KHT | EXHIBITION | Koorie Art Show | Currently until 26 February 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

The annual Koorie Art Show showcases the diverse talent of Victoria’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in one inclusive space. 

The Show is an open-entry, non-acquisitive award exhibition, presenting the work of emerging to senior, Koorie and Victorian based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Where: Koorie Heritage Trust Gallery, Federation Square

When: 7 days a week, 10am to 5pm | Closed all Victorian and National Public Holidays

Cost: Free entry, however all works are available for sale to the public.

Exhibition launched and announcement of prizes 10 December:
Judged by Bev Murray, Program Manager Link-Up Victoria, Aboriginal Child Care Agency; Paola Balla, Artist/Curator; and Clinton Nain, Artist/Curator, entries were eligible for prizes including:
  • Creative Victoria Award for Excellence in Any Media $5,000
  • RMIT University Award $3,000
  • Kane Construction Award $500
  • Moogji Club People’s Choice Award $500
Koorie Heritage Trust
Levels 1 & 3, The Yarra Building
Federation Square, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 03 8662 6300

The Koorie Art Show is a Victorian Government initiative through Creative Victoria in partnership with the Koorie Heritage Trust, and is sponsored by Kane Construction.

CoPP | ANNOUNCING | Community Building, Funding and Subsidy Opportunities | January-February 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

Funding is available for activities that promote social justice, inclusion, creativity, equity, health and wellbeing, recreation and arts, and cultural heritage with the The City of Port Phillip municipality.

There are a number of ways groups and individuals can apply for funding or grants. Make sure you don't miss out on applying for one of the opportunities throughout the year.

Grant and subsidy opportunities include:
  • Community Grants
  • Cultural Development Fund
  • Local Festivals Fund
  • Multicultural Celebration Fund
  • Rupert Bunny Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship 
  • Seniors Festival Grants
  • Small Poppy Neighbourhood Grants
  • Small Poppy Village Grants
  • Town Hall Subsidy (Submissions now open, close midnight 8 January 2017)
  • Vibrant Acland Seed Grants
Community Meals Subsidy
Subsidies are available for the provision of healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate meals by local community groups and community organisations. Promoting social inclusion and community engagement by encouraging the contribution and participation of older residents, residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disabilities and people with complex needs.

Community Transport Subsidy
Buses are for use by local, not-for-profit community groups within the City of Port Phillip. The Hire Bus Programs specifically address needs of people from diverse backgrounds. Including: frail older people, people with disabilities and/or their carers, people from CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) backgrounds, people who identify as GLIBTI (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex), people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island background, people experiencing financial disadvantage (including people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness), and people with dementia. Council endeavours to provide a bus for approved group’s needs and hope you enjoy your outing.

Grant information sessions and training in grant application writing will be held in February 2017.

Consideration of minor donations and grants to individuals, organisations and community groups. Submissions now open | close 4pm 31 May 2017

City of Port Phillip
Private Bag 3, St Kilda Vic 3182
99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda 3182
Tel: (03) 9209 6777

SoFiA | LECTURES | Monthly | Thursday | 7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

'Sea of Faith' is not a church, but a network of people who are seeking a radical reappraisal of past religious traditions in order to meet today's spiritual challenges.  

The SoFiA Network promotes the open exploration of religion, spirituality and meaning. The Network affirms the continuing importance of religious thought and practice even though it acknowledges that religion, like art and poetry, is a purely human creation.

Program: Lectures are followed by questions, discussion and refreshments. 
All viewpoints are welcome.

Where: Carlton Library Meeting Room, 667 Rathdowne Street (corner Newry Street), North Carlton.  Melways Map: 2B J2.

Cost: Gold coin donation appreciated.

15 December 2016
Dr. Colin Goodwin  (Independent Scholar) "Christian Doctrines and Intellectual Respectability: A Reappraisal of Thomas Aquinas."

16 February 2017
Carl Turney  (Sunday Assembly) "Love: Saint Valentine and his Day."

16 March 2017
Tim Harding  (Australian Skeptics) "Europe's Dark Ages."

20 April 2017
Neil Blood (UCA) "Exploring Don Cupitt's suggestion: To give ethics priority in defining and shaping religious life."

18 May 2017
Andrew Rooke  (Theosophical Society) "Ghosts: Do they actually exist? If so, what are they?"

15 June 2017
Peter Sanders (UCA) "Pondering the Universe."

20 July 2017
Paul Tonson (Progressive Agnostic Christian) "The Faith-Freethought Divide is a False Dichotomy."

17 August 2017
Jennifer Jaeger (Ankh Antiquarian Books) (Topic will be an aspect of Egyptology.)

21 September 2017 
Reem Sweid  (Muslims for Progressive Values) "Can Islam be a progressive religion?"


SoFiA Network Website:  

SoFiA Victoria Email: 

SoFiA Network Website - Members and non-members:  You are encouraged to comment on the Articles and Blogs, as well as to participate in the on-going discussions in the Blog Archives.

CoPP | NOMINATIONS OPEN | Local Representatives for Community Grants Panel | CLOSE | 12noon Wednesday 11 January 2017.

[Edited extract from public address]

The City of Port Phillip Community Grants Panel receives, assesses and authorises funding available for activities that promote social justice, inclusion, creativity, equity, health and wellbeing, recreation and arts, and cultural heritage with the municipality. The unpaid position is for 2 years, meeting annually.

The ideal candidate is passionate about their community, have broad knowledge of local non-profit sector with surplus time to contribute in a behind-the-scenes way so others can thrive. Click here to find out more.

The panel meets annually to assess grant applications and make recommendations to Council.

Expressions of interest close Wednesday 11 January 2017.

City of Port Phillip
Private Bag 3, St Kilda Vic 3182
99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda 3182
Grants and Community Projects Officer
Tel: (03) 9209 6874

SbSP | Growing neighbourliness, street by street, building sustaining communities

[Edited extract from public address]

Meet your neighbours and expand the relationships with the people you know in the surrounding streets into a community.

Irene Opper, St Kilda resident and national manager of the Street by Street Project says 'as a simple way to get started, drop an invitation for a casual gathering at a local cafe, park or community centre into people's letter boxes.

'Once people meet each other, it's much easier to make friends and start to feel as if you live in a community'.

There are already four Street by Street neighbour groups in Port Phillip. Check out the website for how you can start yours.

Street by Street Project
Irene Opper

CAV APRA AMCOS | RAISING RESPECT | Changed My Life: Creativity, Aspirational Messages, Copyright | NOW OPEN

[Edited from public address]

Do you remember a time when a book, song, movie, play or poem made you laugh, cry or think differently about the world?

Post about what unforgettable creative work left an impression on you at

Get aboard with others from Australian icons such as Rove McManus, Isobelle Carmody, Reg Mombassa and Tara Moss feature on website

Share a video, your own photo or just words on FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram using any or all of these hashtags: #respectcreators | #poweredbycopyright | #freeisnotfair

Individuals can also pledge to respect the work of creators because their work can be so life-changing!
Personal choices around accessing creative content can have a real impact. Books, songs, plays, movies, art and even poems are powered by copyright.

Individuals show respect for creators by pledging to pay for the creations you love, asking before you use other people’s creative work, crediting creators for their work and letting others know that it’s important to you. By showing your respect in this way, you can help an author, musician or artist to keep creating amazing and powerful works for us to enjoy.

Copyright helps take our Australian voices, our unique take on life, to the world.

