & Media Enquiries:

Murray Davies
Chairperson of Faith Communities Council of Victoria

Promotion of Multifaith/Interfaith Events:
Sandy Kouroupidis
Multifaith Officer of Victoria


The Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV ) is comprised of the following peak bodies: Baha'i Community of Victoria, Brahma Kumaris Australia, Buddhist Council of Victoria, Hindu Community Council of Victoria, Islamic Council of Victoria, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria and Victorian Council of Churches.

KHT | Bush toys weaving workshop | Friday 4 December 2015 | 12 - 2pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A masterclass making bush toys using various mediums of natural fibres, raffia, and wool.

Bronwyn Razem is a master weaver and artist from the Gunditjmara/Kirrae Whurrong language group. She has the knowledge of traditional basket weaving passed onto her by her mother Zelda Couzens who was a respected Elder and master weaver in her community. Bronwyn now passes the knowledge onto interested individuals whom she knows will carry on this traditional tribal practice.

Where: Koorie Heritage Trust, level 3 Yarra Building, Federation Square

Cost: $25 (ex GST)

How: Book


Koorie Heritage Trust Inc
Levels 1 & 3, Yarra Building, Federation Square | Melbourne VIC 3000 | Australia
tel +61 3 8662 6300 | fax +61 3 9602 4333

KHT acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Melbourne, the people of the Kulin Nation.

GCF | A Conversation between Rabbi Ralph Genende, Father Bob Maguire, Moderated by Dr Jack Felman | Wednesday 9 December 2015 | Arrive 7.15pm for 7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A lively evening with Vodka, Latke and Ponchka

Cost: $30 ea
Where: to be advised by sms
A collaboration between Gen2Gen, Caulfield Hebrew Congregation and Father Bob Maguire Foundation.

Need to register before payment. Previous users just login. Venue is advised by SMS.
Elana Lewin 0408 270 083
Liz Davidson 0411 741 402
Sharon Stone 0408 997 284

CCJV | The Luncheon Club: Andrzej Folwarczny | Friday 27 November 2015 | 12.15pm for 12.30pm start, to 1.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Bringing Back the memory. Polish-Jewish dialogue in the present day Poland.

Speaker: Andrzej Folwarczny
Founder and President of Forum for Dialogue Among Nations, the largest and oldest Polish non-governmental organization engaging in the Polish-Jewish dialogue. Between 1997 and 2001 he served as a member of the Polish National Parliament (Sejm) during which he acted as the Chairman of the Polish-Israeli Parliamentary Group. Andrzej Folwarczny co-edited the book Difficult Questions in Jewish-Polish Dialogue, published in 2006 in collaboration with AJC. Between 1999 and 2004 he served as Vice-Resident of the Israel-Poland Friendship Association (Towarzystwo Przyjaźni Polso-Izraelskiej). Forum for Dialogue Among Nations is dedicated to inspiring new connections between contemporary Poland and the Jewish People. Through education, encounters, and building people-to-people trust we write a new chapter of Polish-Jewish History.

Where: East Melbourne Synagogue, 488 Albert Street East Melbourne

Cost: $15 including light Kosher lunch. Tickets at the door.

Bookings: 24 November 2015  to Liz 0414 640 384 or Walter 0419 510 712; email:


The Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria)

CJCLDS | Love your neighbour - Jewish and Christian perspectives on service | 29th November 2015 | 7.30-8.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

An interfaith event presented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Rabbis John Borak (Los Angeles, USA) and Adam Stein (Kehilat Nitzan, Caulfield North).

What: A panel discussion followed by a light kosher supper

Love your neighbour as yourself
Leviticus 19:18

Cost: there is no charge for this event

Where: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
5 Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield North


Event website:
Mark Bender, Media Relations, Victoria
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Tel 0419 236 337
PO Box 4632, Knox VIC 3152

MPIN | Listening to the Land (Summer Walk): Arthurs Seat (Wonga), Dromana | Saturday 21 November 2015 | 7pm-9:30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Bringing people from different faith and cultural backgrounds together to connect or reconnect with the Land and to be moved to care for the Land.

Program: Our Summer Listening to the Land program begins at 7pm and includes an introductory talk, a listening walk, and a meditation. The walk and meditation will be led by Gunditjamara Elder, Uncle Lionel Lauch.

