CUIN | REVEALING | The Intercultural Citizenship Ambassador Program | Accredited In-school Delivery | 16 sessions over 2 Terms | Ages 9-14

[Edited extract from public address]

Information technology and social media have brought the world to our fingertips. National borders and cultural boundaries are traversed at an increasing rate as more and more people travel the globe. 

To help school students take advantage of cultural diversity, and to increase their cultural sensitivity and skills, Cultural Infusion developed the Intercultural Citizenship Ambassadors Program (ICAP). ICAP is a course of building student skills and commitment to intercultural understanding in ages 9 to 14.

The course is in two parts. The first part is mostly an inward “Cultural Journey”. Building on the first part, the second part of the course has an outward focus and encourages students to stage an event where they act as intercultural citizens and ambassadors.

The course uses role plays and techniques from art and drama, while linking with subject areas from languages, history and geography. Its curriculum engages students deeply and builds their understanding of cultural differences. It increases individual commitments to acting with respect and tolerance as they learn and interact with people from different cultures. The course gives students insight into their own identity and into the value and benefits of inclusive behaviours.

Some countries, such as Australia, have made intercultural understanding a core general competency to be taught in primary and secondary schools. ICAP has 16 sessions, is usually taught over two terms and is inspired and informed by eight key principles:
  • Self-Awareness
  • Independent Thought
  • Belonging
  • Inspiration
  • Vision
  • Initiation
  • Leadership
  • Reflection
Wherever we are: encouraging intercultural exchange and ability is crucial to fostering the advanced communication and social cohesion required for social and economic well-being. This is now being recognised by leading educators, UN agencies, political and religious leaders, and by NGOs around the world.

Creating a generation of Global Citizens, we aim to turn today’s students into tomorrow’s ambassadors – leading the way towards a generation that embraces and utilises the full extent of cultural diversity in order to thrive in an increasingly globalised world. 

For more information about the Intercultural Citizenship Ambassador Program (ICAP), visit ICAP Executive Summary and Program Overview

Cultural Infusion (CUIN)
Address: 49 Vere Street, Collingwood VIC 3066
Postal: PO Box 218, Abbotsford, VIC 3067
Tel:  9412 6666

Cultural Infusion’s programs are supported by UNESCO

PPLS | ENGAGING | Chinese Ink Art Workshops | Sunday 18 March 2018 | 2 Sessions

[Edited extract from public address]

Join award-winning Chinese brush painting artist and teacher Echo Wu for a fun and informative Chinese calligraphy and painting workshop.

The participants will discover the evolution of a particular Chinese character and learn to write them in calligraphy form, and finally produce a painting associating with the word.

Please visit for further information about the artist.

These and other events are offered during Multicultural week, as part of our aim to represent our diverse community.

Where: Community Room, St Kilda Library, 150 Carlisle St, St Kilda, VIC 3182

Cost: $6 Suitable for ages 16+

Two workshop times available.
Session one: 1-2.30pm
Session two: 3-4.30pm

Bookings: essential as spaces limited. One booking per person. Book online through EventBrite.

Port Phillip Library Service (PPLS)
Post: 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda, Victoria 3182
Tel: 9209 6655

NCHWAV | ENGAGING | Women's Interfaith Model Passover Seder | Wednesday 21 March 2018 | 5.45pm for a 6pm start

[Edited extract from public address]

Take part in this unique interactive Interfaith Women’s Passover experience. 

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.

Facilitated by: Melinda Jones

We encourage you to please bring a friend or relative from the same or different faith with whom to share this experience.

Considerations: Please note, this is a women only event

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

Cost: $25 per person/$15 school students

Bookings: essential. RSVP by 7 March 2018 for catering purposes. For online booking, click here. Further information: 03 9044 5401 during business hours

National Council of Jewish Women of Australia
Address: The Eva Besen Centre, 131-133 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North
Tel: 03 9044 5401

KIN | DINNER | Unity in Diversity: People of diverse faiths working together for harmony | Thursday 22 March 2018 | 6.30-8.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A Harmony Dinner during Cultural Diversity Week to celebrate the diversity of cultures and religions in the City of Kingston.

Guest speakers:
Rev Helen Summers
Dharma Teacher Andrew William
Dinner and music will follow the informal Q&A discussion | Please come along!

Where: Chelsea Activity Hub, 5 Showers Ave, Chelsea 3196

Cost: Free Event | All welcome

Bookings: essential RSVP: 14 March 2018. Elisabetta Robecchi | 03 9581 4783

Kingston Interfaith Network
Elisabetta Robecchi 
Tel: 03 9581 4783

PPLS | ENGAGING | Hands-on Henna Workshop | Sunday 25 March 2018 | 2 Sessions

[Edited extract from public address]

Participants will learn about Henna and its cultural significance and see a demonstration on how to mix fresh henna paste.

Join Neeta from Ada Henna at St Kilda Library for a hands-on Henna workshop. Learn how to make a henna cone and be introduced to simple patterns of henna design.

These and other events are offered during Multicultural week, as part of our aim to represent our diverse community.

Cost: $6 Suitable for ages 16+ Two workshop times available.

Session one: 10.30am-12.30pm

Session two: 2-4pm

Where: Community Room, St Kilda Library, 150 Carlisle St, St Kilda, VIC 3182

Bookings: essential as spaces limited. One booking per person. Book online through EventBrite.