Copyright Agency | Viscopy collects fees and distributes royalties to creator members for the reuse of text and images. Managers if the educational copying schemes, the Commonwealth, State and Territory government copying schemes, the Resale Royalty scheme for artists, and the special provisions for institutions assisting people with print disabilities – all by appointment by the Government or by the Copyright Tribunal.

help music creators get paid for their work and give music users easy ways to legally play and copy what they like. Royalties keep the music coming and ensure the industry’s future. And that’s what we all want to hear.

Copyright Agency | Viscopy
Level 11, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney 2000 NSW
Toll-free phone number (landlines only): 1800 066 844
Tel: +612 9394 7600

Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) 
16 Mountain St, Ultimo NSW 2007
General Enquiries: Tel: (02) 9935 7900; Email:; Website:
Telephone: Music Customer: 1300 852 388; Music Creators: 1800 642 634
Email: Music Creators:; Music Customer:

GOVV | VACANCY | Member positions of Sustainability Victoria Board | CLOSE Monday 16 January 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

Expressions of Interest are sought to fill upcoming Sustainability Victoria Board Member positions.

Appointments are expected to commence from 1 July 2017 for a term not exceeding five years determined by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

Full details at the Victorian Government's Get on Board website or by calling Jayson Leahy on (03) 9637 9297.

State Government of Victoria
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Tel: 136 186

KHT | EXHIBITION | Listen to Your Elders | Currently until 29 January 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

An exhibition featuring oral history recordings collected from the 1980s through to 2016 by the Koorie Heritage Trust.

These recordings share experiences and knowledge of our Koorie Elders and explore significant roles Elders hold in the Victorian Koorie community.
‘That’s an old tradition that we’ve all grown up with. Listen to your Elders. Respect your Elders.’  Aunty Iris Lovett Gardiner, Gunditjmara, 2003.
Explore extra online content via the links below:
Grace Sailor (Yorta Yorta) ‘When I was taken away I was only a toddler’ filmed by Tim Kanoa 2006
Fay Carter (Yorta Yorta/Dja Dja Wurrung) ‘Your home was where your people were’ filmed by Wayne Atkinson 1988
Elizabeth Morgan Hoffman (Yorta Yorta) ‘Getting living quarters for young mothers’ filmed by Wayne Atkinson c.1980s
Elizabeth Morgan Hoffman (Yorta Yorta) & Colin Walker (Yorta Yorta) ‘Talking on Country’ filmed by Wayne Atkinson 1988

Where: Koorie Heritage Trust Level 1 & 2, Yarra Building, Federation Square

When: 7 days a week, 10am to 5pm | Closed all Victorian and National Public Holidays

Cost: Free entry.

Koorie Heritage Trust
Levels 1 & 3, The Yarra Building
Federation Square, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 03 8662 6300

This exhibition has been possible with the support of the Victorian Seniors Festival, the Pratt Foundation and the Victorian Government through the Victorian Seniors Festival and the Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria.

VLGA | CALLING NOW | Citizen observers for Timor-Leste elections | March-April 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

Experience new democracy first-hand, this is an opportunity for self-funded volunteers to observe the Timor-Leste elections in March-April 2017. Register your interest now.

This Australian Timor-Leste Observer Mission is being conducted by the Victorian Local Governance Association and with the Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Network. Friends of Suai/Covalima are organising local participation.

Victorian Local Governance Association
Friends of Suai/Covalima
Pat Jessen
Tel: 9209 6777

TMF | VACANCY | Be A New Approach for Australia’s Cultural Sector | 2 December 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

Get involved in creating a public, expert, independent voice championing investment and return in arts and culture in Australia.

Defend and promote the benefit of intellectual and creative life as a critical crucible of the national future in increasingly difficult conditions.

Australia benefits from an informed independent entity which has the necessary resources and public authority to advance a coherent, comprehensive policy position. Together, we will build better political and institutional settings and allied public commentary.

The Myer Foundation, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and the Keir Foundation are now seeking expressions of interest from applicants capable of delivering a program to address this situation.

The Myer Foundation

A collaborative approach between The Keir, Fairfax Family and Myer Foundations

WIKI | REPORT | Online Cost of Growing Knowledge | December 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet has free access to the sum of all human knowledge.

Help Wikipedia continue its task in its annual end of year appeal.

Today, thanks to the support of millions of volunteer contributors and supporters, users can wander Wikipedia for hours. With more than 40 million Wikipedia articles and 35 million freely licensed images, Wikipedia can answer almost any question, and take inquirers places never been.

Donations support the creation and sharing of free knowledge in real, practical ways. It helps Wikipedia be fast, secure, and accessible to everyone in the world. It helps Wikipedia bring free access to knowledge in places where high mobile data costs prevent people from going online. It helps Wikipedia support people who are digitizing knowledge currently locked away in analog archives. It protects Wikipedia from threats to free knowledge and the open internet.

"When I made Wikipedia a non-profit, people warned me I’d regret it. Over a decade later, it’s the only top ten site run by a non-profit and community of volunteers.

Has it crossed my mind how much we could have made if it had ads? Sure. But it wouldn’t be right. We wouldn't be able to trust it.

To protect our independence, we'll never run ads. We're sustained by donations averaging about $15. If everyone reading this gave $3, our fundraiser would be done in an hour. It’s easy to ignore this message; most people do.

But I hope you’ll think about how useful Wikipedia is in your life. It’s there when you tell yourself, 'Okay, I actually need to learn about this.' With articles and data sources researched by thousands of people, you can verify the facts.

Please help us keep Wikipedia online and growing.

Thank you."
Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia Founder

Check out the past year's report

If in surplus, consider donating

Wikimedia Foundation
149 New Montgomery, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105

VINNIES | REPORT | Christmas and Everyday | December 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

There are thousands of Australians out there who personify heroism. They're strong, they're brave, they're tough. But they're not athletes or celebrities.

Vinnies have first hand experience with the women who find the courage to flee from abusive households, men who find strength to overcome disadvantaged upbringings and parents who make incredible sacrifices to keep their children safe.

They're people who Vinnies and its volunteers assist each and every day. In the coming year, Vinnies expects to assist 1.3 million people, provide 365,164 bed nights and 2 million hot meals.

Help Vinnies contribute to rebuilding their strength. If in surplus, consider donating online or Tel 131812.

The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia, Victoria (Vinnies)
43 Prospect Road Box Hill 3128
Postal Address: Locked Bag 4800, Box Hill 3128
Tel: (03) 9895 5800

TSF | REPORT | Raising children's experience of true meaning of Christmas | December 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

The Smith Family cite 662,100 Australian children live in jobless families.

Children starting in disadvantaged backgrounds often lack school essentials, ongoing ancillary support that changes as the child's needs change and individuals may never catch up to classmates.

82% of funds raised goes towards delivering programs, in 2015 this meant direct assistance to 127,424 children. To prepare for the 2017 educational year, The Smith Family wishes to raise $3.66m to provide life changing educational support to 8,715 children in need around Australia.

If in surplus and able to assist, donations accepted online or via Tel 1800 024 069.

The Smith Family
Level 9, 117 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 10500, Sydney NSW 2001
Tel: 1300 326 459

The Smith Family is a children's charity helping disadvantaged Australian children to get the most out of their education, creating better futures for themselves.

ASRC | REPORT | Christmas Wishes of Freedom and Safety | December 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

ASRC reports right now there are 24,500 people in Australia's refugee determination system. Facing extraordinary barriers, hundreds of people returned to face potential persecution or other significant harm.

