IOV | FESTIVAL | In One Voice | 19 March 2017 | 11am - 5pm

[Edited extract from public address]

It’s NOT just about the bagels and cheesecake at this year’s Jewish Cultural Street Festival.

The annual In One Voice festival will include an impressive concert line up, an art exhibition, craft stalls, community stalls, a bagel-eating competition, a cheesecake bake-off, cooking demonstrations and a traditional egg and spoon race.

Ms Weizman said the concert would showcase an “amazing array of talent within the Jewish community”, including the Bashevis Singers (featuring Husky Gawenda) singing Yiddish tunes.
“We’ll also be hearing from Jewku’ladies, a group of women who have taken up the ukulele under the guidance of Karen Feldman, and many, many choirs — some from schools (Sholem Aleichem College, The King David School, Bialik College, and Mt Scopus MC) and others from the community,” she said.
Expect a day of sensory overload as you walk through the sounds, taste and experiences of everything that’s Jewish in Melbourne. Although In One Voice is a great celebration of Jewish culture, open to everyone to attend.

Where: Selwyn and Sinclair Streets, Elsternwick

In One Voice

In One Voice is part of Cultural Diversity Week (March 12-20).

CCJV | A shared reading of Isaiah 52.13-53.12 | Sunday 19 March 2017 | 3–6pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join this discussion of Isaiah 52.13-53.12, a passage traditionally read in churches on Good Friday and interpreted by many Christians as referring to the coming Messiah.

About the speakers:
  • Dr Mark Brett is Professor of Hebrew Bible at Whitley College, within the Melbourne College of Divinity. He is author of Biblical Criticism in Crisis? (Cambridge 1991) and Genesis: Procreation and the Politics of Identity (Routledge 2000), and editor of Ethnicity and the Bible (Brill 1996/2002). His most recent scholarly articles have focused on the indigenous origins of Israel and postcolonial biblical studies. He is a deacon at the Collins Street Baptist Church.
  • Rabbi Allison Conyer is Senior Rabbi at Etz Hayim Progressive Synagogue in Bentleigh, with experience in Jewish education, community outreach, counselling, fundraising, outreach to the youth, young adults and young families. She is passionate about scuba diving, acting, bush walking and camping, as well as social justice, Israel, interfaith dialogue and Jewish growth.
Where: St Dominic's Primary School, 145 Highfield Road, Camberwell, Victoria

Cost: $10 including Kosher afternoon tea

Bookings: If possible please advise attendance by contacting the CCJ office | 326 Church Street, Richmond 3121 | (03) 9429 5212 |

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

JCCV & ICV | COMEDY DEBATE | North of the City is Better than South of the City | 20 March 2017 | 7-8.45pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A Jewish – Muslim Comedy Debate featuring Father Bob as Moderator, comedy stalwart Steve “Bedders” Bedwell, TV celebrity Mo Elleissy, young comedian Michael Shafar, Creative Director of the Jewish Comedy Festival Justine Sless, Louise Baring and Rana Hussain.

The JCCV and ICV are delighted to host the 2017 Jewish Muslim Comedy Debate.

Funds raised on the evening will go to the Bourke Street Fund – the Government organised charity for victims of the Bourke Street tragedy. Signed sports memorabilia items from the AFL and Cricket Australia will be auctioned on the evening thanks to Gary Peer.

Where: Swanston Hall of Melbourne Town Hall

Bookings: online through EventBrite.

Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) and

The evening is hosted by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), and proudly supported by the State Government of Victoria and the City of Melbourne.

PPLS | PERFORMANCE | Indian Music | Wednesday 22 March 2017 | 6.30-7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join Indian bansuri player Vinod Prasanna and tabla player Jay Dabgar as they perform traditional and contemporary Indian music.

Born in Varanasi, India, the award-winning flute virtuoso Vinod Prasanna shines as an outstanding performer of authentic traditional and contemporary Indian music and heir to the musical treasure of his ancestors. Having practised his flute for 17 years, Vinod commands the stage with grace and skill.