Port Phillip Library Service (PPLS)
Post: 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda, Victoria 3182
Tel: 9209 6655

S2B | ENGAGING | The Art of African Headwrap Workshop | Sunday 25 March 2018 | 11am-1pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Embrace your inner queen and learn how to confidently wear a headwrap in a variety of styles with this workshop.

Hosted by Nehanda Yemaya Rusere and Watiri Boleyn. Feel free to bring your own scarf or scarves will be available and also on sale.
Nehanda is a Healer, Coach, Visionary, Art Model, Dancer and Storyteller.

Where: Space2b Social Design, 144 Chapel Street, Balaclava, Melbourne, VIC 3182

Cost: $15

Bookings: online through EventBrite

You also have the chance to be in the sister-event United Threads Fashion Show

Space2b Social Design
Address: 144 Chapel Street, Balaclava, Melbourne, VIC 3182

Playing a part in the Laneway Market Festival | 25 March 2018 | 10-3pm

S2B | EXPERIENCE | United Threads Fashion Show | Sunday 25 March 2018 | 1.30-2.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Come and Experience Colourful, Vibrant Fashion From Around The World

Designers will be showcasing their creations, inspired by their culture.

Encouraging participants of all shapes, sizes and cultural backgrounds and promoting the message ‘love your body’.

You can also get tickets to our Headwrap workshop earlier in the day, and then you have the opportunity to be part of the fashion show!

Where: Laneway behind Space2b Social Design, 144 Chapel Street, Balaclava, Melbourne, VIC 3182

Cost: $15

Bookings: online through EventBrite

Space2b is a social enterprise supporting newly arrived migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum to become financially independent.  We do this by connecting people; assisting in their creative enterprise; facilitating workplace training and business mentoring; we support our participants to thrive.

Space2b Social Design
Address: 144 Chapel Street, Balaclava, Melbourne, VIC 3182

Playing a part in the Laneway Market Festival | 25 March 2018 | 10-3pm

DVP | RAISING | Disability Visibility Project | since 2014

[Edited extract from public address]

An online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability media and culture.

The Disability Visibility Project (DVP) is also a community partnership with StoryCorps, a national oral history organization. Our aim is to create disabled media that is intersectional, multi-modal, and accessible.

What does the DVP do?
  • Believes that disabled narratives matter and that they belong to us
  • Encourages people with disabilities to go to StoryCorps or use the StoryCorps app and record their oral histories with the option of having them archived at the Library of Congress
  • Creates disabled media from those oral histories in the form of tweets, podcast episodes, radio stories, audio clips, images, blog posts, etc.
  • Publishes original essays, reports, and blog posts about ableism, intersectionality, culture, media, and politics from the perspective of disabled people
  • Provides online spaces for people to share and connect
  • Hosts and organizes Twitter chats about disability culture and issues
  • Moderates a Facebook group, fostering conversation and sharing the latest news of interest to the disability community
  • Champions disability culture and history
  • Organizes and facilitates events, gives presentations, participates on panels
  • Supports and amplifies the work of other disabled people and organizations in the community using social media
  • Partners with other activists and organizations in various campaigns such as #CripTheVote and
  • Consults with organizations and companies
Disability Visibility Project (DVP)

PWR | CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS | 7th International Convening Toronto | CLOSE 1 April 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

The Parliament of the World's Religions is calling for persons of faith and conscience across the globe to submit program proposals for its 7th international convening taking place in Toronto, Ontario, 1- 7 November 2018. 

Some updates from the team and materials to help plan your PoWR experience.

Submissions of proposals to present sessions at the 2018 PoWR will now be accepted through April 2018. 

During this month-long extension, the Parliament is looking for program ideas that will inspire, inform, energize, connect and move attendees of the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions to advance our collective mission of a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. While you continue forward to learn about the expanded request for proposals, please take note of the following informational updates:
  • Early bird rates will continue to save you $100 or more on PoWR registration throughout the month of March, closing on April 1. Student and group registration unlocks deeper discounts!
  • More than 500 discrete programs will be featured over seven days
  • Final decisions on program review will be communicated by 15 May 2018 
  • Presenters and applicants will receive access to reduced-rate registration tiers
  • Exhibitor, Sponsor, & Advertiser Opportunities are available here: Did you know that registration fees only cover about half the cost of producing the Parliament? Low registration fees let more people attend but we need the support of sponsors, grantmakers, and donors. We invite individuals, groups, organizations and corporations aligned to (or interested in supporting) faith, interfaith, civic life, and critical issues and more to take a look at these opportunities to engage with our active and informed participants. 
  • Early bird incentives are also extended for exhibition space bookings in March! Book by April 1 to save $300!

Announcing Subthemes of the Assembly & Program Initiatives of the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions

In planning for the 2018 Parliament, Task Forces of the Parliament of the World's Religions have expanded membership to include Trustees of the Parliament Board, leaders and officers of PoWR 2018 programmatic partner organizations, and key representatives of communities across our 2018 home nation of Canada in each of six major task force areas.

An expanded Request for Proposals to guide applications relating to each of six critical issue and constituency tracks. Please share these 2018 PoWR RFPs far and wide!

In the coming weeks, you will also learn more from each task force about the design and vision of the Assembly and Program Initiative developing in each area, including schedules, major speakers, and the news of exciting interfaith projects open to both attendees and the general public!