For financial calendar year ended 30 June 2016, ASRC continued to provide many benefits from community response to people seeking asylum. Some of these include engaging 85 staff, 1200 volunteers serving 351,130 hours to support and empower 3000 people. Served 61,250 delicious meals. Provided 17,682 nights of shelter and 5296 hours of English lessons. In return, 91 members actively volunteer in community, 3 members secured tutoring roles in Victoria University, 6 started their own business, 44 employees in ASRC Social Enterprises, 220 gained long term employment, 300 enrolled in sponsored VET Courses.

Check out the Detention and Refugee Statistics.
Check out the 2015-16 Annual Report Snapshots, p4 and p6

If in surplus, consider donating to ASRC in its delivery of more services on the ground and help people seeking asylum build safer, brighter futures. Just $60 provides one important legal consultation to help a person lodge their claim for protection.

Donations can be made online or tel: 1300 ‭692 772‬

Thank you
The ASRC only achieves all that it does with the generosity and commitment of each and every one of our donors, supporters and partners. To absolutely everyone who has supported us, we say a heartfelt thank you. We could not exist without the support of people like you standing beside us.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
214-218 Nicholson Street, Footscray Melbourne, VIC 3011 Australia
Tel: 03 9326 6066

PWR | REPORT | Giving Tuesday | 29 November 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

Parliament of the World's Religions is a non-profit organization committed to bridging religious, cultural, and ideological divides, we have historically refrained from endorsing political candidates. We will continue to live under that model.

However, this does not prevent us from condemning the things that we refuse to
accept— affronts to moral principles that transcend the realm of politics and enter the realm of humanity.

Stand for the Parliament on Giving Tuesday:
We will not accept hate. Violence and derogatory speech levied against any person (or group of people) based on skin color, country of origin, sexual identity, religion, legal status or other factor, is contemptible.

We will not accept the denial of humanity’s negative impact on our environment. We condemn this denial as calculated, willful ignorance that is shortsighted and self-serving, and we see the long term effects of that denial as akin to violence against future generations.

We will not accept the repeated abuse of the rights and bodies of indigenous peoples, the silencing of their voices, and the diminishing of their importance in their home countries.

We will not accept mass deportation or incarceration, or the insidious philosophy of “they don’t belong here” that exists at the root of such practices.

We will not accept the registry of groups based on religion or ethnicity. This is a deplorable tactic that has been used in the past to brutalize, bankrupt, incarcerate, and murder, "legally" and efficiently.

We will not accept the normalization of violence against women, whether that normalization comes from religious leaders, authority figures, or the person next door.

For those of you who are affected by these things, you are strong. You have overcome worse, and you have thrived under similar rhetoric and will continue to do so. But as long as you are weathering this storm, we will stand beside you, and we ask that you join with us. We have the ability to amplify your voices, and you have the power to shape and help direct our future.

Giving Tuesday is 29 November, and it finds us in the midst of planning our most important Parliament to date. This Parliament will arrive at a “point of no return” in terms of climate change. It will arrive during a period of global political unrest. It will come on the coattails of conflict and of injustice.

But even in the face of disturbing global events, we hold the belief that there is no power on earth that prevents good people from doing good things.

And that is precisely why this gathering must happen. We have the opportunity to join together as a thousands-strong global community, in one place and for one purpose; of making the world a peaceful, just and sustainable place for those who inherit it from us.

Help us to do good.
I'll Make a #GivingTuesday Gift for the Parliament
We are grateful for your contribution!

Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions
70 East Lake Street, Suite 205, Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Tel: 312-629-2990

PPLS | MUSIC | Rebetiko | Saturday 3 December 2016 | 11am-12pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Rebetiko is often called the Greek blues, since like the blues, it grew out of a specific urban environment and reflected the harsh realities of an oppressed subculture's lifestyle. 

Rebetiko has always been the music of the poor and the dispossessed, combining different musical styles of the region and with lyrics describing the joy, the sorrow, and the difficulties of everyday life.

Join Con Kalamaras and Illias Chatziemmanouil for a morning of Greek Rebetiko music!

Where: Emerald Library, South Melbourne

Cost: Free

Bookings: online through Eventbrite.
Event booked out? Put your name down to be notified if a space becomes available. Just select ‘Add to Waitlist’ on the Eventbrite listing page.  You’ll need to do this for each person you want to add to the list.

Need to cancel?  Please let us know if you can no longer make your booking. We get a lot of people on the waitlist who might miss out if you can’t come.

Port Phillip Library Service
Tel: 9209 6655

ASRC | APPEAL | Festively Foodbank

[Edited extract from public address]

Buy a virtual Festive Food Basket for family and friends this year! 

Give a Christmas gift of food to people seeking asylum in our community.  Simply select a basket of your choice ($25, $50, $75, $100 or a whopping $500 for groups) and we will send you a special Christmas e-card to deliver to your friends and family as a thank you! Or simply for yourself!

Your generous donation of food is giving the spirit of generosity, telling those who are doing it tough in our community that we care. Just like us, they have the right to enough healthy food, which means enough to feed their families.

This Christmas, you can help fill our Foodbank shelves and ensure that each person that comes through our doors will not go hungry!  
Click here to choose your gift basket!

Food drive time...

The Foodbank relies on the community to provide 85% of the food on our shelves!  Each week we welcome approx 600 people through our doors and we just can't fill their trolleys without you. At the moment we have way too many empty shelves at the end of the day and for this time of year it is a real concern to us! Can you help us by organising a Christmas Food Drive?

It is so inspiring when school and community groups deliver their food drive collections! To see that young students are getting involved and making a practical contribution to benefit others just warms our hearts, and the hearts of our ASRC members.

So get a group of friends together, maybe at work, at church, your scout group and help to make a difference this Christmas for people seeking asylum. We can send you a poster with what food we need most urgently, so complete the form below and start your drive today!
Click here and Sign up for a Christmas Food Drive!

We wish you and yours a very happy festive season and may 2017 bring you joy! 

At this time of year The Foodbank sits back and reflect on the extraordinary efforts our Foodbank community donors and supporters have offered us! Thank you for your continued participation in providing food security for our members during their time of hardship.  Food will always be a comfort to us all and particularly as many of us enjoy this festive season with family, friends and amazing celebrations with food!! So we say thanks again and look forward to doing it all again in 2017.

Thanks for being part of the ASRC Foodbank this year.

ASRC Foodbank
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
214-218 Nicholson Street, Footscray Melbourne, VIC 3011 Australia
Tel: 03 9326 6066

SSIOA | PUBLIC EVENT | Where's the Joy? | Saturday 3 December 2016 | 5-8pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Come, Experience the true joy of Christmas in Oneness and Compassion. 

The highlight of this Community Event is a One-act Play entitled: “The Other Wise Man

Other features of the program are:
Stalls for Charity Organisations
Christmas Activities for Children
Christmas Nativity Scene by Children
Christmas Carols & Songs
Vegetarian finger-food will be served.

Cost: Free event.

Who: All welcome.

Where: Nossal High School, 100 Clyde Rd, Berwick, VIC 3806

Bookings: online through EventBrite

Sathya Sai International Organisation of Australia
Gary Torpy 0405 452 575, Email:
Vandana Rama 0419 357 316; Email:

Sathya Sai International Organisation of Australia & PNG (Victoria) in collaboration with The Casey Multifaith Network

FCCV | ACKNOWLEDGMENT | International Day of People with Disability | 3 December 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

Statement concerning People with Disability on 13 November 2016

As representatives of many religious traditions and different faiths, we stand together in affirming all people have gifts and contributions enlivening and strengthening the community to which they belong. We seek to ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in the faith community of their choice.

