VMC | CALL FOR ENTRIES | My generation: stories of everyday multiculturalism Film Festival | now open, CLOSE 11.59pm Tuesday 24 April

[Edited extract from public address]

An invitation to showcase what multiculturalism means to your generation through the lens of everyday stories.

We're setting a challenge for filmmakers to use creative and original storytelling to enact powerful solutions to the questions of our time. Challenging us to look no further than the community around us, for the answers may be closer than we think.

Two weeks to enter your story of everyday multiculturalism. The VMC Film Festival is open for submissions and there are just two weeks left to enter a short film with your powerful story.

Films can be documentary-style or tell a fictional narrative, and films which were originally created for another competition or purpose will be accepted.

Shortlisted entries will light up the big screen at ACMI on Thursday 24 May.

In an age when  identity, race, faith and immigration politics dominate global headlines, we ask filmmakers , young and old: how has multiculturalism shaped our society in Victoria?

At this critical juncture of history,  what role do we want multiculturalism to play in our state’s future identity? And how do we get there?

Competition details:
  • Entries are welcome from anyone living in Victoria. Whether you are an established or aspiring filmmaker, or just have a powerful story to share, we invite you to submit short films of three to 12 minutes.
  • Submissions will be judged in two categories – under 25s and over 25s – and there will be great prizes .
Why: The VMC seeks narratives told by or about Victorians from all cultural backgrounds, and supports the work of emerging filmmakers from multicultural communities across Victoria.

When: Entries close Tuesday 24 April at 11:59pm. Visit to find out more and to submit your entry.

Film Festival Tickets
Shortlisted films will be screened at the VMC Film Festival at ACMI at 7.30pm on Thursday 24 May 2018. Come along to enjoy a night of inspiring local films,  celebrate with the winners and vote for the People’s Choice Award!
Tickets will cost $10 and will be on sale in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for updates and help spread the word to your networks.

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

The VMC Film Festival is presented by the Victorian Multicultural Commission in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology as an offshoot of Cultural Diversity Week.

VMC | GRANTING | Multicultural Festival and Events | open now, CLOSE 11.59pm Thursday 26 April 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Encouraging participation of the whole Victorian community in festivals and events to celebrate and embrace our vibrant multicultural diversity.

Are you organising a multicultural festival or event that will take place between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019?

The Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) encourages you to apply for a grant through the Victorian Government's Multicultural Festival and Events Program.

How much?
There are three streams of funding available:
  • Small - $10,000
  • Medium - $10,001 - $50,000
  • Large - $50,001 - $100,000
Multi-year funding up to four years will be considered for: 
  • events based in metropolitan Victoria that have been successfully delivered and funded by the Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion (MASC) Division and/or the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) for the last five years or more
  • events based in regional Victoria that have been successfully delivered and funded by MASC and/or the VMC at least once before in the last three years.
You are eligible to apply if you are an organisation that:
  • is a not-for-profit entity; and
  • has a current Australian Business Number (ABN); and
  • is registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic).
Victorian primary and secondary educational institutions are also eligible for funding under the School Grants stream, set to open in August 2018. Events must be held in March or April 2019 to celebrate Cultural Diversity Week (16 – 24 March 2019).

For more information and to apply, visit the website.

Information Sessions
The Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion Division is currently hosting grants information sessions for community groups interested in applying for any MASC grants. The remaining sessions are:
  • Thomastown 
10 April 2018, 6.00pm
Barry Road Community Activity Centre - 36 Barry Road, Thomastown VIC 3074
  • Shepparton 
11 April 2018, 1.30pm
Goulburn Ovens TAFE - 152-200 Fryers Street, Shepparton, VIC 3630
  • Dandenong 
12 April 2018, 6.00pm
Dandenong Central Senior Citizens Centre - 10 Langhorne Street, Dandenong, VIC 3175

To register your interest in attending a session, email with the following information:
  • Name
  • Organisation
  • Number of attendees
  • Location of information session you wish to attend
  • Any accessibility or interpreter requirements
Community Grants
Victorian Multicultural Commission
Level 9, 1 Spring Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 1300 366 356

PPLS | WORKSHOP | Seniors' Creative Nonfiction with Lee Kofman | Sunday April 29th | 10.30am-1.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Aged 55+ years and with a life rich story? 