To assist you in planning a best possible proposal, the Parliament invites you to read, consider and respond to the primary Requests for Proposals on the conference theme, The Promise of Inclusion, the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change.  and/or an RFP in the context of our critical issues and constituencies informing the sub-themes of the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions, which include:

Women's Dignity Across the World's Wisdom Traditions & Society
Organized by the Women's Task Force

Interfaith Has No Age • Youth Voices for Change
Organized by the Next Generation Task Force

The Spiritual Evolution of Humanity & Healing Our Mother Earth
Organized by the Indigenous Peoples' Task Force & Working Group

Peace and Love: Not War, Hate & Violence 
Organized by the Task Force on Countering War, Hate & Violence

Care for Our Earth, Responsibility for Our Future
Organized by the Climate Action Task Force

Advancing Concrete Change Toward a Just, Peaceful, and Sustainable World
Organized by the Justice Task Force

The Promise of Inclusion, The Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation & Change
The Primary Call for Programs for the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions for submissions on the interfaith movement, Parliament mission & landmark document, Toward a Global Ethic, and other issues. 

Downloadable Request for Proposal PDFs

Each includes the primary request for proposals and the submission guidelines for the specific track and program. Download Program Track PDFs below.
To review all program track RFPs, please click here to begin downloading.

Help us to do good.

Make a Gift to the Parliament

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

AIS | EAT TALK | Pathways to Success: Navigating the speed bumps and avoiding dead ends | Thursday 12 April 2018 | 11.30am-1pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A panel discussion and light lunch with coffee and tea. 

If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know when you register for the event.

Where: Location to be confirmed

Cost: FREE

Bookings: Register online through EventBrite

Australian Intercultural Society
Address: Ground Floor, Suite 2, 441 St Kilda Road Melbourne VIC 3004
Tel: 03 9867 2248

ECCV | ANNUAL CONFERENCE | Workplace rEvolution: Blueprints for a Diverse Tomorrow | Thursday 17-Friday 18 May 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Exploring the impact of differing mindsets about diversity and inclusion across the three sectors; Government, Not-for-Profit and Business & Social Enterprise.

They also aim to create ongoing partnerships across the sectors at and beyond the Conference.

The ECCV State Conference will lead public discussion addressing the issues of unemployment and underemployment of all Victorians from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Conference sessions will have a strong focus on future income earning opportunities to benefit employers, diverse jobseekers, business leaders and future entrepreneurs.

Economic and industry environments are embracing a culture of inclusion and respect for diversity.
It is essential all sectors, industries and groups come together at the 2018 state conference to share stories, ideas and thoughts about how policy can be shaped to improve workplace opportunities and experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse Victorians.

Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) is the peak policy advocacy body for over 200 ethnic and multicultural organisations in Victoria. It is a community based, member driven organisation committed to empowering people from diverse multicultural backgrounds.  For over 40 years we have been the link between multicultural communities, government and the wider community.

Key Dates

The ECCV 2018 State Conference
Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV)

ARC | REPORTS | Cultural Rainbow Service Directory | Friday 9 March 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Red Cross and AGMC announce the new Cultural Rainbow Service Directory is now available for use online.

The directory is the result of the your participation in the forum to address the ongoing gap in service knowledge for LGBTI migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The forum had more than 50 participants from across Melbourne’s Multicultural and LGBTI services who came together to map the services that exist for this client group.

An ongoing collaboration, the database will be updated regularly by Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC). Please feel free to submit alterations, and further services that may be relevant via the website, and please share with your networks.

Australian Red Cross
23-47 Villiers Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051
Anthony Benedyka, Project Lead Community Conversations/In Search of Safety Program
Migration Support Programs, Equal Opportunity Contact Officer
Tel: +61 3 8354 4878

GEIFN | REPORTS | GECC | PRESS | For Progress | International Women’s Day | Friday 9 March 2018 | 11.30am–2pm (12pm start)

[Report is compiled from multiple public addresses, multiple sources made over multiple publication dates]

A celebration with local community. Reflecting on the gender equality journey and look to see what more we can do. Creating opportunities for local leaders, community members and stakeholders to make connections, affirm their commitment to gender equality and understand what they can do to make a difference in Glen Eira and beyond.

A lunch gathering featuring inspiring women including:
Keynote Speaker Angela Pippos Journalist, presenter, documentary maker and author, joining with
Augustine Zycher Founder and Co-editor WomanGoingPlaces,
Cara Morgan Glen Eira Young Citizen of the Year 2018 and
Rebecca McKenzie CEO Glen Eira City Council.

Where: Glen Eira Town Hall Auditorium. Cnr Glen Eira & Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield

A celebration of International Women’s Day Thursday 8 March 2018 with the global theme Press for Progress. The program highlighted achievements of women locally and inspired participants to take action towards gender equality. Participants were invited to contribute to the conversation with the panellists and share stories over lunch.

Angela spoke of her triple passions: sport, females in sport and equality of access/support/visability for women. Taking us from the ancient Greek tradition of only allowing the male gender in sport, disallowing women from participating or watching to the present day. She spoke of her early experiences coming from Adelaide to Melbourne and of being continually the only woman from the locker room, with sports discussions or presenting sports. She spoke of the advances since 2015 in the public arena and multiplier affect of national sporting codes getting behind and putting women on centre stage.

Augustine spoke for a cohort of women who are the first generation in history of older, diversely traveled and highly educated women to number in the tens of millions. The first ever generation of older women who have spent decades in professions and skilled employment, and not in the sweatshops and the fields. The first ever generation of older women who have accumulated independent wealth and economic clout, despite discriminatory wage practices. And the first ever generation of older women who can expect to live into their 90s and possibly now entering the age of retirement. The earlier dynamic public life now seems to become the most invisible segment of the population. If seen at all, it is only through the lens of stereotypes – kindly grannies, old hags, frail spinsters or old biddies selfishly occupying homes that could better be used by young families.