The Council recognises the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (2006) which states discrimination should not occur on the basis of religion amongst other factors. Furthermore, the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992, (DDA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against people on the basis of disability.

For people with disabilities, their families and carers, participation and belonging have at times been problematic because of a range of architectural, cultural and theological factors.

People with disabilities request the following from faith communities:
  1. their physical and sensory needs are addressed in order to be present at times of worship and social activity
  2. they experience a sense of unconditional welcome and belonging and are not treated differently on account of disability and
  3. they be consulted as to their particular participation in the life of their faith community.
Across the state, the Faith Communities Council of Victoria shares the call that faith communities and faith leaders play their part in ensuring that people marginalised by disability experience a sense of welcome and social inclusion, based on the principles of justice, equality and love.

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

Click here to view in pdf format

Faith Communities Council of Victoria
Mr Sandy Kouroupidis, Multifaith Officer
Mobile: 0412 670 369

For more information on Disability and Inclusion in Faith Communities read the following article ‘To belong, I need to be missed’ (also available in Easy English)

JCMAWC | CONFERENCE | Seasonal Celebrations Explained – Christmas, Chanukah & Muharram | Sunday 4 December 2016 | 2-5.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Learn more about the celebrations, ask questions and meet some new friends.

  • Ayesha Bux on Muharram (Muslim New Year)
  • Irene Donohoue Clyne on Christmas
  • Nomi Kaltmann on Chanukah (Jewish Festival of Lights). 
Everyone is invited to bring a plate of vegetarian food appropriate for their faith celebration at this time of the year to share with each other.

Where: Islamic council of Victoria, 66-68 Jeffcott St, West Melbourne
Google maps:

Who: Please note this is a women only event

Cost: $10, $5 concession

Bookings: online through EventBrite

The Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia (JCMA)
Women's Committee
Tel: (03) 9287 5590
Mob: 0400 211 221

PPLS | MUSIC | Klezmeritis | Wednesday 7 December 2016 | 6.30-7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Klezmeritis play infectious and soulful Eastern European Jewish Music with gypsy, jazz & middle-eastern influences.

Violinist Ernie Gruner studied klezmer in USA and East Europe in 1998 and 2008; accordionist Phil Carroll brings his passion for middle-eastern music; and double bassist Ron Hansen brings classical and jazz elements.

Where: St Kilda Library

Cost: Free

Bookings: online through Eventbrite
Event booked out? Put your name down to be notified if a space becomes available. Just select ‘Add to Waitlist’ on the Eventbrite listing page.  You’ll need to do this for each person you want to add to the list.
 Need to cancel? Please let us know if you can no longer make your booking. We get a lot of people on the waitlist who might miss out if you can’t come.

Port Phillip Library Service
Tel: 9209 6655

AIS | DINNER TALK | Muslim and Catholic Maryam Meal | Thursday 8 December 2016 | 6-9pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Taking Mary the Mother of Jesus as our inspiration, the theme of the reflections for this evening will be "Overcoming Challenges faced by Women of Faith".

Catholics and Muslims in Melbourne are invited to come to know each other as friends as we honour and strengthen the relationship between the Australian Intercultural Society and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Guest Speakers:
Arzu Yilmaz and Clara Geoghegan in conversation, moderated by Sr Cheryl Camp rsm

Where: Catholic Leadership Centre, Corner Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002

Cost: $50 each ticket

Bookings: online through TryBooking (for credit card)
Book by Phone or email (for cheque or cash):
David Schütz Tel: 03 9926 5708; Email:
Bookings close: Tuesday 6 December

Australian Intercultural Society and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
David Schütz 
Tel: 03 9926 5708

CCJV | LUNCH TALK | The Luncheon Club | "New Testament People" by Rabbi Raymond Apple AO RFD | Wednesday 14 December 2016 | 1pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Hear these engaging speakers discuss the topics, themes and discoveries of this revealing book.

  • Canon Dr Colleen O’Reilly is the Vicar of St George’s Anglican Church in Malvern. She is also a Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral and a member of various church bodies in Melbourne Diocese and nationally. She was Associate Dean of the then Melbourne College of Divinity from 1994-1999. In the 1970’s Colleen was part of the movement towards full acceptance of women into ordained ministry in the Australian Anglican Church. A significant part of that journey was the recovery of the stories of women in the scriptures as empowering for women of faith today. Colleen is married to the Revd Walter McEntee. She has two sons and is grandmother to three boys who live in London.
  • Rabbi Ralph Genende: Born in Zimbabwe, raised in South Africa Rabbi Ralph Genende is a well-known and popular Modern Orthodox Rabbi. Ralph was Senior Rabbi to the Auckland, New Zealand Jewish community for ten years. He then became College Rabbi at Mount Scopus College and rabbi of Beit Aharon congregation. Currently Rabbi Genende is Senior Rabbi of Caulfield Hebrew Congregation, one of Melbourne’s largest congregations, Senior Rabbi to the Australian Defence Force, Chair of the Religious Advisory Council to the Minister of Defence (RACS), Executive Member of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria, board member of AIJAC and member of the Premier's Mulitifaith Advisory Group. Rabbi Genende is a trained counsellor with a Masters degree from Auckland University. He is married to Caron, a psychologist and they have three children – Eyal, Daniella and Yonatan.
Where: Caulfield Hebrew Congregation, Shule Hall, 572 Inkerman Road, Caulfield 3161

Cost: $15 including Kosher light lunch.

Bookings: through the CCJ office, Tel (03) 9429 5212; email:

The Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria)
326 Church Street, Richmond VIC, 3121
Tel (03) 9429 5212

SKEBC | FUNDRAISER | Community Christmas Fete | Sunday 18 December 2016 | 2-6pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Fun for all ages and a chance to come together with family, friends and neighbours. Supporting St Kilda Gatehouse, a safe haven off the streets.

2-6pm | Lots of stalls, music and fun for everyone including:
Recycled clothes and shoes, Handbags, Social Enterprise, CDs, Jams, Plants, Cakes, Jewellery, Stocking Filliers, Books, Fashion, Aboriginal Art, Surprise Musical Acts, Community Face Painting, Bertie Beatles Boxes, Gluten Free, Ethical Gifts, Vegan and Paleo Treats, Sausage Sizzle.

6-8pm | Twilight Christmas Carols
Led by St Kilda's Solstice Singers Community Choir

Where: St Kilda Baptist Church, 9 Pakington Street, St Kilda

St Kilda Elsternwick Baptist Church
Tel: 9525 4620

PHAA | Solstice Healing the Heart | 18 December 2016 | 1-5pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A free community Interfaith, multicultural, environmental and spiritual gathering. Music, Fun & Food and lots more for your health and Well-being. 

Healing the Heart: My Heart + Your Heart + Our Heart = World Peace

Scheduled Program Includes:
  • Indigenous Smoke Ceremony
  • Inspiration Spiritual presenters
  • Multifaith and Local leaders
  • Releasing the Doves
Where: near Rotunda, Catani Gardens, Cnr Fitzroy Street and Beaconsfield parade, St Kilda Vic 3182


Planetary Healing Artists Australia

REPORT | GEIFN GOES | NGVA | EXHIBITION | Glenn Murcutt Architecture of Faith | 9 Aug 16 – 19 Feb 17 | 10am–5pm Daily

[Edited extract from public address]

A unique exhibition providing an in-depth exploration of the new Australian Islamic Centre at Hobsons Bay, Melbourne.