If so, join writer, blogger and teacher Lee Kofman for a workshop on writing creative nonfiction. Creative nonfiction is a broad, exciting genre that includes such popular sub-genres as memoir, personal essay, travel writing and much more.

Learn about different elements of creative nonfiction and some of its common principles: situating the writer’s self, turning real people into characters and writing vividly.

Who: For attendees aged 55+ only.

Considerations: Please bring a snack as there will be no break for lunch during the workshop.

Get inspired to enter the upcoming Port Phillip Writes: Seniors Festival Writing Awards!

Cost: $6

Where: St Kilda Library Commmunity room, 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda Vic 3182

Bookings: Essential. Online through EventBrite

City of Port Phillip Council
Port Phillip Library Service (PPLS)
Tel: 9209 6655

CoPP | PLANNING | For Future Older Persons Care: Who Speaks For You When You Cannot? | Monday 30 April 2018 | 10am-12noon

[Edited extract from public address]

An Annual Forum to assist planning your future care and have your preferences known and respected. 

If you were very unwell and not able to communicate your preferences to others, who would speak for you? What would you want them to say?

Advanced care planning helps to ensure that your loved ones and your doctors know what your health care and personal preferences are. That can give everyone peace of mind.

Advanced Care Planning Australia Volunteer Community Ambassadors will provide easy to understand information about what advance care planning is, how it may benefit you and how to do it.

Where: St Kilda Town Hall (portico entrance), corner Brighton Road and Carlisle Street

Inclusions: Q&A, morning tea and all attendees to this free forum receive a complimentary information kit.

Cost: Free

Bookings: RSVP by Tuesday 24 April, ASSIST tel 03 9209 6777; Email

Older Persons Consultative Committee (OPCC)
City of Port Phillip

KIN | TOURING | Places of Worship | Wednesday 30 May 2018 | 9am-4pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A bus tour to places of worship providing an opportunity for the public to learn about different faiths. 

Tour participants will be able to see different places of worship and ask questions in a respectful and supportive small group environment. This will be a great opportunity to have a small guided tour, ask questions, and experience different faiths in a welcoming environment. Modest clothing worn in all Places of Worship would be appreciated.

This year two Community buses will be available (a 21 seats and an 11 seats buses) to accommodate more community members.

Bus Pick-up Point at 8.45am: Council Building, 34 Brindisi Street, Mentone 

The Tour will collect the participants at Mentone Council building at 8:45am and will include the following places of worship:
  • ECKANKAR Community Centre (Moorabbin)
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Moorabbin)
  • Yun Yang Temple – Include: visit of the temple and optional park walk and meditation session. (Narre Warren)
Cost: Free. Please BYO lunch - dessert and drinks provided by Kingston Council

Bookings: Essential, places on the buses are limited. RSVP: 7 May 2018. Elisabetta Robecchi | 03 9581 4783

Kingston Interfaith Network
Elisabetta Robecchi
Tel: 03 9581 4783

INTERSECT | SURVEY | Improving the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people from multicultural and diverse faith backgrounds

[Edited extract from public address]

Together we seek to improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people from multicultural and diverse faith backgrounds by hearing about people’s experiences in accessing services and in seeking support. 

Concurrently we are exploring the levels of awareness and knowledge services and community leaders may have about the health and wellbeing needs, supports and barriers LGBTIQ+ people from multicultural and diverse faith backgrounds may experience.

We are gathering this knowledge to better create resources inclusive of help sheets, training and e-modules to enhance culturally safe and culturally inclusive practice for all LGBTIQ+ people.

We would love you to be involved in any way you can.
We are offering multiple consultation methods to better inform our work.
  • Consultations include online surveys for both service providers and lived experience, individual consultations, facilitation of small group and broad participant forums.
  • We will be sharing these events in the next week as we launch our consultation phase to listen to and take note of stories and experiences from communities.
  • We welcome any questions or greater involvement in the project.
Contact us to get involved! By participating you are contributing to a deeper understanding of how intersectional identity influences principles of culturally safe care.

