KHT | Ngujarn and Nakun: Belonging in the other | Saturday 12 March 2016 | 2-4pm

[Edited extract from public address]

An exhibition showcasing four generations of the Mullett Family

Artists: Albert Mullett, Rachel Mullett, Kerrie Clarke, Kynan Clarke, Tehya Clarke, Seamus Clarke, Liam Clarke, Richard Mullett, Michael Mullett, Colin 'Chook' Mullett, Jennifer Mullett, Ben Pender, Luke Johnson, Hollie Johnson, Steaphan Paton, Timothy Paton, Doris Paton, Sienna Paton, Njarala Paton.

Curated by Steaphan Paton.

The exhibition will be opened by Judith Ryan, Senior Curator Indigenous Art, National Gallery of Victoria

Exhibition dates: 12 March 2016 - 15 May 2016


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.

AVID | Australian Volunteers for International Development Volunteer Overseas Information Sessions | Tuesday 16 February | 1pm or 6pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Work directly with people in developing communities overseas. From Pacific Island nations to South East Asia and Africa.

  • Mentoring and skill sharing is the key, so a number of years' experience in your field is essential
  • People are needed in management, finance, agriculture, health, marketing, trades, education, information technology, human resources - the list goes on.
  • Settle in for 3-18 months and live like a local
  • Airfares, modest living allowances, insurance and accommodation covered, plus extensive briefing
The goal of AVID program is for Australian volunteers to make an effective contribution to development objectives of Australian Government and its partner governments through working with people and organisations in developing countries.

In 2013-14, a total of 2,006 volunteers were supported in 43 countries with the majority of the volunteers on assignment in the Asia Pacific region.

1pm @ Talent 2, 360 Collins Street, CBD
6.30pm @ AVI, Kerr St, Fitzroy

RSVP: or call 1800 331 292


Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) or call 1800 331 292
An Australian Government initiative. This program has been developed by Australian Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.

CMFN | Panel Discussion | Faith Teachings on Non-Violence | Thursday 17 March 2016 | 7-9pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Be inspired by speakers from different faiths who will present their religion’s teachings on sharing peace, distributing harmony and growing understand.

Engage in opportunity to ask questions. Faiths represented are: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism.

Who: Everyone Welcome.

Where: Casey Civic Centre, Room 7, Magid Drive, Narre Warren

Cost: Free Public Event. Tea/Coffee will be provided.


Casey Multi-Faith Network

CI | CULTURAL TALK | Peace, Faith and Solving Conflict | Saturday 20 February 2016 | 5.02pm

[Edited extract from public address]

The culture we can't afford to lose

Cultural Infusion’s Culture Talks are free events that present great speakers and new ideas on the broad topic of Australia’s cultural life. Each Culture Talk features prominent speakers discussing their field of expertise, followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Sometimes funny, sometimes controversial, and always thought-provoking, the Culture Talk series aims to explore the importance of culture and its effect on the world.

Guest Speakers:
Rev. Victor Kazanjian (Global Director United Religions Initiative): Rev. Victor H. Kazanijian, Jr. is the Executive Director of the United Religions Initiative (URI). His work at Wellesley College in the United States is widely recognised as the catalyst in the movement to include religion and spirituality as core issues in higher education. With decades of experience in community organising around the world,Victor specialises in interfaith dialogue, conflict transformation and peace building, and holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Harvard University.

Prof. Gary Bouma (UNESCO): Professor Bouma holds the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Inter-religious Relations – Asia Pacific, and is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Monash University. He works to promote communication and respect between religious communities. His research in the sociology of religion examines religious diversity in multicultural societies as a content for religion and public policy.

Where: Cultural Infusion Centre, Collingwood College Theatre (entrance from Campbell street), 49 Vere Street Collingwood, Victoria

Cost: Free. Refreshments provided.


Cultural Infusion in conjunction with United Religions Initiative

Cultural Infusion is a social enterprise that works with schools, youth, and the arts to promote cultural harmony for a more cohesive and richer society. Cultural Infusion believes that culture is an enabler and driver of sustainability and quality education, an eradicator of poverty and a key to social cohesion and inclusion.

RFP | Religions for Peace (Australia)

[Edited extract of public address]

Striving to create multireligious partnerships to confront the world’s most dire issues: stopping war, ending poverty and protecting the earth.

Religions for Peace (Australia) is Australia’s largest community-based organization working for inter-religious harmony and social cohesion.