Jay Dabgar performs both as a soloist and an accompanist having procured systematic training in Indian classical percussion since the age of 4. He plays different styles of music, Indian classical, fusion and sufi. Dabgar has performed extensively in India and Australia with renowned artists.

Where: St Kilda Library

Bookings: Please book 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

This is a Cultural Diversity Week Event.

GOVV | APPLICATIONS OPEN | Trust for Nature Board | CLOSE midnight Sunday 26 March 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

Trust for Nature works with communities and private landholders in Victoria to permanently protect and enhance the diversity of our natural flora and fauna. 

The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change is seeking expressions of interest for six positions, on the Trust for Nature Board. Terms will commence late August 2017. The Board and the Committees of the Board, each have four scheduled meetings per year in the Melbourne office.

Applicants should have a demonstrated interest or expertise in one or more of the following areas: environment and conservation, strategic planning, business and financial management, fundraising and philanthropy, law, indigenous and cultural heritage and agribusiness.

To better represent the diversity of our communities: Women, Indigenous Australians, people with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and LGBTIQA+ people are encouraged to apply.

Apply online via Get on Board website.

Find further information about recruitment process, including position descriptions outlining key selection criteria.

Victoria State Government
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Ms Shani Packiyanathan
Tel: (03) 9637 9941
General: 136 186

GSANZ | APPEAL | Want to create a better world for women and girls?

[Edited extract from public address]

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand is working to create an emotionally, economically and physically safe world for women and girls.

Providing programs and services that build safety and resilience. Increasing access to education opportunities. Improving economic and financial security.

There are many way to show support: from a simple donation to a workplace fundraiser, joining the Run Melbourne team or hosting a a fundraiser at home.

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
Tel 1800 791 731
Facebook goodshepherdausnz
Twitter @GoodShepANZ

VESAKVIC | DINNER | Vesak Multi-Cultural Friendship | Saturday 22 April 2017 | Arrive 6pm for 6.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Be a part of the joyful and social Friendship Dinner celebration

  • Be treated to delicious Vegetarian cuisine from the community of Quang Minh Temple
  • Enjoy live entertainment from Buddhist Centres and Friends
  • Together raise funds for the 10th UN Day of Vesak Celebration in Melbourne. A Multi-cultural celebration of the Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Passing.
Where: Quang Minh Temple, Community Hall, 18 Burke Street, Braybrook Victoria

Cost: All welcome. $30 per ticket. Limited tickets available at the door. Tables can be booked/purchased in advance. Email today to book your table. Raises funds towards 10th Victorian Observance of UN Day of Vesak Saturday 27 May 2017.

Please check website for updated information.

Victorian United Nations Day of Vesak Inc (VESAK Vic)

A collaboration between diverse Buddhist communities of Victoria.

BBADC | PROGRAM | Multifaith Future Leaders 2017 | Monday 5 June 2017 | 8.30am-7pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Participants begin with a one day leadership training workshop and commit to ongoing contacts with future leaders from other communities. 

They join in leadership training activities and discussions with other people from different faith backgrounds. Applicants will be chosen on what they can contribute to the program, their commitment to interfaith understanding and their demonstrated potential as future leaders.

An event bringing together young adults from various faith groups to:
  • Build leadership skills in young people who are identified as future leaders of their faith communities
  • Provide them with knowledge and positive experiences about people of other faiths
  • Build networks and make positive connections
  • Applicants should be aged between 18-30ish
How do you know if the Multifaith Future Leaders Program is for you?
  • Are you a member of a faith community — Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Baha’i, Aboriginal or Atheist?
  • Are you a dynamic young person, approximately 19 to 30 years and see yourself as a future leader of your community?
  • Are you keen to learn leadership skills that will help you become a better leader?
If so, you may be eligible to join the Multifaith Future Leaders Program.

Where: Hawthorn Road Caulfield South 3162 VIC

Registrations: To register your, interest online.

Cost: Free. There is no cost to the participant – lunch and dinner is included.