LGBTIQ+ Intersect Project Team.
Silvana Izzo

LGBTIQ+ Intersect, is a collaborative project between GLHV@ARCSHS, La Trobe University (GLHV) and Victorian Transcultural Mental Health (VTMH) that aims to develop resources for service providers, community leaders and other advocates and allies working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people from multicultural and diverse faith backgrounds. Funded via a two year Harmony Grant from the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion, as Out in the CaLD. Both organizations have long histories of advocacy, community engagement and sector development within a human rights framework.

CoPP | GRANTING | Community Meals Subsidy Funding 2018-2019 FY | APPLICATIONS OPEN Tuesday 3 April, CLOSE Sunday 29 April 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Subsidies are available for the provision of healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate meals by local community groups and community organisations. 

This program promotes social inclusion and community engagement by encouraging the contribution and participation of older residents, residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, the LGBTIQ community, people with disabilities and people with complex needs.

Information session for new applicants
New groups and organisations are encouraged to attend the upcoming information session to find out more about the program:
When: Wednesday 4 April 2018
Time: 10 am (please arrive 10 minutes early to sign in)
Where: Training Room, St Kilda Town Hall, 99A Carlisle Street, St Kilda
RSVP and enquiries: 03 9209 6441 or
Interpreters are available if requested.

More City of Port Phillip’s grants information can be found at:
Community Meals Subsidy Grant Guidelines are available in English. Translations are also available in Russian and Greek. To obtain these or if you have any other needs, please contact Anna Lew Ton on the details below.

Applications can be submitted online at from Tuesday 3 April to 5pm on Sunday 29 April 2018.

City of Port Phillip
Food Services, Diversity & Inclusion
Anna Lew Ton, Team Leader
Mail: Betty Day Centre, 67 Argyle Street, St Kilda Victoria 3182
Tel: 03 9209 6441

The City of Port Phillip acknowledges support by the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Home Support Program and the Victorian Government’s Home and Community Care Program.
“Although funding for the Community Meals Subsidy Grant has been provided by the Australian Government and Victorian Government, the material contained herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Australian Government or the Victorian Government.”

VMC | GRANTING | Regional Community Resilience Projects | open now, CLOSE 5.00pm Friday 6 April 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Community organisations in rural and regional Victoria can now apply for funding to develop projects that help to prevent violent extremism and tackle factors that cause community division. 

Between $30,000 and $120,000 funding is available per application.

Projects should respond to one of the following aims:
  1. Develop innovative projects and partnerships which address the conditions that underlie violent extremism
  2. Respond to tensions caused by right wing, ISIS-inspired and other violent extremist narratives
  3. Enable critical and constructive dialogue about factors that undermine social cohesion and may lead to violent extremism.
Who: Community organisations can partner with peak bodies, local councils and universities. Projects should be community or youth-led.                                                           

Details/Applications online.

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

GRUN | CONFERENCE | Sustainable Peace and Development in a Polarising World: Inaugural Commonwealth Conference | Monday 9-Wednesday 11 April 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

A conference exploring the normative and practical leadership roles of faith communities, universities, and the Commonwealth of Nations itself with theme: “Sustainable Peace and Development in a Polarising World: Perspectives and Contributions from the Commonwealth of Nations.”

The globe is witnessing a period of tumultuous change. Driven by factors such as the far-reaching impacts of climate change, political and economic upheavals of Brexit, US withdrawal from international leadership coupled with the rise of Chinese transnational organisations, persistent international terrorism, and widening political and social polarisation, this wave of change is restructuring how the world works.

What is the role of the Commonwealth of Nations in these changing times?
Based on the successful precedents of events organised in conjunction with the G20 and G8 Summits, it is clear that input from a broad range of voices strengthen international decision making. This conference will assemble experts from around the Commonwealth as part of the activities surrounding the Commonwealth Games on the Australian Gold Coast in April 2018.