Tf is affiliated with the World Conference of Religions for Peace (now known as Religions for Peace International) with its headquarters in New York – its website is It is the world’s largest international coalition of representatives from the world’s great religions dedicated to promoting peace. It has 54 national chapters together with cross-national interreligious councils in Africa, Europe, etc.

Religious communities are the largest and best organized civil institutions in the world, claiming the allegiance of billions across cultural, racial, language, class and cast divides. As grassroots organizations, they have country-based and culturally-based infrastructure and resources to mobilize people as necessary and to deploy assistance and support to where it is most needed.

The mission of Religions for Peace Australia is to work for interreligious peace and harmony and for social cohesion in Australia as well as upholding the universal values of authentic religion and spirituality. Its aims are:
  1. to work with faith traditions and religious organizations for interreligious understanding and harmony in Australia, including the right to freedom of belief, and across the world
  2. to highlight the salience of religion in multifaith Australia, highlighting its resources and the importance of religion and spirituality in national life
  3. to work with religious and interfaith organizations as well as with government and civil agencies in achieving social cohesion in Australia
  4. to create social wealth for the Australian nation, ensuring that the role of religious bodies is positively appreciated
  5. to sponsor activities and events, including research and evaluative studies, into the multicultural and interfaith perspective in society
  6. to work with educational bodies to educate the different levels and sectors of society about religion itself and the many faith traditions
  7. to support national and local interfaith organizations in Australia in their work in local government areas
  8. to organise meetings of religious leaders at national and local levels and with political and civic leaders
  9. to encourage interfaith activity and the formation of interfaith organizations among particular groups, including the young
Connect with others
Religions for Peace created the world’s largest, most representative interfaith network–built on respect for religious differences, but united in common action. We invite you to participate in this powerful community cooperating for peace. Your commitment will strengthen all of us. Engage by choosing any or all of the following:

Religions for Peace Australia Inc.
PO Box 1383, Carlton Victoria 3053
Tel: 9700 1250

BIC | The Challenge of Compassion and the Global Age | Friday 18 March 2016 | 6.30-9.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A Multi-faith Dinner/Forum with Keynote Speaker Professor Des Cahill

Professor Des Cahill OAM born in Bendigo, is Professor of Intercultural Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne. He is chair of Religions for Peace Australia, and deputy moderator of Religions for Peace Asia. Des is a Club Melbourne Ambassador and a foundation member of the Victoria Police Interfaith Council.

Audience members are invited to email organisers with a question for the speaker.

Where: The Conservatory, All Seasons, 171-183 McIvor Road, Bendigo 
Cost: $50 per person or $380 Table (8 people)

Tickets available at: | or call in to the All Seasons: (03) 5443 8166 | or walk into LCMS - 120 McCrae Street Bendigo.

RSVP: Thursday 10 March 2016


The Bendigo Interfaith Council

This event is part of 2016 Bendigo Festival of Cultures, which is sponsored by Victorian Multicultural Commission, Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, City of Greater Bendigo, and All Seasons Motel.

MarIN | Unity in Diversity | Sunday 28 February 2016 | 2-4.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A celebration of different faiths and our common humanity

-- Aboriginal smoking ceremony
-- Guided meditation by Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (Melbourne Chapter)
-- and performances and musical items from:
  • Nadanalaya Academy of Indian Classical Dance
  • Abdul Hammoud, a spoken word artist
  • Sukhjit Khalsa, a Sikh poet
  • Latter-day Saints drama group
  • Latter-day Saints youth
  • Aquinas College
  • Luther College
  • Yarra Valley Grammar School
Where: George Wood Performing Arts Centre, Yarra Valley Grammar School, Kalind Road, Ringwood

Cost: Free admission. Refreshments available for purchase.


Maroondah Interfaith Network
This event has been made possible by a grant from Maroondah City Council and the generosity of the Yarra Valley Grammar School.

CMFN | Commemorating International Women's Day | Thursday 10 March 2016 | 1-3pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Engage with inspiring leaders, innovators and enablers demonstrating how the strength of a woman can carry the world.

Guest Speakers:
  • Stephanie Saunders, President Casey Multi-Faith Network
  • Elaine Smith, President Women’s Friendship Cafe
  • Amena Ziard, Feminist and Human Rights Advocate
  • Judy Owen JP - Moderator
Where: Casey Council Chambers, Level 2, Civic Centre, Magid Drive, Narre Warren

Cost: Free public event. Everyone welcome. Afternoon tea will be served.