Cara was awarded the 2018 Glen Eira Young Citizen of the Year in recognition of her community spirit and service. Cara spoke of her extensive involvement in the Scout movement presently including committee representation on that organisation’s national youth advisory committee. While the national body remains an all-male affair, the youth advisory committee itself calls, exemplifies and embodies equitable gender representation, engaging in positive advocacy and setting role modelling as a standard for whole-of- organisation to follow.
Rebecca spoke of her experiences across diverse workplaces and activities. Local Government is the closest level of government to the community. She believes it should also be representative of that community – in all sorts of ways, not just gender. Of the 79 Councils in Victoria only 12 are currently led by women. There are far more than 12 women in local government capable of being CEOs, so something needs to shift.

More than half (51.6%) of Glen Eira’s population is female.
  • On the Payroll: 56.2% of Glen Eira women over the age of 15 years are employed, compared with 65.2% men. Almost half of employed Glen Eira women are working part time only. Median personal income range of full time Glen Eira working women is $1250-$1499 per week compared to earning men at $1500-1749. Nationally, the average woman has to work an extra 66 days a year to earn the same pay as an average man.
  • Unpaid Work: Women continue to perform more unpaid work. 10.9% Glen Eira women provided unpaid assistance to a person with a disability compared to 7.8% men. The number of Glen Eira women performing at least 15 hours of domestic unpaid work every week is more than 3 times the number of men.
  • Safety: Only 45.6% of women feel safe walking in the community at night, compared to 79.8% of men. Sexual harassment and assault is more more common for women. Nationally, one in three women over 15 years has experienced physical violence and nearly one in five has experienced sexual assault.
It is up to all of us to awaken to the precious nature of every individual. Create opportunities where there are none, give advantage to those who are under represented, misheard or demonised. Let us each champion progress together and separately for a shared goal of a more equitable brighter future.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Organisers and Participants working tirelessly and individually, and in teams and publicly to celebrate gains, highlight opportunities and fostering team spirit to addressing today's imbalances together. Received with gratitude.

Glen Eira City Council
Glen Eira Town Hall. Corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield
Tel: +61 3 9524 3333

PWR | REPORTS | Parliament Women's Task Force | Thursday 8 March 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Women’s empowerment is taking centre stage and the 2018 Parliament will be a major voice in this expanding movement.

Today we are at a watershed moment for women’s rights and human dignity. From the historic women’s marches to sexual harassment scandals and social media campaigns such as #metoo, women have been speaking out in bold new ways and serious attention is being given to women’s issues world-wide.
Women of Faith and Conscience from Around the World Stand Together on This International Women's Day and Toward the 2018 Parliament.
Since its inception, the Parliament of World Religions has been an advocate for women. Women were speakers at the 1893 Parliament including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, author of the Women’s Bible, and Antoinette Brown Blackwell, the first ordained woman in America. The 1993 Parliament endorsed a Global Ethic with four Irrevocable Directives, including the Commitment to a Culture of Equal Rights and Partnership Between Men and Women. Women religious and spiritual leaders were featured at the 1993, 1999, 2004, and 2009 Parliaments, and in 2015, an Inaugural Women’s Assembly was held with over 3,500 participants that included the Declaration for the Dignity and Human Rights of Women.

The title for the 2018 Parliament women’s programming is The Dignity of Women Across the World’s Wisdom Traditions and Society. Please consider submitting a proposal for the 2018 Parliament, particularly on the following themes:
  • Supporting women’s religious and spiritual leadership, dignity, and equality within the world’s wisdom traditions
  • Empowering Women’s creative ritual and artistic religious and spiritual expression
  • Acknowledging and honoring a Divine Feminine/ Sacred Feminine/ Feminine Divine within and beyond religions and spiritual movements.
  • Advancing Women’s Equality in Basic Human Dignity and Rights in Society, particularly health, education, legal and financial rights and protections.
  • Seeking to End All Violence Against Women
  • Encouraging Women’s Coalitions to solve Global Problems
We also invite proposals for other topics that relate to women’s religious and spiritual concerns. For more information view: Request for Women's Programs

Elizabeth Ursic, Chair of the Parliament Women's Task Force

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

GEIFN | REPORTS | CoPP | PRESS | For Progress | Thursday 1 March 2018 | 6.30-8.30pm

[Report is compiled from multiple public addresses, multiple sources made over multiple publication dates]

A Reception for International Women’s Day 2018.

Featuring inspiring women including:
Carly Findlay Blogger, disability and appearance activist
Celeste Liddle Columnist, union organiser and Indigenous rights activist.
Jo Stanley Radio and TV presenter, comedian, and writer.