B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC)
Edna Lipson | Development and Project Manager
Tel: (03) 9272 5677

The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) is a harm prevention charity, dedicated to promoting tolerance, justice and multiculturalism. 

MIN | Harmony Day Concert | Saturday 25 March 2017 | 3-4.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A concert with dance, music and other activities from a variety of faiths in the Maroondah and Knox areas. 

Those who attend will be invited to participate in meditation, trivial pursuit, dance and musical performances from school and religious communities, amongst other activiites. It will be a fun afternoon for people of all ages.

Where: Janssen Spirituality Centre, 22 Woodvale Road Boronia

Cost: The event is free, but all participants need to book online through Eventbrite.

The Maroondah Interfaith Network

BIC | EXPLORATION | Spirituality by the Lake | Sunday 5 March 2017 | 1-4pm

[Edited extract from public address]

An Interfaith Experience of Seeking Peace in Troubled Times

Readings from different faith traditions on the theme of "peace" will lead participants into an exploration of how we might find peace in troubled times

Facilitators will include Jenny Greblo  (guided meditation), music therapist Astrid Notarangelo and artist Jenny Feiss.

There will be an opportunity to walk a labyrinth, a walking meditation which quietens the mind, opens the heart and grounds the body.

Experience music, art, readings and reflection.

Activities will suit all ages. All are welcome.

Where: The Boathouse, Bendigo Rowing Club, Lake Weeroona Boathouse, 34-36 Weeroona Avenue Bendigo VIC 3550

Cost: Free entry - no booking required.

The Bendigo InterFaith Council and Daybreak Centre of Spirituality
Daybreak: Jenny on (03) 5441 1814
Bendigo InterFaith Council: Judy (03) 5443 5909 and Frank 0427 315 633

BMIN | PANEL DISCUSSION | 2017 International Women’s Day - Be Bold For Change | Wednesday 8 March 2017 | 6-8pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join in celebration and promotion of women’s leadership in faith communities in Brimbank and Maribyrnong. 

Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network, in partnership with commUnity Plus, invites you to join a panel of women of faith who are inspired to work towards more gender-balanced leadership in faith communities.

Panel of speakers will include:
  • Federal Member for Calwell Maria Vamvakinou MP
  • Brimbank Council Deputy Mayor Cr Georgina Papafotiou
  • InterAction Director Ms Nivy Balachandran
  • Transformative community leader Ms Nayran Tabiei
Where: commUnity Plus Neighbourhood House, 822 Ballarat Road, Deer Park

Bookings: Places are limited. RSVP by Tuesday 2 March 2017.

Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network
Contact Petr Svoboda at Maribyrnong City Council

LEADAA and Beyond Story | STORY TALK | Cultural Perceptions on Aging: Storytelling + Panel discussion | 09 March 2017 | Arrive 5.15pm for 5.30pm-7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Aging is a dirty word for many people, but in some cultures it can attract respect due to the wisdom of older people.

So how does culture inform the perception of aging? Are there cultural practices that "keep us young"?

Prepare for a thought provoking night that challenges your own perception on aging.

An evening of stories and panel discussion from four beautiful people from four very different cultures – Chinese, South African, Italian and Nepalese to explore the topic of aging.

Where: Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday St, Carlton Vic 3053

Cost: $10 + booking fee. Free for NFP organisations

Inclusions: upon request, child care is available at event - Please make sure you notify us if you require it. Enjoy some drinks and nibbles.

Bookings: Online through Eventbrite

LEADAA and Beyond Story
Instagram: @beyond.story

LEADAA stands for leadership, education, advancement and development for Asian Australians. A not for profit organisation with aim to expand leadership opportunities for Asian-Australians through dialogues, discussions and engagements.  We also initiate events and dialogues about cultural diversity to provoke new thinking and insights on what it means and how it is expressed in Australia.