RSVP: Monday 7 March 2016 Email:


Casey Multi-Faith Network

The event is supported by the City of Casey Council

ManIN | Respect Interfaith Soccer | Sunday 6 March 2016 | Kids Clinic from 11:30pm | Games from 1pm to 5:30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Uniting communities through the power of sport. Free family event with Prizes, Giveaways and Food

What: An event in celebration of our diverse multicultural and multi-faith community, through sport, food and festivities.

Where: Andersons Park - 117 Andersons Creek Rd, Doncaster East

  • Throughout the day there'll be live entertainment, a BBQ, a raffle and prize give-aways. For the young children there'll be a free jumping castle and face-painting.
  • The event will start with a soccer clinic run by Melbourne City FC, from 12 midday until 1pm. Participants must arrive at 11.30am to complete registration.
  • The 5-a-side Round Robin Competition runs from 2pm until 4pm, but teams must arrive at 1pm to complete registration. Every team plays 3 games that last 24 minutes each. Each team can have a maximum of 10 players.
  • At 4pm the Community Select (players chosen from the Round Robin) play an 11-a-side game against the VIC Police Select.
  • Presentations and the Closing Ceremony take place at 5pm.
Who: Manningham Interfaith Network and Victorian Police: It was back in 2014 when the Manningham Interfaith Network and the Victorian Police got together to run the first Manningham Respect Round Robin. The aim was simple, do something fun that could bring together young people from all backgrounds, cultures and religions. By fostering more understanding of and respect for difference our community can grow stronger and better together.

Why: Sport, more specifically soccer (football), seemed the most natural way to do it. Sport encourages collaboration and teamwork, promotes fairness and togetherness, creates opportunities for new friendships and connections. It challenges assumptions, prejudices and sterotypes, bringing people together who might not otherwise get the chance.

Registration: Participant registration essential for kids clinic and round robin.
Register at


Manningham Interfaith Network
Mobile: 0425 718 937

REPORT | CHARM | Cranbourne's Australia Day Celebration 2016 | Tuesday26 January 2016 | 11am-4pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A vibrant and multicultural Casey cultural heritage showcase.

All members of the public and community were invited to come together in a friendly way to make this special day. 
-- Free performances
-- Free children activities including colouring, drawing, games, jumping castle, face painting
-- Free BBQ Sausage (beef/chicken halal) for the first 300+ visitors
Tea & coffee, soft drinks available for a gold coin donation
the day will be full of great family fun, surprises, giveaways, door prizes
-- A cultural exhibition gave a glimpse into participating cultures in this multicultural municipality. Featuring key panels from the Immigration Museum “Beyond the postcard image...Mauritians & Rodriguans in Victoria”

The diverse program included engaging speeches, uplifting brass band music, Congo dancing, Awakening Meditation and Egyptian Drummers with Accompanying Belly Dancer. A communal artwork demonstrating how we individually stitch together communities and free massage, plus dress like an Egyptian are but three examples of off-stage events.

One world, one family together temporarily for this day, a celebration of superficial difference and deeper commonality. Audience feedback teased out deeper responses not immediately apparent but a collective feeling of positive transformation had occurred.

A resilient and determined migrant minority worked tirelessly to overcome usual Organiser's Obstacles to give this gift to their local community. The collaborative and inviting approach sets a high benchmark.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou for having us at your place to take part in this inspired collection of speakers, skilful organisation, skilful programming, food and leadership, received with gratitude. 


The Cultural Historical Association of Rodriguans and Mauritians in Victoria (C.H.A.R.M),
Supported by City of Casey and Office of Multicultural Affairs, Balla Balla Community Centre, Cranbourne Lions Club

REPORT | MBIN | Connecting to the earth | Thursday 4 February 2016 |10am-12noon

[Edited extract from public address]

A local commemoration of World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016. An opportunity for interfaith groups and people of goodwill to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.

Scheduled Program:
-- Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri Traditional Elder: Uncle Bill Nicholson from the Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council
-- Welcome and Short introduction to Western Health Spiritual Care Khanh Do
-- Keynote address by Nivy Balachandran, Coordinator at United Religious Initiative and delegate at the 2016 Paris Climate Change Conference
-- Guided Walk: Through the Labyrinth with Rev Ray Gorman, Minister of Uniting Church in Sunshine
-- Lunch catered by ASRC Catering
-- Guided tour of the Sunshine Hospital organised by Sunshine Hospital Volunteers Department represented by Khanh Do

The ability for participants to share time together, take inspiration from experienced leaders is an opportunity to experience just what is possible when we put our personal agendas and superficial differences aside to taste/reflect/enjoy our similarities.

Specifically, a wonderful opportunity to hear about our first peoples, land care, subsequent arrivers and today's present collaborations slowly gaining voice.