Where: St Kilda Town Hall | 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda, Victoria 3182

United Nations International Women’s Day 8 March is celebrated around the world. Leave no woman behind. Together we can empower women across the globe.
“Women’s knowledge and expertise as leaders, planning for and responding to disasters and conflict can help protect and empower women and girls so that they can survive and thrive.”
Carly explained how her quite obvious skin condition made her an advocate for disability awareness every time she left her front door. She discussed the low employability of disabled people generally, and how the internet and social media has allowed her employment, flexible working conditions (able to work from bed through periods of debilitation) and expanded career opportunities. Her lack of role-models in children’s literature has inspired her to undertake writing her first book. Carly inspired commentators when discussing inclusiveness to actually including representatives who are actually disabled, sharing the mantra “nothing about us, without us”. The audience were encouraged to continue the conversation by Googly searching Disability Visibility Project

Celeste explained how her commitment to an effective reconciling of Australia’s past, present and future is an ongoing work in progress. She has championed the growing “Invasion Day” movement, lamenting that even though the Melbourne event drew over 60,000 people, it’s coverage in mainstream media was generally diminished to mean “just move date of Australia Day”. Effective reconciliation begins with acknowledging the past, cooperating with the present and collaborating for a shared united future.

Jo recalled how her and then comedy partner’s filmed naked running woman sketch led to being offered a radio position on a high rating radio station, ostensibly because of their ‘cheekiness’. She spoke on the subsequent realisations through the constraints placed upon them, usually by male bosses informed by bias and white middle-aged male syndrome substantiated by questionable audience research. Jo has learnt to make no apologies for being directly speaking, loud in volume or shrill when laughing.

Speaking, owning and living one’s truth starts at birth, continues through life and is an ongoing journey.
All spoke to the challenges faced by women of faceless Internet Trolls, false facts and toxicity of hate speech. Emphasising self-care, establishing personal boundaries and knowing one’s limits help keep the senses of humour intact.
It is up to all of us to acknowledge the equal worth of every individual, create opportunities where there are none, and give advantage to those who are under represented, misheard or demonised.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Organisers and Participants working tirelessly and individually, and in teams and publicly to celebrate gains, highlight opportunities and fostering team spirit to addressing today's imbalances together. Received with gratitude.

City of Port Phillip
Executive & Councillors' Office
Samuel Yeo, Executive Assistant to the Mayor
St Kilda Town Hall, 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda, Victoria 3182
Tel: 03 9209 6431

HIN | CHALLENGING | The "African Youth Crisis" | Community Forum | Thursday 1 March 2018 | 6-7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A forum to unpack the conversation currently playing out in the media, regarding African youth and their community leaders.

Join keynote speaker Ahmed Hassan, Director of outreach group Youth Activating Youth (YAY). Share his journey as a young African man growing up in an ever changing community environment and how he has worked with peers, politicians and Victoria Police to rise above stigma and misconceptions.

Where: Room 4, Hume Global Learning Centre - 1093 Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows

Inclusions: Light supper provided.

Cost: free

Bookings: Limited spots, registration essential, online through EventBrite

The Hume Interfaith Network

YAY is a non-profit organisation that strives to address the psycho-social needs of multicultural youth

AIS | HEARING | The Female Voice: Women and Faith | Tuesday 6 March 2018 | 6-8pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Religious institutions have long been seen as patriarchal establishments where the female voice has often been silenced. 

However, today we see a rising trend of women speaking up and taking lead in faith movements and reclaiming space and participation in religious institutions and hierarchies.

To what extent have women been silenced? What space do women share with men in shaping matters of faith? Who are women and movements of faith that have become points of inspiration?

Where are we today on matters of justice and equality?

Professor Sophia Pandya
Sophia Pandya is currently a full professor at California State University, USA in the Department of Religious Studies. She received her BA from UC Berkeley in Near Eastern Studies/Arabic, and her MA and PhD from UC Santa Barbara in Religious Studies. A Fulbright scholar, she specializes in women and Islam, and more broadly in contemporary movements within Islam.

Dr Dina Afrianty 
Dina Afrianty is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Society (IRPS) at Australian Catholic University. Dina is currently researching gender and politics in Indonesia, Muslim women’s rights in family law, disability rights, and Islamic law in Aceh.

Dr Rachel Davies
Rachel Davies is a researcher in Philosophy, Religion, and Culture, and Catholic Thought and Practice within the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry (IRCI) at Australian Catholic University. Rachel’s current work seeks to contextualize Mother Teresa of Calcutta within the history of Western spirituality and its sources. 

Moderated by Professor Paul Weller
Emeritus Professor, Centre for Social, Cultural and Legal Research, University of Derby
Professor, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University
Research Fellow in Religion and Society, Regent's Park College, University of Oxford

Where: Christ Lecture Theatre, Australian Catholic University, 115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Cost: Free

Bookings: Essential. Online through Eventbrite

Australian Intercultural Society (AIS)
Tel: 03 9867 2248

VMC | CALLING | Entries for Primary School Short Film Competition | CLOSES Friday 9 March 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Calling all teachers and parents of budding young filmmakers across Victoria.

Primary age children are invited to produce a short film of up to five minutes under the theme This is what a Victorian looks like. 
Winning prizes for students include a complimentary family entry into the Immigration Museum, Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and IMAX Melbourne, and shortlisted films will be screened at a temporary exhibition at the Immigration Museum between 25 March and 1 April 2018.

Schools can also find a range of exciting activities to engage students in Victoria’s cultural diversity inside the new Teacher’s Resource Kit.

Victorian Multicultural Commission
Post: Level 9, 1 Spring St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 7017 8171

GECC | EAT TALK | International Women’s Day 2018 | Friday 9 March 2018 | 11.30am–2pm (12pm start)

[Edited extract from public address]

Community members are invited to a free lunchtime event on Friday 9 March to celebrate International Women’s Day with the theme Press for Progress. 

The program will celebrate the achievements of women locally and inspire you to take action towards gender equality. You will be invited to contribute to the conversation with the panellists and share stories over lunch.