Beyond Story is a business with a social purpose – an employer and supporter of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. We are dedicated towards promoting social harmony and creating transformative cultural experiences that connects people, deeply and authentically, no matter where you come from.
Beyond Story run creative workshops as a platform to bring people from all cultures together through experiencing cultural arts.  Beyond Story workshops allow you to witness the cultural arts form, hear the stories behind the arts and make the arts together.  We believe focusing on our differences is easy and divisive, leveraging what we have in common is harder, but will effect positive change for all.

This event is supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

VMC | GRANTS | Festivals and Events grants | 2017-2018 | NOW OPEN

[Edited extract from public address]

A new round of multicultural festivals and events grants is now open to support organisers of community events that celebrate Victoria’s rich diversity.

The Victorian Government has announced more than $2 million in funding available under the new Multicultural Festivals and Events Program for events that will be held during the 2017-2018 financial year.

Organisations can apply for small grants capped at $10,000 and large grants of up to $100,000, while schools can apply for funding of up to $2,000 to support cultural diversity celebrations for students.

Successful bids will showcase Victoria’s multicultural traditions through food, music and culture, demonstrate the impact of events for the community and engage the wider public in diversity celebrations.

“As part of Victorian. And proud of it. this year, community groups will be required to open up festivals and events to the broader public to share in the cultural traditions that make Victoria the best place on earth,” said Minister Scott.

Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) 
Level 3, 3 Treasury Place, East Melbourne Vic 3002
Postal: GPO Box 4698, Melbourne Vic 3001
Tel: 03 9651 0651. For all grant related enquires please call 1300 366 356.

The Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) plays a key role on an independent panel for the government’s community grants programs, which uses a comprehensive merit system to assess applications.

BMIN | BUS TOUR | Places of Worship Bus Tour March 2017 | Saturday 12 March 2017 | 11.20am-2.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

All aboard this bus for Yen Ming Tang Buddhist Meditation Centre and St George Serbian Orthodox Church.

Bus Pick-up points: 
Footscray: 11.20am at Footscray Town Hall, 61 Napier St, Footscray
Sunshine:  11.45am at Visy Cares Hub, 80b Harvester Road, Sunshine

Drop off at same locations:
Sunshine at 2.15pm and at Footscray at 2.30pm

This time we will visit the Yen Ming Tang Buddhist Meditation Centre in Albion to witness Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Birthday and enjoy lunch at the centre.  Avalokitesvara is one of the most important bodhisattvas in Mahāyāna Buddhism. The name Avalokitesvara means "the Lord who looks on the World". He is the supremely compassionate helper, and responds instantly to all who ‘with all their mind call on his name’, and is often depicted with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes for that purpose.

After lunch we will visit the St George Serbian Orthodox Church in St Albans.  Currently there are 41 Serbian Orthodox parishes in Australia and New Zealand, with two monasteries and one skete.

Places limited. Register online.

The Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network
Maribyrnong City Council
Petr Svoboda
Tel: 0422 102 053

PULSE | FUNDRAISING CONCERT | Beating Hearts | Sunday 12 March | 2-4.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A fundraiser for BRIGIDINE ASYLUM SEEKER PROJECT (Housing and social support) and ASYLUM SEEKER PILOT PATHWAYS PROJECT (YouthPlus Education access support)

Guest speaker Julian Burnside QC

The Pulse have been singing together for 9 years. A group of friends who love singing and love being together. Sally, who leads the group, is currently the main arranger and song writer. We sing basically what ever we love.

Where: St Silas' Church, 99 Bridport Street, Albert Park

Cost: $25 waged $10 unwaged/concession
Cash donations over $2 tax deductible

Inclusions: Afternoon tea included

The Pulse
Sal Morgan

VMC | COMMEMORATION | Cultural Diversity Week | 18-26 March 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

Cultural Diversity Week is fast approaching and there are many ways to get involved!

Discover community events in your area or promote your own event on our newly released Cultural Diversity Week Events Calendar.

We're also welcoming entries into the VMC Film Festival Competition and Primary School Art Competition, both closing soon, and invite young people to our new Culture Waves concert on Saturday 25 March.
Find out more about the new initiatives.

Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) 
Level 3, 3 Treasury Place, East Melbourne Vic 3002
Postal: GPO Box 4698, Melbourne Vic 3001
Tel: 03 9651 0651. For all grant related enquires please call 1300 366 356.

The Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) plays a key role on an independent panel for the government’s community grants programs, which uses a comprehensive merit system to assess applications.

JCCV&ICV | FUNDRAISER | Jewish Muslim Comedy Debate | Monday 20 March 2017 | 7-8.45pm

[Edited extract from public address]

North of the City is Better than South of the City

In this second ever Jewish - Muslim Comedy Debate, our very clever and esteemed panelists will debate (with tongues firmly in cheek) that "North of the River is Better than South of the River".

The very witty and often cheeky Father Bob will be moderator on the night and panelists include the very talented Mo Elleissy, Steve Bedwell, Michael Shafar, Justine Sless, Louise Baring and Rana Hussain.

Funds raised on the evening will go to the Bourke Street Fund – the Government organised charity for victims of the Bourke Street tragedy. Signed sports memorabilia items from the AFL and Cricket Australia will be auctioned on the evening.

Where: Melbourne Town Hall - Corner Swanston and Collins Streets Melbourne


The Jewish Communities Council of Victoria and The Islamic Council of Victoria
David Marlow
Tel: (03) 9272 5579
Mob: 0407 389 919

The evening is hosted by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), and proudly supported by the State Government of Victoria and the City of Melbourne.

BIC | MEAL TALK | Interfaith Forum and Dinner | Thursday 23 March 2017 | 6-9pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Community Harmony through Times of Crisis

Join us at the annual Interfaith Forum and Dinner to enjoy a delicious meal and explore the topic of "Community Harmony through Times of Crisis" with Jenny McGuirk from the Victorian Council of Churches Emergencies Ministries (VCCEM).

Entertainment will be provided by Sukhjit Kaur, spoken word artist, actor and human rights performer.

Where: All Season Conservatory, 171 McIvor Road, Bendigo

Cost: $50/person | $380/table of 8 | $45 Concession (limited places)

Bookings: Online or call LCMS: (03) 5441 6644 | All Seasons (03) 5443 8166.

The Interfaith Forum and Dinner is part of the 2017 Bendigo Festival of Cultures.

The Bendigo Inter-Faith Council and Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services
120 McCrae St, Bendigo, Victoria
Tel: (03) 5441 6644
Hours: 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

This event is supported by Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, Victorian Multicultural Commission, City of Greater Bendigo, Bendigo Advertiser, the State Government of Victoria and other sponsors.

BCV | CELEBRATION | 20th Anniversary | Saturday 25 March 2017 | Arrive 9.30am for 10am–3.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Celebrating 20 years’ bringing Victorian communities together through Buddha Dhamma, Wisdom and Compassion. 

You and your community are invited to a day of dharma joy and sharing.

9.30 | Arriving of Ministers, VIPs and guests.
10am | Opening ceremony, Sangha blessing and chanting
10.30am | Alms round (Pindabata)
12 noon | Dhamma/Dharma/Drama Café opens for lunch (serves vegetarian lunch and refreshment until the end of program)
1-3pm | Workshops: Dharma talks, Meditations led by various traditions, Children activities, Temple tours
3pm | Closing ceremony with performance, cakes and gifts for all For full program details: please refer to website

Where: Quang Minh Buddhist Temple, 18 Burke Street, Braybrook Vic 3019

Cost: this event is free for all, donations to support BCV welcome.

Enquiries & RSVP: 15 March 2017
Email:; Phone 0490 767 883

Buddhist Council of Victoria (BCV)
Tel: 0490 767 883

The celebration is hosted by the Buddhist Council of Victoria (BCV), the Quang Minh Buddhist Temple (QMBT), partnering with The Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network and proudly supported by Victoria Multicultural Commission and the City of Maribyrnong.

HINYG | GATHERING | Quarterly Youth Gathering | Wednesday 29 March 2017 | 4-5pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Share your thoughts and ideas with like-minded youth, meet other youth in your community and participate in fun activities. Enjoy a free BBQ.