The Australian Islamic Centre sets out to define a new architectural language for contemporary Australian Islam, challenging our assumptions of historical architectural typologies and aesthetics. At the same time as respecting the fundamental principles and requirements of Islamic architecture, Murcutt has pushed beyond the semiotic language of the traditional mosque, reimagining its geometry, colours, materiality and spatial organisation to create an accessible contemporary place of worship, learning and community.

The new Australian Islamic Centre represents a progressive vision for architecture as a tool for cultural expression and enabler of intercultural dialogue in a tolerant multicultural society.

Where: NGV Australia, Federation Square, NGV Design Studio, Ground Level

Cost: Free Entry

Designed by renowned Australian architect Glenn Murcutt, who with Melbourne practice Elevli Plus colloborated with the Newport Islamic Council for nearly a decade to create this contemporary Australian mosque and Islamic centre. Importantly, this significant building has been funded and built by members of the local community. A living example of past successful migrants being welcomed, planting roots, building community by adapting historic practices to embrace new people, new time and new landscape.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Organisers, Hosts, and Participants for inspiring demonstration of daily endeavor to make strong community ties in a more peaceful world, received with gratitude.

ALSO | TALK | Tradition And Modernity: Murcutt And The Mosque | Sun 4 Dec | 2-2.30pm
Learn about the history and development of the mosque from its earliest beginnings to diverse formal and aesthetic interpretations across the globe, culminating in Glenn Murcutt’s modern take on tradition. Speaker Professor Philip Goad, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Chair of Architecture, The University of Melbourne
Where: NGV Australia, Federation Square Theatre, Ground floor, The Ian Potter Centre
Cost: Free
Bookings: Online through NGV

National Gallery Victoria Australia
Tel: 8662 1555

REPORT | GEIFN GOES | FCCV | CONFERENCE | Annual Victorian Interfaith Networks | Sunday 13 November 2016 | 12noon-4.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]
The Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference (VINC) is an annual grass-roots conference building capacity, understanding and sustainability of existing multifaith/interfaith networks. Bringing people up-to-date with current multifaith/interfaith matters and providing networking opportunities.

Registration opened in the main foyer providing participants time to peruse various and diverse community stands, meet and greet old and new friends alike while enjoying wonderful catering from the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre Catering.

Welcome, Official words and a keynote speech by Reverand Matt Glover on Faith and Social Inclusion. Matt shared his personal and professional experience with trying to undo some of the damage caused by religious adherents to people of sexual diversity. He implored all to adopt the “First Do No Harm” view in the ongoing daily human struggle against ignorance, prejudice and violence.

Workshop 1: Faith, Compassion and Justice
Each religion teaches ethical and moral precepts. Facilitator Gary Bouma AM, (UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations Asia Pacific) guided panelists and Audience through probing questions including:
-- How does your faith promote compassion and the seeking of justice?
-- How does your faith seek the good for all people?
-- How does your faith limit or impede individuals' impulses to care?

Discussion included: faith and ethics, diversity of views in each community, the challenge of change of the time, who determines goodness/evil and how, what constitutes justice, fairness and deserved caring.

Workshop 2: Voices of Youth: Faith, Interfaith and Multiculturalism
Facilitator Frances Prince (Multicultural & Interfaith Liaison Officer, JCCV) guided the inspirational panellists and Audience through a workshop providing inspiring, original insights and opinions.

Wide-ranging discussion included:
  • Faith or religion of panellist and panellist’s family, practices/rituals/traditions/values enjoyed and found meaningful within family and within religious community,
  • Interfaith dialogue and what it means to panellists on an individual level with a recounting of any Interfaith dialogue experiences. Assessing the merit of those occasions, listing positives and negatives, assessing worthiness of continuing Interfaith dialogue, and what might like that to look like.
  • Multiculturalism was defined from each panellists’ point of view, and descriptions of what a multicultural society looks like. Panellists were asked to consider the relationship between ideals of a multicultural society, purpose and role of interfaith dialogue through this process and if/why/how they are interconnected.

Workshop 3: Faith, Sexuality and Gender Diversity 
This workshop featured experts, faith leaders and people of Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths - exploring intersections, overlaps and collisions of faith, sexuality and gender diversity.
From a base of human dignity and respect, Facilitator Luke Gahan (Author and La Trobe University Researcher) guided panellists and audience to discuss personal, familial, peer and community experiences with:

  • obstacles faced for religious individuals and communities embracing gender diversity
  • justifications for permissible exclusions: when to hold opposing beliefs in tension and fostering belonging
  • shining examples of faith communities actively including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals and publicly challenging discriminatory, prejudiced or hate-filled attitudes

Workshop 4: “Say NO to Racism” Bystander Training
Facilitators Polykala use experiential learning to encourage participants to do, learn and reflect on the go through typically-found situations.

This was a snap-shot presentation into the Say No to Racism training that encourages and enables participants to take safe and constructive action against racism. Usually a full-day, the training covers interpersonal racism and its impacts, barriers to bystander action, the potential of bystander anti-racism and practical skills and tools to help people take action.

Participants of the workshop were introduced to strategies used for constructive and safe bystander action agains racism. It provided information on social barriers to bystander action and the relevance to faith-based communities. Participants had a chance to practice strategies to get a sense of how to diffuse, deescalate or resolve conflict in real life.

Art Displays Included:
  • Journey of Hope: the Art of Seeking Asylum. There was Art displayed from Baptcare’s Sanctuary, transitional housing program for people seeking asylum. Representing on this occasion eighteen nationalities, five religions and multiple forms of non-religious and post-religious spirituality. Trauma challenges, interrupts and changes human spirituality. Sanctuary recognises that art is a form of creative spiritual nurturing that provides affected people a means of making meaning, reconstructing capacity and building relationships with others and unfamiliar environments.
  • Disability and Faith: Exclusion and Embrace. Exhibited works by artists living with intellectual disability and providing a means to explore the inner self, physical and spiritual world. Acknowledging the struggles and joys found in the the experience of disability and faith.
Where: Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre - Corner of Bell Street & St Georges Road,  Preston VIC 3072

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to FCCV, Darebin City Council, Northern Interfaith Intercultural Network and State Government of Victoria for aspired leadership, inspired teamwork and free attendance. A memorable presentation, skilful programming, food and collective pride, received with gratitude.

Faith Communities Council of Victoria
Mr Sandy Kouroupidis, Multifaith Officer
Mobile: 0412 670 369

Darebin City Council
Mr Aziz Cooper, Interfaith Development Officer
Tel: (03) 8470 8519

This event is proudly supported by the Faith Communities Council of Victoria, Darebin City Council, Darebin Interfaith Council and the Office of Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship.