Meeting Point: Car Park @ Seawinds Gardens, Arthurs Seat Dromana 3936 VIC
Melways Reference: 159 D12
Information on Seawinds Gardens:

How: Meeting point is the car park at Seawinds Gardens, Arthurs Seat in Dromana.
Look forward to seeing you there – sunshine or rain.
The walk will conclude around 9:30pm.
Please note: This is a special nightime walk so please bring a torch and appropriate clothing.

Cost: The event is by donation.


The Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Network.
Contact: Judy O’Donnell (H): 03 5974 4969 (M): 0400 088 410

The Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Network (MPIN) acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of the land, the Boonwurrung/Bunurong people, part of the Kulin Nation, and their elders past and present.

PWC | Declaration on Climate Change of the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions

[Edited extract from public address]

The Parliament's Pathway to Paris

Three weeks ago, nearly ten thousand members of the world's faith and spiritual communities committed to rise in action to save the only earth we have.

Three weeks from now, members of the world's most powerful nations will gather in Paris to make decisions that will determine the fate of our planet and all living beings.

This isn't the first time the global interfaith movement has risen to strive for sustainability for all life. But the recent 2015 Parliament clarified and emphasized the urgency and cooperation with which we must act.

We recognize climate degradation poses a risk that every gain in worldwide development will be rendered futile should we fail to establish and adhere to international guidelines to regulate and reverse the systems which have created this mess.

It may be that now, for the first time, the interfaith movement has reached critical mass around the world to ensure our actions secure the attention of our global leaders.

The mission of the Parliament of the World's Religions has been clear in stating:
The Parliament of the World's Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

To accomplish this, individuals and communities who are share this goal are invited to join us.


NEMBC | INVITATION TO ATTEND | Radioactive Youth Media Conference | Friday 27 November 2015

[Edited extract from public address]

ARE you a culturally diverse young person who is interested in working in the media?

What: Young people of diverse backgrounds are invited to come along to hear inspiring stories, learn from industry professionals and network with young broadcasters and media makers from around Australia.

Why: The NEMBC Radioactive Youth Media Conference is the only event of its kind in Australia which brings together young community radio broadcasters, media makers and community organisations from a diverse range of multicultural backgrounds.

Who: Organisers of the 2015 National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC) Radioactive Youth Media Conference, are encouraging young people of diverse backgrounds to come along to this special event.

Where: Oaks on Market, 60 Market St, Melbourne

Full program includes:
  • presentations
  • Q&A panels and 
  • workshops

Headed up by keynote speaker Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, digital entertainment and lifestyle editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Other key speakers and presenters include award-winning SBS journalist, Santilla Chingaipe, the General Manager of SYN Media – Australia’s only radio station for people under 25 – Tess Lawley and NEMBC President, Tangi Steen.

The day will also include a performance by Eloji, a Melbourne based hip-hop artist who has just released his first original EP The Ugly Side.

Participants will have lunch provided and the NEMBC are offering travel subsidies to enable those who live outside of Melbourne to attend.


KHT | Basket weaving workshop with Donna Blackall | Friday 27 November 2015 | 12pm -1pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Sample a little Koorie skillfulness by learning techniques of basket weaving.

Where: Koorie Heritage Trust, Level 3 Yarra Building, Federation Square

Cost: $15

How: Book


Koorie Heritage Trust Inc
Levels 1 & 3, Yarra Building, Federation Square | Melbourne VIC 3000 | Australia
tel +61 3 8662 6300 | fax +61 3 9602 4333

KHT acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Melbourne, the people of the Kulin Nation.

KHT | Artist Talk with Georgia MacGuire | 21 November 2015 | 2-3pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Explore Wominjeka: A New Beginning exhibition now showing at The Koorie Heritage Trust's new home and closing Sunday 22 November

Be further inspired in the final weekend for an artist talk by Georgia MacGuire on her feather flower work Emblem. Georgia will also provide a demonstration of her use of the paper bark material from which the flowers are made and discuss the powerful messages behind the work.  