Uncle Bill shared his wisdom and kindness. Summarized here. Wominjeka is welcome. Ginny-Barak is "in the spirit of warm-heartedness, generosity and hospitality". The "Welcome to Country" is historically an Indigenous pass-port/border patrol/custom. The host tribe would issue words that would welcome and also identify the host tribe. A local elder offers a part of native bush/animal to indicate permission for visitor to have access to land, a sip of water to indicate permission to use water, the fire causing smoke was to purify the visitor from bad spirits, and the breaking of spear meant that while visitor was a guest they would be treated with peace and protected from harm. 

Nivvy shared her experience and insight. Summarized here that while Multifaith is a fact, Interfaith is a journey by/between/with individuals, for mutual benefit radiating out until it includes all as beneficiaries. Including atheists and humanists. The subsequent challenge to us remaining relevant to our identified audience while embracing wider community. Participants learnt about the need and many opportunities for us to work together to minimise negative impact on our environment. Starting with ourselves, extending to our neighbours and then beyond. 

Host Sunshine Hospital was an inspired choice and gave interested parties a "behind the scenes" tour of a modern partnership between Victorian Government, VUT, Melbourne University and Peter Mac.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou for the inspired collection of speakers, skilful organisation, circular non-discussion, food and leadership, received with gratitude. 


Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network

ICM | #I'll Dine With You | Monday 29 February 2016 | 6:30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Enjoy an inspirational evening along our spectacular eighty-metre dining table in the heart of Melbourne.

The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne together with 17 interfaith and other organisations invite you to SAVE THE DATE and join in #IllDineWithYou. An interfaith and intercultural open-air dining experience and actively support our vibrant diverse communities.

Where: City Square, cnr Swanston Street & Collins Street, Melbourne

Tickets: $25 - $20 Students/Concession

Bookings: Coming Soon! Reserve the Date: Monday 29 February 2016


#I'll Dine With You | World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016
The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne
Tel (03) 9650 7163
Mobile: 0400 228 146

GEIFN | Media Words | February

Approx 5 min reads appearing from around the Nation.

Jennifer Philip reflects upon death and dying with dignity, exploring "When it’s time, choose to give meaning to your death" via WA Today

Neelima Choahan reports on a modern Melbourne and "Australia Day: a day of celebration for some, survival for others" via The Age

Steve Meacham explores global tourism and individual reasons for visiting shrines of remembrance "S-21 prison, Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Inside the notorious Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum" via

Henrietta Cook explores celebrating individuality and promoting inclusiveness as "New state guidelines for transgender students and school sport" via The Age

Leslie Cannold explores the value of cultivating skill with the invisible rules as "Cheaters never prosper, it's essential to our society" writes via WA Today

Bina Brown writes of seasonal spikes in aged care demand and offers ideas "How to have a conversation about aged care" via The Brisbane Times

Amrit Dhillon writes of an individual's resilience, strength and shared determination to equalise societal attitudes when "Acid attack survivor Laxmi gets modelling contract" via The Brisbane Times

MPIN | Listening to the Land - Summer Walk | Saturday 13 February 2016 | 2-5pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Walk, learn and meditate with led by Gunditjamara Elder, Uncle Lionel Lauch.

Where: The Briars in Mt Martha
Meeting Point: Car Park @ The Briars, 450 Nepean Highway, Mount Martha 3934 VIC
Melway Reference: 145 D11
Information on The Briars:

Listening to the Land is an initiative of the Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Network, seeking to bring 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 begins at 2pm:

  • Begins with introductory talk, listening walk, and meditation.
  • Participants will walk the 'Kur-Bur-Rer' track (Boonoorong name for Koala) which is approximately 4 kilometres.
  • Concludes around 4pm followed by a shared afternoon tea. BYO Vegetarian food - something easy to share. Plates, cups and drinks will be provided.

  • Meeting point is the car park around 300m from The Briars entry, situated at 450 Nepean Highway, Mount Martha.
  • Look forward to seeing you there – sunshine or rain.
Cost: The event is by donation.


The Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Network (MPIN) 
Judy O’Donnell Mobile 0400 088 410

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.

VMC | Victoria's Multicultural Policy Statement - Public Consultation | Tuesday 3 February 2016 | 6pm -7pm

[Edited extract from public address]

The Victorian Government is developing a new multicultural policy statement with the aim of launching it during Cultural Diversity Week 2016

The Hon Robin Scott MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, invites you to a public consultation to hear your views on the draft multicultural policy statement.