GEIFN | Media Mix | December

Approx 5 min reads

Greg Callaghan interviews "Counter-terrorism expert Anne Aly: 'I dream of a future in which I'm no longer needed'" via The Sydney Morning Herald

David Legge salutes the life, loves and living of John Legge, a "Fierce critic of mainstream economics spoke out against neoliberalism" via The Brisbane Times

Jane Howard shines a spotlight on a collaborative approach to tackling ignorance and diversity, race and inclusivity, gender and equity, sexuality and acceptance, while valuing playing for laughs as "Blaque Showgirls review – Indigenous take on cult film is loud, proud and camp" as via UK's The Guardian

Henrietta Cook and Timna Jacks explores some links between cultural influences on educational focus, maths and science when counting "Primary school maths: 'Eight students in every class have no idea what is going on'" via The Age

John Silvester explores a country's transformative approach to tackling youth gangs, crime and violence, reporting "Cut to the chase: How to deal with youth violence" via The Age

Caitlin Fitzsimmons explores time-tested tips from the kitchen table, recounting "Love your leftovers: saving money and the planet by reducing food waste" via The Age

Annabel Crabbe marks a 50 year milestone for equality in marriage, reminding us "The forgotten milestone that shows how far Australian women have come" via The Age

Julie Edwards shares the Jesuit experience of dealing with a youth train running off track, offering "Dealing with young offenders is difficult, but not impossible" via The Age

Royce Millar and Clay Lucas explores lateral approach to improve Australia's future educational outcomes as "Public land spruiked in Singapore" via The Age

Louise Adler explores stereotyping, provocative humour and relevance of timing in valuing free speech when "A Muslim, a Jew and a feminist walk into a bar" via WA Today

Timothy Boyle explores divisive attitudes and efforts to improve equality on a competitive playing field, asking "After Goodes, is it all the bad and the ugly?" via The Sydney Morning Herald

London's Telegraph salutes the life, living and leadership of Irina Rakobolskaya, and how this "Navigator for Night Witches answered Stalin’s call" via The Canberra Times

Bryony Gordon explores an example of a picture worth a 1,000 words, revealing "Instagram's Kevin Systrom, the man who became a billionaire – from selfies" via WA Today

Ross Gittins explores key predictors for job selection and working with happiness, reporting "Why some jobs are more satisfying than others" via The Canberra Times

Yaffa Eliach salutes the life, living and loss of "Yaffa Eliach: Holocaust survivor revived lost town in photographs" via WA Today

Marcus Strom shines a light on a collaborative and focused approach as news released that "CSIRO sells concentrated solar power technology to China" via The Canberra Times

Bridie Smith explains an example where scientific process is going back to the future, clinically finding that field tested "WWI antiseptic could fight common cold - and tackle superbugs" via The Age

Hannah Francis explores an art installation designed to unite form, function, flora, fauna and future when "Habitat-Filter emerges in Melbourne arts precinct" via The Sydney Morning Herald

Fergus Hunter reveals aspirations, efforts and inroads into reducing family violence when "Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten link arms to stand up to family violence in Indigenous communities" via The Canberra Times

Adam Morton explores an example of old-school farming techniques, increasing yields, sung praises and addressing "Water damage and the Great Barrier Reef" via The Narracoorte Herald

Olav Muurlink explores an example of different aspects to globalization, saluting the origin, living exemplar, life and how "Fred Hyde: Bangladesh charity founder worked until he was 95" via The Brisbane Times

Approx 20min presentations

Morgana Bailey: The danger of hiding who you are

Bassam Tariq: The beauty and diversity of Muslim life

Ricardo Semler: How to run a company with (almost) no rules

Guy Winch: Why we all need to practice emotional first aid

Jon Gosier: The problem with "trickle-down techonomics"

Keith Chen: Could your language affect your ability to save money?

Approx 5 min presentation

Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes - I'll Be Fine

Approx 2 min presentation

Sesame Street and Elmo with Romeo Santos - Quiero Ser Tu Amigo

Approx 3 min presentation

Dr. David Neiman - Cradles of Civilization - Lessons in The Lunar/Solar Calendar.
The Babylonians (1830-1531 BCE) developed a calendar based on the moon and the sun cycles. The Lunar calendar was designed to work in conjunction with the solar cycle by adding leap months known an "intercalary" months.

FIMO | TRAINING | Emergency First Response | Sunday 20 November 2016 | 11am-2pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Ensuring that those functioning within the Indian community are able to respond quickly and effectively to emergency situations that may be faced whilst providing services within the community. 

This program will see training/informative toolkits provided by CFA (Country Fire Authority), Ambulance Victoria, Victoria Police and professionals. Ethical considerations whilst involved in the community is a key aspect that will be traversed in this training.

FIMO launched the Train the Trainers program earlier this year and has successfully run the Spiritual Care Volunteer Training Program (designed by Spiritual Health Victoria) - delivered by Bhakta Dasa and Gabbi Sar Shalom. Training has also been provided in the use of the Indian Interfaith Guide (developed by FIMO with the support of the Victorian State Government's Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship).

Bookings: Essential. To participate in this program, submit your name, number and email on the following link .

Where: Museum India, 61 – 63 Foster St, Dandenong, VIC 3175

Inclusions: Light refreshments will be served.

Federation of Indian Origin Multi-Faith Organisation Inc
Revati Ilanko, Executive Officer
61-63 Foster St, Dandenong VIC 3175

AIS | REVEALS | Finding Spirituality through Art in the modern world | Jewish, Christian & Islamic Perspectives | Monday 21 November 2016 | 6pm to 7.30pm (Light refreshments served from 5.30pm)

[Edited extract from public address]

Be engaged with this lecture by world renowned academic Prof Ori Soltes, who in his own words has ‘spent a lifetime wrestling with questions that resonate through the history of the human experience’.

Prof Ori Soltes is currently based in Georgetown University (Washington DC), he teaches theology, philosophy and art history. Prof Soltes has been interviewed for a score of programs on archaeological, religious, art, literary and historical topics on CNN, History Channel & Discovery Channel.

His presentations are thought provoking, challenging and intellectually stimulating as can be seen on his presentations at the Chautauqua Institution, John Hopkins University & Rumi Forum.

He has nearly 250 publications including:
  • Our Sacred Signs: How Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source
  • Embracing the World: Fethullah Gulen's Thought and Its Relationship to Jalaluddin Rumi and Others
  • Searching for Oneness: Mysticism in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Traditions
  • Untangling the Tangled Web: Why the Middle East is Such a Mess
  • Preventing Violence and Achieving World Peace: The Contributions of the Gulen Movement
Where: Lecture Room K321, Monash University (Caulfield Campus), 900 Dandenong Rd, Caulfield East

Bookings: online through EventBrite
Tel: 03 9867 2248

Cost: Free

Considerations: Please try to aim for a 5:30pm arrival as light refreshments will be available. There are parking options available at the university. Feel free to share with your networks.

Australian Intercultural Society (AIS)
Tel: (03) 9867 2248

MIN | FORUM | Faith and Disabilities | Friday 25 November 2016 | 10.30am-12pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Hear speakers from different faiths talk on the concept of disability in their respective faiths and participate in a panel discussion.

A light lunch will be served. Please advise of any dietary requirements.

Where: Caroline Springs Library, 193-201 Caroline Springs Blvd, Caroline Springs

Cost: Free

Bookings: Online through EventBrite 
RSVP: 17 November

The Melton Interfaith Network
David Cowan 
Tel: 0424 125 690

A Collaboration between Melton Interfaith Network in partnership with the City of Melton and the Department of Health and Human Services

KIN | WATCH | The Other Son | Interfaith Movie Night | Wednesday 30 November 2016 | 7pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A film depicting complex repercussions facing two families—one Israeli, one Palestinian—after learning that their sons were accidentally switched at birth. 

As the boys become friends, their families have to re-evaluate their beliefs and resistance to neighbouring culture prior to connecting with their true identity.

Please join us for refreshments and Informal conversation following the movie.

Where:  Chelsea Activity Hub, 3-5 Showers Ave, Chelsea

Cost: Free entry. All welcome.

Bookings: RSVP essential: Elisabetta Robechhi, Email:, Tel: 03 9581 4783

The Kingston Interfaith Network
Elisabetta Robechhi
Tel: 03 9581 4783

BIN | DISCOVER | Places of Worship Tour | Wednesday 30 November 2016 | 10am-3pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Explore the diversity of the Boroondara community by joining a tour. Transport is provided.