Where: Koorie Heritage Trust Gallery, Level 1 Yarra Building, Federation Square 

Cost:  FREE 

How: Book


Koorie Heritage Trust Inc
Levels 1 & 3, Yarra Building, Federation Square | Melbourne VIC 3000 | Australia
tel +61 3 8662 6300 | fax +61 3 9602 4333

KHT acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Melbourne, the people of the Kulin Nation.

LIFC | 'Love in full colour' Launch Screening | Thursday 3 December 2015

Next GEIFN Goes
[Edited extract from public address]

Discover the shared humanity and common goals between personal headlines and public sensationalism.

What: Be present at the next cut of this local documentary about what it is like to be a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex (GLBTI) individual in present day Victoria.

These past few months Director Suzi Taylor and her team have been re-editing the film (it's now 15 minutes longer than earlier in the year). Putting the sheen on with the colour grade and creating a beautiful crisp audio edit to do justice to the wonderful stories - post-production which was only possible thanks to generous donations through the Kickstarter campaign. 

When: Arrive 6.30pm for 7pm sharp screening (Running time: 45 mins). Followed by launch party on-site at Lido bar

Where: Lido Cinema, Level 1, 675 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3121 (Plenty of parking available behind the cinema, or it's 1 minute's walk from Glenferrie Station)

How: Contact Carey to be part of his group (limit of 5) or additional tickets can be individually purchased online at

Please note - It is very important to book as seats are limited. (The screening of the first version of this film earlier this year sold out within just a few days, so please book early to avoid disappointment.)


AVID | Information Sessions / Webinars | 10 & 16 November 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

An Australian resident and hinking about volunteering overseas.

AVID will be holding next webinar sessions on:
Tuesday 10 November @ 5.00pm
Discussions with an AVI Country Director
AVI recruiters Max Campos and Sue Baker chat with AVI Country Director Musa Naroro in Tanzania and respond to your questions live
Monday 16 November @ 1.30pm
Getting ready to apply
AVI recruiters Lucy Taylor and Sean Lynch chat about how to prepare your application and respond to your questions live
How to participate: 


National Office (Melbourne)
71 Argyle Street (PO Box 350), Fitzroy Victoria 3065, Australia
Tollfree: (within Australia) 1800 331 292
Fax: +61 3 9419 4280
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an Australian Government initiative. This program has been developed by Australian Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.

VWBT | Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust 2016 Grants | NOW OPEN

[Edited extract from public address]

Imagine. A world where women and girls stand equally with men and boys, and take up all of life’s opportunities without fear, harm, discrimination or disadvantage.

Investing in Women and Girls.
The Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust is a philanthropic, grantmaking entity that funds innovative projects to improve conditions for Victorian women and girls.

2016 Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust Grants
Since 1985, generous and sustained support has led to over $6.5 million in funding for nearly 540 of our grants. Grants are funded through donations and interest earned on our investments. Our grants support some ground-breaking projects – including major initiatives to address domestic violence and abuse, as well as important grass roots work in the community. Year after year, people’s donations have enabled us to invest in projects for women and girls across the State and we sincerely thank them.
To view our grants for 2015 click here.
To find out grant requirements visit
Applications Close: 1 February 2016


The Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust
A public ancillary fund with donation tax-deductibility status.
Address: 9th floor, 313 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Tel: 03 9642 0422
Fax: 03 9642 0016
Opening hours: 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

PCM | People’s Climate March: Australian Religious Response to Climate Change | Friday 27 November | from 5pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Something special has happened about climate change and protecting the world's most vulnerable people this year. In different ways, many faiths have spoken with one clear message: We must all care for sacred Earth.

Come make a place in People’s March Friday 27 November as people of no faith, atheist or from across faiths: Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, Christian, Hindu and Baha’i are welcomed.

This was the message from Pope Frances in his encyclical which emphasised relationship between concern for nature and global social justice. It was the message from the Dalai Lama who said strong action on climate is about the survival of humanity. And its was the message in the Islamic declaration calling on Muslims to care for the planet and asking world leaders to phase out the use of fossil fuels.

Such sentiments, shared across many faiths, mean that as our world leaders meet in Paris for the United Nations climate summit, faith communities will gather in Australian cities and walk alongside people in hundreds of major cities around the world.

By coming together we are showing our moral obligation to care for sacred Earth and the most vulnerable people. We are marching because we want our leaders to listen and because we want a just transition to 100% clean energy and an end to fossil fuels.