Where: The Auditorium, Ilim College, 30 Inverloch Crescent, Dallas

Bookings: RSVP Wednesday 22 March 2017 | Sal at

The Hume Interfaith Network Youth Group

NCJWAV | MEAL TALK | Women's Interfaith Model Passover Seder 2017 | Monday 27 March 2017 | 6-9pm (arrive 5.45pm for 6pm start)

[Edited extract from public address]

Women are invited to take part in this unique interactive Interfaith Women’s Passover experience. 

Facilitated by: Keren Harel-Gordon, Jewish studies teacher, learn about the traditions and customs of this eight-day festival which commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Includes a specially prepared ‘Seder’ type meal, take home booklet and packet of matzah.

Organisers encourage participants to please bring a female friend or relative from the same or different faith with whom to share this experience.

Where: The Eva Besen Centre, 131-133 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North

Cost: $25 per person; $15 for students | Light Kosher Vegetarian meal served

Bookings: Online Registration

Please Note: This is a Women's only event.

National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (Vic)
131-133 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North VIC 3161
PO Box 2220, Caulfield Junction VIC 3161
Tel: (03) 9523 0535

The event is partnered with United Jewish Education Board and supported by the Office of Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship Department of Premier & Cabinet. The National Council of Jewish Women of Australian (Victoria) would like to thank all supporters.

HIN | SERVICE | Multi-Faith Service - Celebrating our strength in diversity | Wednesday 29 March 2017 | 5.30-7pm

[Edited extract from public address]

An event giving you an insight into the different faiths that represent Hume City and celebrate our strength in diversity.

Where: The Auditorium, Ilim College, 30 Inverloch Crescent, Dallas

Bookings: RSVP Wednesday 22 March 2017 | Email:

The Hume Interfaith Network
Amanda Venda
Community Development Officer - Southern
Social Development Department
Hume City Council
Tel: (03) 9205 2200

MICF | STAND OUTS | Melbourne International Comedy Festival | 29 March-23 April 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

An annual event, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival literally takes over Australia's comedy capital, Melbourne, each autumn with an enormous program of stand-up comedy, cabaret, theatre, street performance, film, television, radio and visual arts.

Celebrating its 31st year in 2016, Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world, alongside Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival.

Some stand outs here:

ASIA | Comedy Zone | 30 March-23 April | Tue-Sat 8.15pm, Sun 7.15pm

India's Neeti Palta and Sumit Anand, Malaysia's Douglas Lim and Rizal Van Geyzel and Singapore's Jinx Yeo
@ Melbourne Town Hall

SQUEAKY | Clean Comedy | 1, 7, 8 April | 7.30-9.30pm

Australia's premier clean comedy gala returns, laugh yourself hoarse while helping raise awareness of the work of World Vision overseas. 
@ Melbourne City Conference Centre

RACY | It Don't Matter if You're Black or Wog | 2, 9 March and 16, 23 April | 9-10.20pm

Former LA Comedian, new Aussie Ashley Fils-Aime teams up woth local veteran Gabriel Rossi for a light-hearted look at being ethnic and how it really doesn't matter what your background is or where you're from.
@ Comic's Lounge

SASSY | Ruby Wax is Frazzled | Thurs 30 March-Sat 2 April | Thurs-Sat 7-8.20pm, Sun 6-7.20pm

Drop dead gorgeous, sassy and smart, Ruby Wax brings her new one-woman show to the stage, based on her best seller A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled. Once crazy, now less so, she gives a tour of the mind - how to use it, not lose it.
@ Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne

HAPPIEST | Refugee Live | Wednesday 5 April | 8-9.30pm

By popular demand Anh Do returns with his hit show based on his best selling book The Happiest Refugee. Laugh and cry through this stand-up retelling of real life stories, photos and filmed pieces. 
@ Regent Theatre