Where: Assembly/Departure/Return is Boroondara Council Offices, 8 Inglesby Road, Camberwell

Cost: free

Bookings: essential. Contact: Emma Tel: 03 9278 4938

Boroondara Interfaith Network
City of Boroondara – Community Planning and Development
8 Inglesby Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124
Emma Wilkinson, Social Inclusion Policy and Projects Officer
Tel: (03) 9278 4938

National Relay Service (If you have a hearing/speech impairment) call 1300 555 727 or TTY/voice calls 133 677

To use a telephone interpreter call 131 450

SPEH | REMEMBERS | Holding the Light | An Ecumenical Service to Remember Victims & Survivors of Domestic Violence | Sunday 4 December 2016 | 2.30-3.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A service to remember those who have been killed this year through family violence.

Our special guests will be those who have lost loved ones, as well as survivors of family violence.

Representatives of other faith-based groups engaged with preventing family violence will also be in attendance. The event is designed to be a faith-based contribution to the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

Light refreshments will be provided after the service.

Where: St Peters Eastern Hill, 15 Gisborne Street (corner of Albert Street) East Melbourne

Bookings: RSVP: Click here for catering purposes

St Peter’s Eastern Hill, with the Anglican Mother’s Union Melbourne
Dr Ree Boddé
Tel 0450 039 288

CASEY | CELEBRATES | International Volunteer Day | with Kerri-Tilby Price | Monday 5 December 2016 | 6.30-8.30 pm (supper included)

[Edited extract from public address]

Join the celebrations and feel inspired by renowned speaker from New Zealand, Kerri Tilby-Price who specialises in empowering volunteers and community groups, sharing great ideas and encouraging growth.

Casey volunteers and volunteer groups, clubs, organisations are invited to celebrate
with this presentation providing information about aspects of volunteering within the community such as:
  • How to recruit new volunteers
  • How to nurture great volunteers
  • How to retain and reward volunteers
  • How your volunteering efforts can be more inclusive
  • Network with other groups and potential new volunteers.
Where: Civic Centre, Magid Drive, Narre Warren

Cost: free

Bookings: RSVP by Monday 28 November, online through TryBooking or Samantha Ellison at or contact 9705 5722

The City of Casey
Samantha Ellison, Volunteer Project Officer
Tel: 9705 5722

NMA | DISPLAYING | A History of the World in 100 Objects | until 29 January 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

A mysterious cult - secrets and ceremonies from across the globe

2 million years of human history in one room.

This major exhibition From the British Museum explores history of humanity: how we have shaped the world, and how the world has shaped us. Witness compelling stories expressed through a beautiful collection of artefacts from across the globe.

When: On show until 29 January 2017
Extended opening hours - closes 7pm on Sundays

Cost: $20 adult | $60 season pass | $15 concession | $8 child | $45 family
Museum Friends discounts apply

Booking: Online Booking fees apply.

National Museum Australia
Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Canberra
Tel: 1800 026 132

COS | COMMEMORATING | United Nations Human Rights Day 2016 | Thursday 8 December 2016 | 6.30-8.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

In 1948, when the Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, only 58 countries belonged to the United Nations. Today there are 192 member nations and many laws exist to protect human rights. 

Yet millions of people continue to suffer because their rights are not respected. Although the Universal Declaration protects the right of individuals:
  • to adequate food, more than 15,000 children die of starvation every day. 
  • to free speech, but thousands are in prison for saying what they believed to be true. 
  • to free will, forbidding slavery, but 27 million people live as slaves today – more than twice the number in the days of the slave trade.
  • to an education, more than a billion people are unable to read.
These are very serious abuses of human rights. Yet 90% of people are unable to name more than three of their thirty rights. If more people understood all of them, more respect would be shown for human rights around the world. Who, then, will tell them?

Meet others in our community dedicated to human rights education and ending human rights abuse. United for Human Rights and its program for young people Youth for Human Rights International form one of the broadest human rights education initiatives in the world.

Guest Speakers and artists:
  • Master of Ceremonies: Dr Sonia Singh
  • Keynote Speaker: Nigel Mannock, Director Human Rights Australia
  • A Religious Leaders/Human Rights Forum: Representatives from different religions & cultures will be speaking
  • Feature Performance by Warren Wills, Internationally renowned Composer and Producer
Where: Church of Scientology: 231-251 Mt Alexander Road Ascot-Vale Victoria

Inclusions: Supper provided

Bookings: RSVP to Maria; Tel: 0409046172; Email:

Church of Scientology, Victoria
United for Human Rights and Youth for Human Rights International
231-251 Mt Alexander Road, Ascot-Vale, Victoria
Tel: 0409 046 172

Supported by Melton Interfaith Network; WIN (Women’s Interfaith Network) Foundation; COMMON (Centre of Melbourne Multifaith and Others Network)

TCTS | LEARN | Engaging with People from Different Faiths | 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

Two subjects to help you learn to engage with people of different faiths. 

These can be taken by members of the public as Audit units, or by enrolled students (undergraduates may take these units, but this will be at the postgraduate level of fees and assessment).

AR8000T Introduction to Interfaith Engagement – Semester 1

Tuesday Evenings 6:00-9:00pm
Lecturers: Mark Lindsay and Rabbi Fred Morgan
Living in a multicultural context both locally and globally, we are constantly interacting with people of different faiths and traditions. One of the greatest theological challenges that faces us today is to make sense of this diversity of faiths, to grasp their meaning both for others and for ourselves, and to determine our ethical relationship to those whose values and behaviours are in contrast to our own.
The aim of this unit is to explore some of the ways in which selected religions have interacted throughout history, to articulate both the difficulties and the benefits associated with entering into relationship with faiths that are not our own, to analyse the issues involved in interfaith engagement and to consider the potential impact of interfaith engagement on our personal theology.

AR8200T Practicum in Interfaith Engagement – Semester 2

Tuesday Evenings 6:00-9:00pm
Lecturers: Mark Lindsay and Rabbi Fred Morgan
This unit builds on the unit ‘Introduction to interfaith Engagement’ by giving students a practical opportunity to engage in interfaith activity. Each student will work with a supervisor to construct a functional model of interfaith engagement. The student will then apply the model to create a relationship with a selected faith community which is not their own, entering into the worship space of the other faith, joining the adherents in their religious practices and ultimately thinking reflexively about the experience, thus enabling the other faith tradition to impact on his or her personal theology. Each student will share experiences and reflections with the other students in the class, in order to sharpen understanding of the process and potential rewards of interfaith engagement.

Study Options:
You can: Audit (sit in and take part) for $300.00 per unit OR enrol in the units toward a Postgraduate Award such as the Graduate Certificate in Divinity and then choose other units from across the various disciplines within theology toward a degree or diploma.
Unit guides are available on the Trinity College website:

Trinity College Theology School
Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052
Tel: 03 9348 7127

DURT | RECORDING | Buddhist Life Stories of Australia | Since 1850

[Edited extract from public address]

With a long recorded history dating back to at least the 1850s Gold Rush period, researchers claim Buddhism is Australia’s second largest migrated religion.

Yet the life stories of prominent Buddhists in Australia have remained largely undocumented until now. Buddhist leaders and community members in Australia felt there was an urgent need to record these stories, to preserve them for future generations and to share with a wider audience.