Monday 9 April: 4.30-9pm
Tuesday 10 April: 8.30am-9:00pm
Wednesday 11 April: 8.30am-6pm

Where: Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue (N35), Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Road, Nathan, Nathan, QLD 4111

Cost: $50-$100

Inclusions: Conference Sessions, 2 x Dinners (Monday and Tuesday), Morning Tea & Afternoon Tea Exclusions: Wednesday dinner, accommodation and travel

Bookings: More information and registration online through EventBrite.

Griffith University (GRUN)
Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue
(N35) Nathan Campus, 170 Kessels Road, Nathan, Nathan, QLD 4111

WIN | ENGAGING | Youth Leadership Camp 2018 | Tuesday 10-Thursday 12 April 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

A Wyndham Interfaith Network residential experience Tuesday 10th –Thursday 12th April (3 days/2 nights) during 2nd week of April school holidays at Whitehall Guesthouse in Queenscliff. 

Faith communities with a link to Wyndham can nominate 5 young potential leaders (between 16-25 years old) to join others.

The total number of places for young people is 30.

It is also possible for a faith leader to accompany the young people from their community as an observer and additional support.

The camp is Co Ed with males and female accommodated on different floors of the facility.

The camp will be facilitated by Wyndham CEC, the Gandhi experiment and Victoria Police. It will be active, creative, reflective and fun.

Themes include:
  • Building understanding;
  • Responding to challenge
  • intercultural skills;
  • World’s religions; and,
  • Organising social action
Support and follow up will be available for young people to plan activities on leadership or social action.

Where: Whitehall Guesthouse, 11 Learmonth St, Queenscliff VIC 3225

Cost: Free. All costs are covered.

Wyndham Interfaith Network
Laurence Gray
Tel: 03 9742 4013

A collaboration with Victoria Police, The Gandhi Experiment, Wyndham Community and Education centre Inc and the State Government of Victoria.

PPLS | SUSTAINABLE | Gardening For Apartments and Small Spaces | Wednesday 11 April 2018 | 6.30-7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Come along and learn tips, tricks and simple solutions to make your garden seem bigger. Overcome constraints and grow a functional sustainable garden that is good for you and the environment. 

This talk by Richard Rowe from Sustainable Gardening Australia will cover design for balconies and small gardens, working with constraints, organic waste recycling options, growing in containers and pots, vertical gardening, soil and potting mixes and water smart gardening.

Did you know the City of Port Phillip Council is also delivering a series of hands on, interactive workshops and talks to share sustainable living tips with our community? Whether you want to reduce your energy consumption, explore waste free living or speed date a sustainability expert, we’ve got you covered. Learn the practical tips to live the smart life today and sign up to attend our workshops.

Check out the Sustainable Port Phillip calendar!

Where: St Kilda Library, 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda Vic 3182

Cost: Free

Bookings: online through EventBrite

City of Port Phillip Council
Port Phillip Library Service (PPLS)
Tel: 9209 6655

BaIN | TOUR | Place of Worship: Our Lady Ta' Pinu Shrine | Saturday 14 April 2018 | 9.30am-2pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join this Guided tour of shrines and Way of the Cross with viewing of the Chapel of Adoration.

The communities that have a presence at the shrine include the Maltese, Italian, Filipino, Hispanic, Sri Lankan, Indian, Portuguese, Slovenian, Vietnamese, Polish and Indonesian.

Bus pick-up Location: Ballarat Regional Multicultural Centre, 145 Victoria St, Ballarat East

Considerations: Must be able to walk up hill. BYO lunch.

Cost: $5 for travel, plus a donation of choice at the shrine

Bookings: RSVP by Tuesday 10 April, Margaret 0400 650 234, Maureen 0418 383 802

Ballarat Interfaith Network (BaIN)

BMIN | TOUR | Place of Worship: Australian Islamic Centre of Newport | Victorian Mosque Open Day | Sunday 15 April 2018 | 10.30am-1.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

All aboard for Newport Mosque – “perhaps the first truly contemporary Australian mosque … is an architectural and social marker of a new perception of Islam in Australia (see more at NGV)". 