DEADLY | Funny: Cheeky, loud, black and proud | Saturday 8 April | 4.30pm

Original and Torres Strait Islander Comedy Competition, National Final & Showcase
Hosted by Sean Choolburra, Shiralee Hood, Kevin Kropinyeri and Andy Saunders.
Featuring a performance by last year's winner Jalen Sutcliffe.
@ Arts Centre Melbourne

JEEZ | Louise Address: Women in Comedy | Sunday 9 April | 4-4.55pm

The questions are always asked. Based on anonymous answers form industry and audiences, Cal Wilson discusses whether gender makes a difference... from the perspective of those watching, programming and performing comedy.
@ Melbourne Town Hall

BENEFIT | Bold as Brass: An Asylum Seeker Resource Centre | Sunday 9 April | 7-9.30pm

Paying tribute to Split Enz, a frenzy of comedy and music superstars. MC Geraldine Quinn with all proceeds going to ASRC.
@ The Toff in Town

BENEFIT | Stand up for Mehdi | Monday 10 April | 8.20-9.30pm

Mehdi dared to tell some jokes. Those jokes put his life in danger. So he escaped. To find himself on Manus Island. In this extraordinary event, a stellar line-up of the best comedians at the Festival come together in solidarity with Mehdi and victims of Australia's detention policies. MC Tom Ballard with all proceeds going to the Human Rights Law Centre.
@ Melbourne Town Hall

...and much, much more.

Booking: Online through Ticketmaster or Tel 1300 660 013

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
240 Exhibition Street (above Comedy Theatre), Melbourne Victoria 3000
Tel: 03 9245 3700 (administration office, you cannot buy tickets via this number)
Email: (General enquiries)

CoPP&TWC | TALK | A.C. Grayling: The Origins and Future of Humanism | Thursday 6 April 2017 | 7.30pm–8.30pm

[Edited Extract from public address]

‘Humanism is the philosophy that you should be a good guest at the dinner table of life.’

In recent years, the eminent British philosopher A.C. Grayling has been a respectful and emphatic voice within the New Atheist movement. During his distinguished career, he’s celebrated ideals of human rationality and progress, arguing for humanism as a powerful, practical alternative to religion. The author of more than 30 books, including What Is Good?, The God Argument and The Age of Genius, Grayling has articulated these values with academic rigour and eloquence.

In this talk, Grayling will define humanism and outline its roots in the philosophy of classical antiquity. He’ll make a case for a universal ethics – one that honours human individuality, freedom and dignity – that can overcome the shortcomings and restrictions of organised religion.

Part lecture, part discussion – spend an evening with this exceptional philosopher for an invigorating perspective on what it means to be human, and humanist.

Where: St Kilda Town Hall - 99 Carlisle Street, St Kilda

Cost: $25 or $15 concession, plus 30c booking fee

Bookings: through the Wheeler Centre website:

City of Port Phillip
St Kilda Town Hall - 99 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
in partnership with
The Wheeler Centre

PWR | ADDRESS | Hate has a history. And it extends into the present | Thursday 23 February 2017

[Edited extract from public address]

Hate has a religious history. And that religious history also extends into the present.

But hate has its challengers, too, both secular and sacred, both civic and religious, in the past and the present.

Recent and current political campaigns and political reigns have stoked the embers of hate, but some political leaders have also stirred the oracles of reconciliation and harmony.

All religious and spiritual communities, and individuals of faith and spirit, must now decide again, as the old hymn puts it, "which side are you on?"

Silence and inaction is not an option.

Thanks to what is most sacred for the communities of faith that historically have been the victims of hate for taking the lead in showing us all what it means to choose compassion, solidarity, and mutuality.

Thanks to the Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Indigenous, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Pagan and all of our sister communities rising in love for showing us the way, not just with words but even more importantly with actions.

See below some of the reports of those words and actions.

The Parliament of the World's Religions hopes these examples will provoke you to speak your own words and enact your own commitments in this time of heightened hate.