Our diversity is increasing as more migrants settle here. Victorians now come from more than 200 countries, speak 260 languages and dialects and follow 135 religious faiths.
Today, we speak more languages than ever before, have a richer culture and are part of networks and relationships that extend to more and more places around the world.
More than a quarter (26%) of Victorians were born overseas. Almost half of our population (46%) were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas. 
The top ten countries of birth for Victorians are England, India, China, New Zealand, Italy, Vietnam, Greece, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Philippines. 
In addition to Aboriginal languages, more than 23% of Victorians speak a language other than English at home (compared to 18% Australia-wide). Around 1.23 million people speak another language, an increase of 23% from 2006 to 2011. The top ten languages, other than English, spoken at home are Italian, Greek, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Arabic, Turkish, Hindi, Punjabi and Macedonian.
Multicultural Affairs portfolio and VMC is excited to seek your support and feedback. The session will involve a welcome and introduction from Minister Scott, followed by a panel discussion and questions from the floor.
Promoting human rights and equality
The Government’s strong view is that there is no place for sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia or transphobia in Victoria. Accordingly, we will work to counter activities and ideas that prevent participation and a sense of belonging, including discrimination, racism and vilification − whether based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or ability.
Where: Treasury Theatre, Lower plaza, 1 Macarthur Street, East Melbourne

Bookings: To confirm your attendance at this event, please visit EventBrite

Pre-Event: Attendees can read the consultation draft of the multicultural policy statement ahead of the consultation.


Victorian Multicultural Commission

ACM | Station House Opera's Dominos | Saturday 6 February 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

One day. One line of dominoes. A celebration across the city

What: Experience the thrill of thousands of breezeblock ‘dominoes’ falling one by one to create a moving sculpture, running through the city and unfolding over the course of a day. Along paths and promenades, through buildings and across plazas, the domino line works its way through the urban fabric of Melbourne, creating an unforgettable celebration for all who live, work or visit our city.

When: The Domino set-up across the city commences from 1pm. The Domino Fall will start from 5pm

Who: Conceived and directed by UK-based Station House Opera, Dominoes was first created as a celebration to link the five “host boroughs” for the London Olympics Arts Festival and the project has since been presented in over ten European cities.

How: Hundreds of volunteers will help build the domino line! Between October and December 2015, Arts Centre Melbourne called for volunteers to help us bring Dominoes to the streets of Melbourne. Hundreds of volunteers from across our city, Victoria and even from around the world have raised their hands to help bring this artwork to life!

Cost: Free


Arts Centre Melbourne

LM | Coranderrk: We will show The Country | Sunday 21 February 2016 | Gates Open 5pm, 6.30pm Performance

[Edited extract from public address]

A special, one-off performance staged on Country, at Coranderrk itself, on the very land where many witnesses at the Coranderrk Parliamentary Inquiry gave evidence 134 years ago.

Coranderrk: We Will Show The Country pays tribute to the resilience and adaptability of a people who rose to the challenge despite all odds, appropriating the power of the written word and white political discourse to demand justice, while also celebrating the spirit of friendship and genuine collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Not a story of ‘black vs. white’, it offers a lesson in justice that still holds today.

Journey with Uncle Jack Charles, Jim Daly, Syd Brisbane, Glenn Shea, David Paterson, Greg Fryer, Pauline Whyman, Peter Finlay and Liz Jones through verbatim re-enactments. Brought to life are key passages from testimonies, letters and petitions of 20 witnesses (nine of them Aboriginal) who gave evidence at the 1881 Parliamentary Coranderrk Inquiry. From the Wurundjeri clan-head William Barak, who led the Coranderrk community, to the members of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines, who sought to undermine it.

Pre-performance: A unique culinary tasting will be offered by Charcoal LanePlease arrive early. Charcoal Lane will be providing tasting plates at 5.30pm. Gates close 6.15pm to allow for parking and walking to stage.

Post-performance: find out how this story continues today as the descendants of William Barak talk about plans to develop and rejuvenate Coranderrk into a self-supporting farming community, thereby fulfilling the dream Barak and the Coranderrk residents fought to achieve in their own lifetime.