Keynote Speaker:  Angela Pippos Journalist, presenter, documentary maker and author
Rebecca McKenzie CEO Glen Eira City Council
Augustine Zycher Founder and Co-editor WomanGoingPlaces
Cara Morgan Glen Eira Young Citizen of the Year 2018

Where: Glen Eira Town Hall — Auditorium. Corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield

Bookings: essential and places are limited. Book online through TryBooking

Glen Eira City Council
Glen Eira City Futures
Tel: 9524 3333

VMC | CELEBRATING | Proud to belong | Cultural Diversity Week | 17 - 25 March 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Join in celebration of everyday diversity of Victorians. Reflect on what gives us a sense of belonging in our multicultural community. 

This year, people are encouraged to think about the role we each play in ensuring our communities are inclusive and welcoming. Share your story.

Find out what's on and get involved in events and activities for the Week

Victorian Multicultural Commission
Post: Level 9, 1 Spring St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 7017 8171

MIN | EXPERIENCE | Taste of Faith | An Interfaith Cooking Workshop | Saturday 17 March 2018 | 10.30am-2.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A delicious opportunity to learn cooking skills from a variety of cuisines: Greek Orthodox, Hindu and Buddhist. A fascinating cooking demonstration followed by a tasty vegetarian lunch.

Where: Janssen Spirituality Centre, 22 Woodvale Road, Boronia, Victoria 3155

Cost: Free

Bookings: Online through EventBrite, or email Philip Hughes:

The Maroondah Interfaith Network

G/ARRCC | TALK FILM | Peninsula in Peril & movie screening ‘An Inconvenient Sequel - Truth to Power’ | Sunday 18 March 2018 | 5-8pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black (member of ARRCC, The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change) discusses why all Faiths urge us to care for our environment. 

Together, watch Al Gore’s new film: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel - Truth to Power’.
Where: Uniting Church, 6 Murray-Anderson Rd, Rosebud 3939

Who: All welcome whatever your faith or beliefs

Inclusions: light tea and film screening

Cost: $10/$5 Full/Concession (Proceeds to assist the work of GreenFaith ARRCC)

Bookings: RSVP to contact details below.

Greenfaith and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)
Bronwyn Pryor
Mob: 0412 301450

JCCV | DEBATING | Arranged marriage is better than dating | Monday 19 March 2018 | 7-8.45pm

[Edited extract from public address]

The Third Jewish-Muslim Comedy Debate proving Jews and Muslims can get together and have fun! In fact, a lot of fun!

With the witty and very cheeky Father Bob acting as Moderator, and including the very clever and hilarious panelists Justine Sless (Melbourne Jewish Comedy Festival), Rana Hussain, Michael Shafar (Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Kosher Bacon), Louise Baring, Hamsa Farah and Jacob Sachar (Melbourne International Comedy Festival).

Where: Swanston Hall, Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne Vic 3000

Cost: $12.64 – $18.41

Bookings: online through EventBrite

Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) 
306 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield South, Victoria
Tel: 03 9272 5566

A collaboration with Australian Intercultural Society (AIS) proudly supported by the State Government of Victoria and the City of Melbourne.

MIN | TOUR | Places of Worship | Harmony Day "Everyone Belongs" | Tuesday 20 March 2018 | 9am-2pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Harmony Day, 21 March, celebrates Australia's cultural diversity. It's about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. A Places of Worship Tour is a way for all Australians to embrace cultural diversity and to share what we have in common.

Places of Worship to visit:
10am – 11.00am: Sri Durga Hindu Temple, 705-715 Neale Rd, Rockbank VIC 3335
(Special Requirements: Take shoes off before entering the temple)
Morning tea will be provided at the temple
11.30am–1pm: The Church of Scientology, 231-251 Mt Alexander Rd, Ascot Vale VIC 3032

Inclusions: Light Lunch will be served at the church. Please advise of any dietary requirements.

Bus Pick-up/Drop-off Points:
Bus departs at 9:10am: Melton City Council car park, 232 High St, Melton VIC 3337
Bus departs at 9:25am: Caroline Springs library,  193-201 Caroline Springs Blvd, Caroline Springs VIC 3023
(Passengers dropped off at pick-up point before 2pm)

Cost: Gold Coin donation

Bookings: RSVP: Thursday 15 March 2018 to contact details below.

Melton Interfaith Network
Maria Meilak, Vice-President
Mob: 0409 046 172

Supported by Melton City Council

HIN | SHARE | Harmony Day Multifaith Service | Wednesday 21 March 2018 | 6-7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

An event giving insight into the different faiths that represent Hume City. Celebrating our strength in diversity on World Harmony Day.

Where: Broadmeadows Global Learning Centre Civic Place, 1093 Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows VIC 3047

Cost: Free

Hume Interfaith Network and Hume Interfaith Network Youth

NCJWAV | EXPERIENCE | Women's Interfaith Model Passover Seder | 21 March 2018 | 6-8.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

An invitation to women of all faiths to take part in this unique interactive Interfaith Women’s Passover experience.

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.

We encourage participants to please bring a 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

Bookings: RSVP by 7 March for catering purposes. Book Online through NCJWAV
For registration help call 9044 5401 during business hours

National Council of Jewish Women of Australia Victoria (NCJWA VIC)
Post: PO Box 2220, Caulfield Junction VIC 3161, Australia
Tel: 9044 5401

BIC | EAT | Annual Bendigo Interfaith Council Dinner 2018 | Wednesday 21 March 2018 | 6.30-9.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A de-light-filled occasion and opportunity for locals in this Zinda Festival and Cultural Diversity Week event.