This visit will include guided tour lead by the mosque architect, the renowned Australian architect Glenn Murcutt.

Bus Pick-up Location: 
10:30am Sunshine: in front of VISY Cares Hub, 80B Harvester Rd, Sunshine VIC 3020
10:40am Footscray: Footscray Town Hall, 61 Napier St, Footscray VIC 3011
Bus returns: to both locations by 1.30pm.

The Brimbank & Maribyrnong Interfaith Network (BMIN) taking part in the second annual Victorian Mosque Open Day. A bus of up to 45 participants will visit the Australian Islamic Centre of Newport.

The Mosque Open Day is state-wide annual event, run by Islamic Council of Victoria’s (ICV) is supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Victorian Government (Office of Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion).

Considerations: The tour includes BBQ lunch provided at the Newport Mosque.

Cost: This is a free event.

Bookings: Register online through EventBrite.

Those with their own transport can meet the BMIN group at the mosque at 11am. The Mosque is located at 23/31 Blenheim Rd, Newport.

The Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network
Maribyrnong City Council
Tel: (03) 9688 0452

MUC | ENGAGING | Men of Faith | Sunday 15 April 2018 | 5.30-8pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join in discussion with Men of Faith Forum. Hear how five different men live their faith, impacting and shaping lives:

  • Islam
  • Sikhism
  • Buddhism
  • Christianity
  • Judaism
After such an amazing night hearing from our Women of Faith Forum back in January, we are doing it all over again.

Everyone - women and men, any faith background, those searching for faith too - are invited to come and share in conversation, listen to these amazing stories and ask some questions with these five men sharing their life journeys from their different faiths.

Where: Murrumbeena Uniting Church, 117 Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena VIC 3163

Murrumbeena Uniting Church and The Sonder Collective
117 Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena VIC 3163

A collaboration with The Sonder Collective, a Youth and Young Adults collaborative Ministry

WIN | TOUR | Places of Worship Tour | Tuesday 17 April 2018 | 9am-2pm

[Edited extract from public address]

All aboard the bus into friendship,  stopping Crossroads Uniting Church, Church of Scientology and Quang Minh Buddhist Temple.

Bus pick-up Location: 
Crossroads Uniting Church, corner of Duncans Rd and Synnot St, Werribee VIC 3030
Drop off: this location by 2pm

Tour visits:
10-11.15am: The Church of Scientology, 231 - 251 Mt Alexander Rd, Ascot Vale VIC 3032
11.45am-1pm: Quang Minh Buddhist Temple, 18 Burke St, Braybrook VIC 3019

Considerations: Remove shoes at entrance to the Temple
Light lunch to follow

Cost: Free. A vegetarian lunch will be provided

Bookings: RSVP by Thursday 12 April. Online through Trybooking

Wyndham Interfaith Network
Laurence Gray
Tel: 0401 337 696

PPLS | PERFORMANCE | Ultrafox - French Gypsy Jazz | Thursday 19 April 2018 | 6.30-7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Experience hot swinging jazz, tender lyrical ballads, French melodies, gypsy waltzes and original compositions.

Experience Ultrafox, one of the finest swing bands in Australia. Seeking their inspiration from the famous “manouche swing” of The Hot club of France.

Featuring Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli of pre-war Paris, their music is characterised by the muscular hard driving swing of gypsy style acoustic guitars laced with lyrical yet fiery solos.

Where: St Kilda Library, 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda Vic 3182

Cost: Free

Bookings: online through EventBrite

Port Phillip Library Service
Tel: 9209 6655

MIN | UNITING | Faith Against Drugs | Wednesday 2 May 2018 | 11am

[Edited extract from public address]

Drugs are a problem that affect all nations, races and religions. Drugs take away our children’s future, happiness and health. 

We can work together to tackle the drug problems in our communities, come join us and get the tools you need to help your community!