Where: Barak Lane, Coranderrk

Cost: Full $25 Concession $18

Bookings: Online or Phone 03 9347 6142

Running Time: Approx. 120 min (including pre and post show discussion)

Other Special Conditions:
  • This will be an outdoor event
  • BYO food & alcohol (restrictions apply), picnic rugs and chairs. Please note there will be no food vans.
  • No umbrellas
  • All weather event
  • Event will be cancelled on a Fire Ban CODE RED day. Please check La Mama Website & Facebook close to the day for updates.
  • Please take your rubbish home
  • Limited parking, please car pool if you can
  • Please note, this event will be filmed


La Mama

Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country was first presented at La Mama Courthouse in 2010. Back by popular demand, La Mama is delighted to present this re-staging of the original reading of this very important work, on Country at Coranderrk where this story belongs.
By Giordano Nanni and Andrea James. Based on the original 2010 production directed by Rachael Maza. Original design by Bronwyn Pringle

VMC | Cultural Diversity Week Schools Program | 12 - 20 March 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

Ways to help your school participate in Victoria's biggest multicultural celebration of the year.

Cultural Diversity Week 2016 is coming soon and there are lots of ways for your school to get involved.

Coordinated by the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Cultural Diversity Week 2016 will encourage Victorians, young and old, to embrace our diversity and stand together in harmony.

Primary School Art Competition

We invite all Victorian Primary School students to draw, paint, sketch, photograph or create a collage that reflects the Competition's 2016 theme –‘Harmonies from around the world’.

Along with the exciting prizes on offer for competition winners and their schools, finalists and winners in each category will receive a certificate and have their artwork displayed in a special ceremony during Victoria’s Multicultural Festival at Federation Square on Sunday 20 March 2016.

How: To enter, schools should submit all artwork to the Commission by 5.00pm on Monday 29 February 2016.

The Commission will notify all finalists in early March 2016.

Find out how your school can participate by downloading the information booklet.

Teach your students about Cultural Diversity Week

The Victorian Multicultural Commission’s teacher resources will help you bring Cultural Diversity Week into the classroom to guide students’ learning about cultural, linguistic and religious diversity.
Download the 2016 Teachers' Resource Kit.

Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre

The Department of Education and Early Childhood’s specialist resource centre, the Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre, can also advise on resources and curriculum to help you with your multicultural education. Visit website for details.


Victorian Multicultural Commission
Don't miss a beat about Cultural Diversity Week, find out more at our website.

ACU-UCSVT-PCNV | FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT | Exclusion and Embrace 2016 | Multi-faith Australasian Conference | 21-23 August 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

A rare opportunity to bring together people interested in understandings of sacred texts, and the experiences of people with disabilities and carers within the context of faith. 

A joint initiative between Australian Catholic University, The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, The Progressive Christian Network of Victoria Inc.
This  multi-faith Australasian Conference  has the support of a wide number of organisations including the Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA) and the Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV). The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania is providing the Conference Secretariat.

Venue: Jasper Hotel, 489 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, Australia.

How: Drawing on the wisdom of all faiths, The Conference will deepen our understanding of the many aspects of disability and spirituality. We are interested in your experience, research, practice, and ideas and knowledge. Among the themes explored will be ethics, care, inclusion in faith communities, friendship, discrimination, love, justice, liberation.

Who: In Australia, and abroad, an increasing number of people are actively exploring the intersection of disability and spirituality. An excellent Conference program will present perspectives across the faith spectrum, with opportunities for dialogue and formation of new networks. It will have appeal to people who live with disability, families and carers, academics and practitioners (volunteers and staff).

Join keynote speakers Prof Hans Reinders is Chair of Ethics at VU University, Holland, and editor of the journal Religion and Disability. Rev Bill Gaventa is Director of the Summer Institute of Theology and Disability and President-elect of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). Hear from an Australian cast of presenters including: Prof David Tacey an interdisciplinary scholar who is widely published for his knowledge of Australian spirituality; Lorna Hallahan, Sheik Isse Musse, Melinda Jones and Diana Cousens (see website Speakers tab for details).

There will also be an exhibition of artworks that reflect people’s experience of disability and spirituality, as it relates to the conference theme.

Call for Presentations
The Conference is also seeking Abstracts within these three streams, as they relate to disability and spirituality.
(i)         Supports in faith communities/service providers
(ii)        Sa­cred texts/theological understandings of disability
(iii)       Theological Educa­tion/Research.

Please go to Call for Presentations for details of Abstract Details and Guidelines. Abstracts need to be submitted by 10 April, 2016. Presentations may include formal papers, posters, personal stories, poetry, or other approaches.

We invite presentations which address aspects and experiences as they relate to spirituality and disability. Themes include liberation, education, bioethics, reconciliation, sexuality, pastoral care, inclusion, love, theological interpretations. All presenters must be registered for the event by 15 July, 2016.