Where: All Seasons Hotel Bendigo, 171 - 183 McIvor Rd, Strathdale, Bendigo, Victoria 3550

Bookings: On sale soon and costs $50 per ticket, stay tuned with details below.

Bendigo Interfaith Council

A collaboration with Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services

GEIFN | REPORTS | ICM | EXPLORING | Who and Where Are We in a Changing World? | Saturday 24 February 2018 | 1.30-5pm

[Report is compiled from multiple public addresses, multiple sources made over multiple publication dates]

Faith Leaders spoke on Creation Stories and the Meaning of Life in Our Universe. Celebrating the 2018 UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Where: Deakin Edge, Federation Square. Corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne.

An occasion to hear representatives from Indigenous, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities speaking about Creation Stories in their traditions, from the literal, moral, symbolic and spiritual levels of understanding. Explaining how these Origin Stories give meaning to life.

Speakers: Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy, AO, Wurundjeri Senior Woman; Swami Sunishthananda, Vedanta Society Melbourne; Venerable Michael Yeshe, Tara Society; Rabbi Jonathan Keren Black, Leo Baeck Centre; Fr Daniel Gai, Holy Apostles Anglican Church, Sunshine; Imam Fadil Fachni, Lysterfield Mosque; Jasbir Suropada Singh, Sikh Interfaith Council Victoria. Moderator: Dr Nicholas Coleman, Deputy-Director, The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne.

An assembly of people interested in cross cultural understandings of Creation, the Universe and Cosmology explored connections between individual experiences, cultural traditions and discoveries in cosmology.

The audience were invited to ask questions and participate in various activities with glorious Celtic Harp music performed at different sections of the program by Cath Connelly.
Following the seminar, interested members of the audience had the opportunity to walk the sacred path of the Labyrinth.

Looking up to the stars readily turns the mind to think about the origin of existence, relationships and interdependencies.

Religions have Origin Stories that may differ importantly from each other. Some agree that the existence of the universe as a whole and of our individual lives is due to a creative Divine Will (ie, God, Allah). Or lucky accident (ie, Dependent Origination). Or a byproduct of collective consciousness (ie, that the perceivers came first who, in the act of perception, became the Creator).

While scientists explain the meaning of the universe in scientific terms (the ‘how’, ‘how not’, ‘what’ and probable ‘when’), ignoring what cannot be measured and unable to tell us the ‘why’ of our lives.

The enduring importance of stories, is to point to fearlessness arising from truth, joyfulness that arises from kindness, and generosity that arises from non-selfishness.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Organisers and Participants working to redress historical differences, building collaborations, celebrating diversity and fostering team approaches to addressing today's society. Received with gratitude.

Interfaith Centre of Melbourne
Postal: PO Box 18335, Collins Street East, Melbourne Vic 8003 Australia

GEIFN | REPORTS | HCWPRLM | DIALOGUE | Interfaith of Scriptures: Eradication of Acts of Religious Discrimination and UN Harmony Week | Saturday 17 February 2018 | 4-6.30pm

[Report is compiled from multiple public addresses, multiple sources made over multiple publication dates]

Civic, Religious and Community Leaders and Guests assembled in discussion around topic Eradication of Acts of Religious Discrimination.

HCWPRLM’s 34th WARP Office in conjunction with the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, celebrating together with special performance by International Peace Youth Group (IPYG).
Founded in 2012, HWPL is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation registered under the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is recognised as an international peace organisation in association with the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI). WARP Office promotes harmony not just to the religious community but to the wider local communities.

Invited contributors were asked to address the questions:
1) How religious discrimination happened to you?
2) How did it affect the life of people/you?
3) What can we do to improve?

Testimonies of past experiences of Religious Discrimination by members of Islam, Zoroastrian and Presbyterian communities.

The Islam representative talked of the present day rise of Islamaphobia in Australia and recounted difficulties experienced from being identified publicly by elected political leaders as a group causing all presenting problems.

The Zoroastrian representative spoke of original persecution causing them to flee homeland (Persia) in 7th Century. Landing and being warmly welcomed temporarily by India who then needed a little convincing to let them stay. Ancestor refugees promised not to be a burden and to “be the sugar in the Indian milk” to assuage their Indian hosts that they were worthy of permanent residency.

The Presbyterian representative discussed how his Buddhist grandparents, primary carers for him and his sister, wouldn’t allow them to touch items on the home shrine and forbade them from going to Sunday School, locking them in their rooms to prevent a repeat.

Square Table discussions followed with the speakers, invited responses from Jewish, Catholic, Buddhist and Hindu representatives and audience members. Sharing hope and willingness to seize negative attitude through peace events, talking about experiences in any discrimination and participating in calls to stop acts of religious discrimination.

Then the talking stopped for an inspiring presentation by the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG). Individuals dressed to represent major religions, each holding “The Key”. Told through mostly non-verbal play, Key Holders fought over the right to unlock secrets and reveal “The Sacred Teaching”.

Discrimination is unlimited and takes many forms. It was interesting to hear how the 3 questions posed could, were and are interpreted so differently.

Some spoke from the position of being discriminated against now because of their religious identity. Others spoke of being discriminated against by their own religion because of their identity (ie, naturally born characteristics such as ethnicity, caste, gender, sexuality). Another spoke of being part of the Australian colonial group that has caused most of the discrimination. Some discriminations were ancient historical, some were in living memory and some ongoing and increasing in the present day.