Australia has the technological and economic capacity to deliver on these policies. It is an opportunity to play our part in addressing the common environmental challenge humanity faces. It would not only create a safer, more stable climate for Australia and other vulnerable countries; it would also bring added economic benefits.

How: On Friday 27 November, join faith participants at 5pm outside Wesley Church, 148 Lonsdale St, for a short “Farewell to coal” before moving to the main march at 5.30pm at State Library, Swanston St, Melbourne.


ACRATH | People are NOT for sale

[Edited extract from public address]

What is human trafficking? How big is global trafficking? Who are those affected most? Why does it affect people in Australia?

These are just some of the questions being addressed by many responding to the growing need.

Learn about the many forms of slavery and human trafficking in today’s worlds by visiting the website of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH).

ACRATH includes the following three responses:
  1. Raise awareness of human trafficking, its causes and the scope for action* Develop and promote educational materials/resources
    * Promote awareness of human trafficking within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Australia
    * Provide a responsive website and social media presence to presenting issues, engage with members and the wider community
    * Provoke engagement to take action locally and more widely.
  1. Work to ensure the rights and complex needs of people trafficked into Australia are met. These needs may include: retraining, employment assistance, access to financial compensation, companioning, repatriation assistance (if desired), and medical, dental, psychological & other health needs* Work with client service NGOs to provide pastoral support to people who have been trafficked
    * Work to ensure people trafficked into Australia can access their rights
  1. Collaborate with like-minded organisations in Australia, in the Asia Pacific region, and globally to advocate for measures to address human trafficking* Work in networks to ensure slavery-free supply chains of goods such as chocolate, cotton, clothing, seafood
    * Use the language of addressing the demand for cheap goods produced by trafficked labour, forced labour and child labour
    * Work in networks to advocate for systemic change to eliminate human trafficking 


Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH). Endorsed by Catholic Religious Australia – the peak body for 190 religious orders in Australia, representing 8000 religious sisters, brothers and priests.

PWR | REPORT | Salt Lake, Utah, USA | 15-19 October 2015

[Edited extract from public address]

Dear Friends,


If you were there you already know it: it was simply amazing.

The major news reports are echoing what people keep telling me. “This was the best Parliament ever!”

It was a milestone:

  • Nearly 10,000 participants 
  • It was the first women's assembly
  • It was the first live streamed Parliament: 28,000 views there
  • The largest number of programs with 1,800 presenters
  • The largest number of exhibitors and films including Oprah’s Belief
  • The original documents of Gandhi and pieces of art in the cultural hall
  • The first Mayor’s panel on compassionate cities along with the first panel of police chiefs 
  • Imam of Mecca for the first time attended the Parliament
And who says there is no free lunch in America, Sikhs came with kirpan and conquered the Parliament by sharing their langar tradition all five days.

People were saying "thank you" and "congratulations," but their lit faces were way ahead of their words. They meant every word of it. Spirits were simply uplifting.

My heart is filled with gratitude for each of you who attended or made it possible.

The Charter for Compassion and the United Religions Initiative stood with us from day one when we announced the Parliament in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable converted a Parliament venue, for the first time, into a sacred space and organized a beautiful night of Sacred Music in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

Thank you to our hosts with the most: the Utah Governor’s Office, two mayors- Ralph Becker and Ben McAdams, and Visit Salt Lake. The Rotary, the State of Utah, KAICCID and Claremont Lincoln University stepped up as major sponsors of the 2015 Parliament. These generous gifts afforded our producing much of the work which went into this event, gave us a Golden Banquet, and helped multiple speakers make the journey to the Parliament.

It was sincerely a joy for me to announce that:

  • women and young people under 30 made up just more than 65 percent of participants at the 2015 Parliament!
  • The majority of all emcees were women

I was honored to open the Parliament following the extraordinary procession of the indigenous peoples of Utah with the following words:

With the permission of the indigenous community, the original people of this land, on behalf of the board, with love in my heart, compassion in my mind and smiles on our faces, to reclaim the heart of our humanity, I declare this 6th Parliament of the World’s Religions open. 

And people kept their smiles on all five days long, although there were a lot of tears at heartfelt moments.