Other sponsors and endorsers include Spiritual Health Victoria, Spiritual Care Australia, Christian Blind Mission, Victorian Council of Churches, Progressive Christian Network Victoria, Australian Catholic University and the University of Divinity.

The Conference will include launch and display of an Art Exhibition depicting conference themes.


Ann Byrne
The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
Tel: (03) 9251 5404
Endorsed by: Faith Communities Council of Victoria, Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia, Victorian Council of Churches, Spiritual Care Australia, Spiritual Health Victoria and University of Divinity.

CCJV | The Jewish and Christian understanding of the Covenant | Sunday 21 February 2016 | 3pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A public discussion between Prof Rev Frank Rees and Rabbi Adam Stein

Frank Rees studied Philosophy at the University of Melbourne and theology at Whitley. He served in a number of suburban pastorates in Melbourne, then undertook doctoral studies at Manchester. For seven years he was minister of the Hobart Baptist Church. Frank is a member of the International Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity, within the Baptist World Alliance. Frank's teaching and research interests include contemporary approaches to Christology and ecclesiology, and contextual theologies.

Rabbi Adam Stein  became the Rabbi at Kehilat Nitzan in August 2011. He received his ordination from The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He also earned a Master of Arts in Education from AJU. Before coming to Kehilat Nitzan, This will be Adam’s final CCJ presentation before returning to the USA.

Where: Temple Beth Israel Magid Resource Centre, 78 Alma Road, St Kilda

Cost: $10 including light Kosher lunch. Tickets at the door.

RSVP: Advise attendance Tel: (03) 9429 5212  or Email:


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

VMC | Cultural Diversity Week | 12-20 March 2016

[Edited extract from public address]

Join thousands of Victorians in celebrating our rich multicultural society during Cultural Diversity Week, 12-20 March 2016.

Coordinated by the Victorian Multicultural Commission, the week coincides with the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March.

With hundreds of events and activities set to take place across the state, Cultural Diversity Week provides Victorians from all walks of life with an opportunity to come together and recognise, embrace and celebrate each other’s cultural heritage.

This year, the state’s premier multicultural celebration promises vibrant festivities under a music theme:
‘Together we stand in harmony’.
The week opens with the Premier’s Gala Dinner at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 12 March, where guests will enjoy a spectacular line up of Victoria’s best multicultural music and dance acts, with a sumptuous three-course meal and wine. Registrations of interest in purchasing tickets are now open, register your interest in attending

Celebrations will peak at the end of the week with Victoria’s Multicultural Festival at Federation Square on Sunday 20 March 2016. The family friendly festival will showcase culturally diverse music and dance across four stages, delicious international cuisines, a world art and craft market, children’s activities, demonstrations and workshops.

Victoria’s young people are also invited to use their creativity to voice what multiculturalism means to them in our Primary School Art Competition.


Find out more about Cultural Diversity Week.
The Victorian Multicultural Commission

KHT | Koorie Art Show Closing and People's Choice Award Announcement | Sunday 28 February 2016 | 2-4pm

[Edited extract from public address]

It's your last chance to check out and vote for your favourite artwork at our closing event for the Koorie Art Show 2015.

The afternoon will feature Torch CEO and Koorie Art Show 2015 judge, Kent Morris (Barkindji), in conversation with Gunai / Gunditjmara / Yorta Yorta artist Raymond Young [pictured]. We will also be announcing the winner of the Moogji Club People's Choice Award and tunes will be provided by the singer/songwriter Makita McNally. With over 120 works presented by over 70 artists we received a record number of works this year so get down early to cast your vote!

Where: Koorie Heritage Trust Gallery, level 1, Yarra Building, Federation Square
Cost: FREE


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 Kelly Koumalatsos | Saturday 20 February 2016 | 2-3pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join Wergaia/Wemba Wemba artist Kelly Koumalatsos, winner of the Koorie Art Show 2015 Creative Victoria award for excellence in any media, for an artist talk.

Working across painting, sculpture and printmaking for over 20 years, Kelly's practice explores cultural tradition and reclaiming cultural heritage in a contemporary context.

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


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.

OZH | OzHarvest - Perishable Food Rescue | Since 2004

[Edited extract from public address]

Identifying unfulfilled supply, minimising food waste and redistributing just-in-time surpluses to those in need. 

What: OzHarvest is the first perishable food rescue organisation in Australia collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it, direct and free of charge, to 600 charities providing much needed assistance to vulnerable men, women and children across Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle and Perth.

OzHarvest is the only food rescue organisation in Australia collecting surplus food from all types of food providers including fruit and vegetable markets, supermarkets, hotels, wholesalers, farmers, stadiums, corporate events, catering companies, shopping centres, delis, cafes, restaurants, film and TV shoots and boardrooms.