The more experienced migrant groups spoke of taking self-responsibility for adopting, mixing or reconciling with the host culture, learning what the rules were, getting along well with others and adding value to community. Compromising personal/familial/religious identity was discussed relative merits by migrants to/not change names to make things easier (making friends, increasing opportunities in job markets, increased visibility of assimilating).

The Buddhist view was expressed that Suffering is perceived, created and caused by an Unawakened mind. The root cause of these Sufferings being Ignorance, divided into the 3 Confusions. Overwhelmed (Too much information, so we’re frozen to the spot), False View (100% energy being put into a 1% Truth, ignoring or denying the other 99% existences) and Apathy (thinking that surrounding negative behaviours “I” don’t directly experience aren’t affecting “me”). Transformation arises when antidotes of identifying correctly the suffering, application of the time-tested antidotes of Wisdom, Compassion and Generous-heart.

A Catholic working in mental health and interfaith space in Victoria, expressed the root cause of Discrimination as an absence of Love: of self, of other and of God.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Organisers and Participants working to redress historical differences, building collaborations, celebrating diversity and fostering team approaches to addressing today's society. Received with gratitude.

Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light
Ivan Tan, Regional Director of Victoria

GEIFN | MEDIA | Mix | March 2018

Approx 5 min reads

Cat Woods explores connections between childhood environments and adult response mechanisms, revealing strategies “Why falling short of targets is a necessary step towards success” via The Canberra Times

Jenny Cooney Carrillo explores self-doubt, public-trust and realizing experience in audience with “Helen Mirren: I think the #Metoo movement has been bubbling away for the whole of my life” via The Brisbane Times

Nicole Webb explores enduring value in learning, knowing and using additional world languages, reasoning why “I'm future-proofing my child with Chinese lessons - we should all be doing the same” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Nina Hendy updates on party planning, gaining sellers and commodifying relationships to ship more product, old school Facebook, inviting us to sneak a peek “Inside the world of multi-level marketing” via The Age

James Gorman explores an example of reconciling origin stories, contextual motives, collective recollection, evidence and truth, revealing “Debunked: The strange tale of Pope Gregory, Lent and rabbits” via The Brisbane Times

Maureen Mathews explores five languages of love and cultivating empathy, listening effectively in “About last night” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele explores disadvantage, race-profiling and origins of a protest movement affecting change, when “Black Lives Matter: Trayvon Martin, the verdict that changed everything” via The Canberra Times

Louise Schwartzkoff explores the origin story of a triumph over division, reviewing how “Riot recounts the birth of the Sydney Mardi Gras and the gay rights movement” via The Canberra Times

Myffy Rigby explores an example of owning difference, mixing flavours and returning to roots, join this insightful cook’s tour with “Lee Ho Fook chef Victor Liong: 'These temples of gastronomy aren't producing racehorses'” via GoodFood

Brian Johnston explores ancient civilizations, changing times, creature comforts and looking through a modern viewfinder, revealing “India tour: How to see India in a one-off adventure - Delhi, Jaipur, Agra” via

Sue Williams explores connections between friendliness to foreigners and not being colonized, discover a postcard in the long life of “Ethiopia, Africa: The amazing country that no longer wants to be kept secret” via

Chloe Booker explores connections between public interest, public expression, anti-graffiti efforts and personal endeavor, revealing “Our nearest faraway place is an Alphington bus stop with ocean views” via The Age

John Silvester explores public scare mongering while steady hands tool the people, procedures and system for success, shining a light on the ringmaster of “Ashton's Circus - walking the political tightrope” via The Age

Amrit Dhillon explores how society norms of arranged marriages can be a successful solution for connecting lonely hearts, revealing “In India, even gay people want an arranged marriage” via WA Today

Philip Bump explores students, putting personal aspirations on hold to mass peacefully to create positive societal change, revealing “Eight reasons the Parkland students have emerged as a powerful political voice” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Tom Cowie explores a Melbourne Church hitting runs with international students, providing a level playing field, providing belonging and drawing appreciative crowds back to the pews, revealing “The 131-year-old church hall reincarnated into a cricket ground” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Bridget McManus explores a documentary lifting the veil of public ignorance, raising the bar of respectful dialogue and getting along as “Not one and the same” via The Brisbane Times

Anna Prytz explores breaking down barriers, meeting identified need for personalized inhome support for isolated new mums, smoothing transition into parenting, revealing “'I was feeling really alone': Volunteers support struggling new mums” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Helen Pitt explores an example of religious celebration and stylish myth busting when “Rainbow hijab a first for Sydney's 40th Mardi Gras” via The Canberra Times

Amy Fallon explores an RMIT student storming African fields with style, revealing “The Aussie student who makes soccer jerseys for the world's toughest market” via The Canberra Times

Stephanie Bunbury explores personal identity, public expression and enduring songlines, reviewing “Gurrumul documentary bridges two worlds to remember a great talent” via The Age

Approx 20min presentations

Erin Marie Saltman: How young people join violent extremist groups — and how to stop them

Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao: Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria

Linda Cliatt-Wayman: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard

Approx 5 min presentation

Shawn Mendes, Sam Tsui, Casey Breves and Friends - Treat you better

Approx 2 min presentation

Sesame Street and Robin Williams: Conflict

Approx 3 min presentation

Robbie Novak’s A Pep Talk from Kid President to You