And we at the Parliament ask that you forward to us other examples in your own communities so that we, in turn, can share them with the world. Please send these incidents of love and compassion, justice and peace to

We Amplify the Thousands of People Joining Their Prayers, Bodies, Dollars, Words and Actions Across Communities to Unite Faiths Against Hate

With Hope,
Larry Greenfield & Rob Sellers
Executive Director and Board Chair of the Parliament of the World’s Religions


Parliament of the World's Religions
70 East Lake Street, Suite 205, Chicago IL 60601

GEIFN | Media Mix | March 2017

Approx 5 min reads

Bridget McManus explores a vlogumentary takes us into the minds, hearts and lives of Australians baring "My Year 12 Life: Humour and heartbreak from the schoolground" via The Canberra Times

Martin Flanagan explores a natural antidote to diviseness and despondency with "The solution to Trumpism? A little kindness and generosity" via The Sydney Morning Herald

Paulyne Pogorelske explores unifying strength in diversity, sharing "Faith" via The Brisbane Times

Naomi Chainey explores disability, abortion and valuing life, offering "I'm pro-choice, but abortion can't be the only 'sensible' option when it comes to disability" via The Age

Paul Biegler explores outlooks faced in educational settings, asking "What is a smart kid in the age of the smart machine?" via WA Today

Caitlin Fitzsimmons explores retail and hospitality working conditions, anti-social hours and "How the penalty rates decision hurts women" via The Sydney Morning Herald

Amrit Dhillon writes of a society struggling to adapt to calls for equality of opportunity, shining a light on "Nagaland, where men are on strike until women go back to the kitchen" via The Canberra Times

Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker explores an example of strange bedfellows and poor outcomes as Cambodian "Victims put pressure on ANZ over the loss of their land" via The Age

Lindsay Murdoch writes of the deteriorating Myanmar humanitarian crisis as "Rohingya sentenced to death while atrocities continue" via The Age

Miki Perkins counts the cost of Dementia, citing a view where "'A person diagnosed with dementia has no chance': disease a growing cost for families and society" via The Age

Karl Quinn reveals a TV show exploring Australian identity, public expression and accepting difference, asking "Is Australia Racist? Ray Martin thinks he has the answer, but you may not agree" via The Canberra Times

Aubrey Perry explores inequality, mateship and a fair go, calling "Australia: Land of the Haves and the Have-Nots" via The Brisbane Times

Cara Waters explores entrepreneurship, innovators and paying the bills, suggesting "Why starting a business in your 20s is the way to go" via The Canberra Times

Michael Ebeid explores growing diversity languages other than English in Australian households, suggesting "Ignoring customer diversity is bad business" via The Canberra Times

George Williams explores gender bias in the legal profession, checking the facts before declaring "Female barristers are barely seen and rarely heard in our High Court" via The Canberra Times

Caroline James explores the results of collaborations between Government, Business and Entrepreneurs to increase benefit to public, citing "How we saved $50,000 paying no rent for a year" via The Brisbane Times

Daniel Flitton shares an example of non-selfish motivation, diligence, skilful methods, leading to "Award for feeding Africa's hungry a feather in vet's cap" via The Brisbane Times

Jewel Topsfield recalls an example of the valour displayed as "Australian families honour nurses lost at Bangka Island Massacre" via The Age

Reuters explores timely and healing leadership in uncertain times as "US Muslims raise $100,000-plus for vandalised Jewish cemetery" via The Canberra Times

Eva de Vries explores a time-proven resilience-training technique, introducing "Kenya's Ghetto Classics Orchestra: a cradle of confidence in a crowded slum" via The Age

Kaleem Aftab shares a story of connectedness with land and mindful food preparation contributors to daily happiness as "Jeong Kwan shines spotlight on Korean temple cuisine" via The Brisbane Times

Approx 20min presentations

Mia Birdsong interviews Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi: Founders of Black Lives Matter

Sisonke Msimang: If a story moves you, act on it  

Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan: A queer vision of love and marriage

Approx 5 min presentation

Sara Bareilles - Brave

Approx 2 min presentation

Sesame Street and Mila Kunis: Include

Approx 19 min presentation

CrisMarie Campbell & Susan Clarke at TEDxWhitefish share their experience dealing with Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It