An executive team of fantastic women led efforts for the past year to bring it all together from Utah. Hundreds of volunteers were lined up each day at dawn to help our guests from around the world make their way to the hundreds of surprises awaiting every corner of the convention center.

And let's not forget the team of the Salt Palace, who were with us at every step to welcome the global interfaith movement, making special accommodations in respect to our diversity and unique requests.

I also want to give a resounding personal thanks to a beautiful Parliament staff that gave immeasurable energy, talent and time to make this event all it became: Stephen Avino, Lindsay Bartolini, Rayna Burke, Chelsea Canada, Amali Dabarera, Geoff Doiron, Michael Donahue, Dr. Larry Greenfield, Debbie Holstein, Molly Horan, Nafia Khan, Mendel Kranz, Donna Lake, Dr. Mary Nelson, Tracy Nicholas, Daniel Pacheco, Miriam Quezada, Sara Rahim, Brian Savage, Austin Sisson, Rangie Sin, Jacob Smyth, Susan Soleil, Haley St. Paul, Daniel Wolff, and volunteers who gave time to help out, including Chair Emeriti Howard Sulkin, Bob Thompson, and some great guys named Ted Miller and Frank Imhoff.

Chairing the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions is a memory I will forever treasure.

Thank you so much for your faith in the Parliament of the World's Religions.

Now let us get to work with the commitments we made. If you haven't signed the declarations, what are you waiting for?

In Peace,

Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid
Board Chair Parliament of the World's Religions

P.S. We are working hard to determine the next home base for the 2017 Parliament of the World's Religions. That news will reach our members first. Be sure to sign up soon.

YIN | AGM and Reflection on Life, Leader and Man who was William Barak | Corrected date: Wednesday 4 November 2015 | 5.45 for a 6.00pm start

[Edited extract from public address]

Where: Richmond Town Hall (Meeting Room), 333 Bridge Road, Richmond
Keynote Presentation: William Barak
Guest Speaker: Colin Hunter, a direct descendant of Barak.
William Barak witnessed the signing of the Batman Treaty as a boy in 1836. (He added William to his name in order to do business in the white world). He used the power of the pen to draw people to his cause. He was also an artist of considerable merit and his work hangs in the Melbourne Art Gallery. It depicts the ceremonial life of his people.
When he inherited the leadership of his people the Wurundjeri in the 1860's he continued their campaign for land rights until his death forty years later.

Followed by Q&A with Avraham Schwarz.  Avraham is Hon Secretary of Centre Of Melbourne's Multi-faith & Others Network (C.O.M.M.O.N.)

Followed by Annual General Meeting

Who: All are welcome. 


Yarra Interfaith Network. For more information or RSVP:

JCMA | AGM and Keynote Speaker Dr Hass Dellal AO | Thurs 19 Nov | Arrive 6.45pm for 7.00pm start

[Edited extract from public address]

AGM and "Challenging Questions We Need To Ask Ourselves"

In his key note address ‘Challenging Questions We Need To Ask Ourselves’, Dr Hass Dellal AO will explore "How do we strengthen and build on our strong interfaith relationships and connections? How do we deepen the level of dialogue within and between our communities and maintain social cohesion?

Where: Cathedral Room, Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert Street, East Melbourne. Google maps link:

Guest Speaker: Dr Hass Dellal AO, Executive Director, Australian Multicultural Foundation and Deputy Chairman of the SBS Board of Directors.

Dr Hass Dellal AO has extensive experience nationally and internationally in multicultural affairs and over 25 years’ experience in policy, management, community development and programming for cultural diversity. He is Chair of the Centre for Multicultural Youth, Co-Chair of the Victoria Police Multi-faith Council and a Member of the Australian Multicultural Council. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to Multiculturalism, the Arts and the Community in 1997, and the Centenary of Federation Medal in 2003. In 2015, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the multicultural community through leadership and advisory roles, and for advancements of inclusiveness and social harmony, to youth, and to the broadcast media.

Book: go to Evenbrite or RSVP by calling 03 9287 5590 or email:
Light refreshments supplied (Kosher & Halal)


Ginette Everest, Executive Officer
Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia (JCMA)
383 Albert St., East Melbourne Vic 3002
Tel (03) 9287 5590 / Mobile: 0400 211 221