Dr Anna Halafoff, Dr Edwin Ng, Praveena Rajkobal and Jayne Garrod, researchers from Deakin University, responded to this call in partnership with the national and state Buddhist Councils of Australia and filmmaker Freeman Trebilcock.

With the assistance of the Research My World program, the crowd funding joint venture between Deakin University and, $10,000 was raised to begin to record these stories and increase understanding and awareness of Buddhism in Australia.

This website, built by Jayne Garrod in consultation with Dr Halafoff, provides free access to interviews with prominent Australian Buddhist leaders from diverse traditions. It is an educational tool for communities, schools and universities. It is the first stage of a larger long-term research project on Buddhism in Australia, and more videos will be added over time. The researchers are now in the process of analysing the interviews and will provide links to their research publications when they become available.

Additional funds will be raised as needed to continue their work on this project, in partnership with Australia’s Buddhist communities.

Watch the 5min teaser here.

Website also includes extended interviews with featured individuals.

Deakin University Research Team (Buddhist Life Stories of Australia)

REPORT | GEIFN GOES | JCMA | Friendship Walk | Sunday 6 November 2016 | 2-6pm

[Edited extract from public address]

An afternoon walking together in friendship and goodwill between a church, synagogue and a mosque.

Starting with a prayer of peace and reflections and then learn about some of the history and traditions of each of the places we visit.

Congregating at St Peters Eastern Hill Anglican Church Hall, participants heard official acknowledgements, welcomes and speeches launching the gathering.

The masterful St Francis of Assisi Prayer was experienced.

Those wishing to, were invited to light a candle of Peace in the Church as we left.

We walked across the road to the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation Synagogue with a welcome by Rabbi Dovid Gutnick included a sacred horn and deer-skin parchment demonstration. Those assembled heard about Sephardic Jews, originating from areas around Mediterranean Sea, including Portugal, Spain, Middle East and Northern Africa. (Last year, we heard about “Ashkenaz”, a Hebrew word meaning "Germany", so Ashkenazi Jews became known as Jews originating from Eastern Europe.) We were then witness to an inspired scriptural performance from Oud soloist and sacred song duo.

And then onto to the Carlton North Albanian Mosque either via the beautiful walk marked out by organizers or the courtesy bus. At the Mosque, we were warmly greeted and seated. The Hosts invited us to celebrate the commonality of the Three Abrahamic religions who all have Torah, Bible and a Koran founder of Abraham/Ibrahim and reasons for a continued shared peace in Australia. With official proceedings over, the Mosque invited participants to enjoy a generous spread of light refreshments.

Organizers and participants wished to show that people of different faith traditions can and are working together in mutual respect understanding and friendship. Faiths are not the underlying basis for violence or something to be feared. Faith brings values that enhance and build strong and harmonious communities

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to JCMA for inspired leadership and free attendance. A memorable presentation, skilful programming, food and collective pride, received with gratitude.

Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia
Ginette Everest, Executive Officer
Tel: (03) 9287 5590 or 0400 211 221
Twitter:  using #JCMAwalk and #JCMAfriendship.

JCMA is proudly supported by the Islamic Council of Victoria, Victorian Council of Churches and Jewish Community Council of Victoria.

BIN | Discover Places of Worship | Wednesday 30 November 2016 | 10am-3pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Explore the diversity of the Boroondara community by joining a tour. Transport is provided.

Where: Assembly/Departure/Return is Boroondara Council Offices, 8 Inglesby Road, Camberwell

Cost: free

Bookings: essential. Contact: Emma Tel: 03 9278 4938

Boroondara Interfaith Network
City of Boroondara – Community Planning and Development
8 Inglesby Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124
Emma Wilkinson, Social Inclusion Policy and Projects Officer
Tel: (03) 9278 4938

National Relay Service (If you have a hearing/speech impairment) call 1300 555 727 or TTY/voice calls 133 677

To use a telephone interpreter call 131 450

AIS | FORUM | Stuck between two cultures: Muslim Youth Forum | Thursday 3 November 2016 | 6-8pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Misunderstandings between parents and children

A panel of five young Muslims of different backgrounds discuss the most pressing concerns of Australian Muslim youth.
  • Moderator: Del Irani, presenter on ABC News Breakfast
  • Opening remarks: Hamsa Farah, RMIT student and AIS volunteer
  • Panelists: Amet Balla, Cennet Koyu Osmani, Oussama Abou-Zeid, Rida Khan and Soreti Kadir. 
  • Closing remarks: Tina Hosseini, Youth Commissioner from the Victorian Multicultural Commission
Where: Victoria University MetroWest, 138 Nicholson St Footscray

Cost: This free public event is open to all.

Bookings: Due to limited space, registration is required online through EventBrite

Australian Intercultural Society (AIS)
Tel: (03) 9867 224

NOVA | VIEW & VOTE | Focus on Ability Film Festival | 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

For the 8th consecutive year, the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival aims to raise awareness of the abilities of people with a disability.

This year will be the biggest yet with all films entered to really showcase extremely talented people with disabilities. With over $100,000 worth of cash and prizes to be won this is a highly contested competition.

The theme asks film makers to 'Focus on the Ability' of people with a disability.

In 2009, CEO of NOVA Employment Martin Wren started with three ingredients:
* An inviolate belief in the ability of people with a disability
* A big idea
* A committed team of staff

Last year, 163 films were entered and the winners shared in over $100,000 in prizes.

The festival culminates in an awards night held in Sydney with 2016 dates set to be announced.

Entrants will have the chance to see their films premiered on the big screen as well as the chance to have their film shown on national television.

At the 2015 awards evening, 12 films were played live in front of a packed 700 person theatre. 10 films were screened across Australia's free to air television station SBS. 60 films will air on pay television station Aurora TV across December 2015 and January 2016. The 2015 festival also held screenings in New York and Auckland, with many more screenings planned for the 2016 festival.

The audience capacity for this festival is expected to be well over 1,000,000 people mark and continuing to grow. Providing unmatched exposure for upcoming film makers.

Films will be both judged by a professional judging panel and put through an online voting process, with separate prizes for each category.

Public are invited to view online and vote on films submitted from all over the world (including Australia).

Focus On Ability
Level 1, 50 Chapel St, St Marys NSW 2760
Tel: 0414 932 987

NOVA Employment is a not-for-profit disability employment agency funded by the Australian Government. At NOVA Employment we find people with disability award wage work of their choice. 

MADE | TALK | Deng Adut: Songs of a War Boy in Ballarat | Friday 4 November 2016 | 1pm-2pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join this extraordinary Australian as he discusses his own experiences and shares his insights on the challenges facing refugees in Australia today.

From a small South Sudan village to the Australia Day stage has been an extraordinary one. At seven years old, Deng Adut was conscripted to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and forced to undertake brutal military training. He suffered years of famine, disease and deadly fighting. Eventually Adut escaped to a refugee camp in Kenya and settled as a refugee in Australia.

‘In 1987 … I was among many young children forcibly removed from their homes and families and marched to Ethiopia,’ Deng Adut told the crowd at this year’s Australia Day Address in Sydney. ‘I walked thousands of kilometres without shoes or underwear.’

Today, Adut has his own legal practice in Sydney, where he helps marginalised people – especially those in the Sudanese community – to navigate the justice system. He’s joined in two hour-long conversation with co-writer Ben Mckelvey.

Where: M.A.D.E, Museum of Australian Democracy, Ballarat

Bookings: online through TryBooking

M.A.D.E, Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka
102 Stawell Street South, Eureka Victoria 3350
Tel 1800 287 113

Presented in partnership with The Wheeler Centre