Who: OzHarvest was founded in November 2004 by Ronni Kahn, who was named Australia’s Local Hero of the Year in 2010.
In 2005, Kahn together with pro-bono lawyers lobbied the state governments to amend legislation to allow potential food donors to donate surplus food to charitable organisations.
The Civil Liabilities Amendment Act was passed in NSW in 2005 with ACT, SA and QLD following. This ensured surplus food could be donated to charitable causes without fear of liability.

How: Donate, Contact or Join their Friends Program online


Tel 1800 108 006

PASF | Pay a Sack Forward | Since 2013

[Edited extract from public address]

A ground-swell initiative combining identified unfulfilled need, cafe owners' and visitors's good will with practical supports for those who are homeless.

Founded in 2013, Pay a Sack Forward is an initiative to support the homeless and those in need within Australia. Currently operating across Brisbane and Melbourne, the charity was founded by Michael Stafford and Ryan Everett who oversee the running of the charity within their home cities.

Pay A Sack Forward has continued to grow in both Brisbane and Melbourne, and donation tubes can be seen in many cafes and small businesses throughout both cities. The increased awareness has resulted in a strong following from both individuals and organisations looking to support the initiative.

Organisers collect the money once a week
Sacks are made and hand delivered to the homeless...

What: Each $5 donation makes a sack containing:
  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Tuna
  • Cereal
  • UHT Milk
  • Baked Beans
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Water
How: 1. Donate online
2. Visit a participating coffee shop and donate $5. 
3. Volunteer to assist on communal packing days.


Michael and Ryan
Pay A Sack Forward
Tel: 1300 796 211

INCGD | Breakfast and Keynote: Identity, Faith & the Media | Saturday 6February 2016 | 7am

[Edited extract from public address]

Interfaith Network’s FIFTH Annual Interfaith Breakfast and celebrating United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016

The Interfaith Network of City of Greater Dandenong looks forward to welcoming you at this special breakfast.

Where: The Springvale Town Hall Supper Room, 397-405 Springvale Rd, Springvale.

The Guest Speaker is Manpreet Kaur Singh
“Manpreet is best known as a multi-award winning SBS broadcaster, her work across all platforms of journalism -- newspapers, radio, magazines, television and online – have earned her widespread respect and recognition in Australia and beyond.

She joined SBS Punjabi program in 1993 and has made a significant contribution in areas of social justice, cultural cohesion and multiculturalism.

Manpreet’s acclaimed documentary feature The Enemy Within, investigating family violence in the Australian-Indian community, has won six national and international awards, and earned her a coveted Walkley nomination. Her articles in Hindustan Times, India Today and continue to build the identity of Sikh / Indian migrants of Australia.

The receiver of many awards and recognition, Manpreet has won a Legal Reporting Award from Victorian Legal Foundation and was a judge for Young Walkleys in 2014. In 2013 she won the “Media Award” at Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence and was a finalist at Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism”.

From her enormous experience and wealth of knowledge, Manpreet will be speaking on “Identity, Faith & the Media”.

Please do pass on to others who might be interested in your community.

RSVP: For catering purposes, we need to know how many of you are coming. RSVP to or 0421 829 563 - as soon as possible, but no later than the 1st of February.

Interfaith Network, City of Greater Dandenong
Helen Heath or Tel 0421 829 563

BMIN | World Interfaith Harmony Week Observance: Connecting to the Earth | Thursday, 4 February 2016 | 10am-12pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join us in "Connecting to Earth" - a local commemoration of World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016.

It will provide an opportunity for western region interfaith groups and people of goodwill to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.

The event will include:

  • Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri Traditional Elder
  • Welcome and short introduction to the spiritual care at Western Health by Khanh Do
  • Keynote address by Nivy Balachandran, Coordinator at United Religious Initiative and delegate at the 2016 Paris Climate Change Conference
  • Guided Walk through the Labyrith with Rev Ray Gorman, Minister of Uniting Church in Sunshine
  • Lunch catered by ASRC Catering and networking
  • Guided tour of the Sunshine Hospital organised by Sunshine Hospital Volunteers Department
  • Refreshments and light lunch will be provided.

Who: Organised by the Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network in partnership with Western Health, Melton Interfaith Network, Wyndham Interfaith Network and United Religious Initiative.

Please register now at Eventbrite


Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network
Visit website or contact Petr Svoboda at Maribyrnong City Council on or call 9688 0452.