  • What different faiths say about drugs. How to Say “No” to the Drug Culture.
  • The Truth About Drugs. Making Grassroots Drug Education Work in Your Neighborhood. Free educational materials provided!
  • Real People, Real Stories. People’s real experiences with drug addiction - find out why kids start taking drugs, and what can help them decide not to
Where: Melton Community Hall, 238 High Street, Melton, Vic 3337

Inclusions: Light refreshments served.

Bookings: RSVP: 0410 534 476, email:

The Melton Interfaith Network

In partnership with Foundation for a Drug-free World. Supported by the Melton City Council.

PWR | ILLUMINATING | Champions of Change | Toronto Ontario | 1- 7 November 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Recognizing immense value religious, spiritual, and secular constituencies together offer the world's movements of peace, justice and sustainability. Several change agents from global institutions are planning to address the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions.

Hear from keynote speakers who will share across the assembly stages their insider's look at some of the most complex challenges we face as humanity today, and how they, and interfaith communities, have and will continue to make a difference.

Between now and November, our journey to Toronto will be filled with joyous news and soul-shaking reminders of the imperatives we share in coming together at the Parliament.

Join us in welcoming to the Parliament of the World's Religions these exceptional living examples of the promise of inclusion and the power of love.

Ms. Christiana Figueres
The Parliament of the World's Religions welcomes for the first time Ms. Christiana Figueres, Convenor of Mission 2020 and Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to our Climate Action Assembly stage! A  daughter of Costa Rica, Figueres is especially renowned for her achievements in leading the Paris Climate Agreement at the COP21 conference in 2015.

Payam Akhavan
A Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague and 2017 Massey Lecturer, Payam Akhavan will be featured in the Assembly on Countering War & Violence in his first appearance at the Parliament of the World's Religions. Akhavan is a McGill University professor of international law whose career in human rights has been shaped by his own experience of religious persecution. A member of the Baha'i faith, he fled from Iran to Canada in the 1970's.

Armene Modi
A gender justice champion noted for her intervention programs serving adolescent girls living in rural villages in the Pune region of India. As founder of the not-for-profit Ashta No Ka, Modi utilizes innovative means of education and empowerment that redirects the lives of young women from the paths toward early marriages toward using their voices to promote changemaking shifts for women in their communities.

Subhi Nahas
A survivor refugee of the Syrian Civil War and LGBTQIA+ advocate - has a message that will electrify the Justice Assembly stage of the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions.  As founder and Chair of the board of the organization Nahas dedicates his advocacy to supporting LGBTQIA+ refugee populations whose lives are critically endangered by extremist groups throughout the world.

Ms. Habiba Dahir
A Nairobi-based program officer for Women in International Security – Horn of Africa (HoA).  Habiba is driven by her passion to promote the increased participation of women in peace processes towards achieving a conflict-free horn of Africa. Her research and programming actively focuses on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), particularly in post-conflict African regions. Originally from Somalia, Habiba's family migrated to Kenya to escape the conflict. Since then, her interfaith advocacy work in peace and security has driven her across the globe. The Parliament of the World's Religions is proud to feature Habiba as a keynote speaker in its 2018 Next Gen Assembly in Toronto.

Hugh Locke
President and co-founder of the Haitian-based Smallholder Farmers Alliance, his first-ever Parliament address will take place as a part of the 2nd Women’s Assembly. Hugh Locke began his career directing a nation-wide tree planting program for Katimavik, Canada’s national youth service organization, before going into development work with governments, NGO’S, corporations, and UN agencies focused on social, environmental, and economic programs.

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.

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

GEIFN | REPORTS | HCWPRLM | DIALOGUE | The Beginning and Origin of all things | Saturday 24 March 2018 | 4-6pm

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

Civic, Religious, Community Leaders and Guests assembled at 36th WARP Office to address The Beginning and Origin of all things.

Discussing questions:
  1. Should there be record about how mankind and all things began in the scripture?
  2. Is the present appearance of mankind and all things in the world the same as its appearance from the very beginning?
  3. What is the purpose of the existence of all things and mankind? 
  4. Are we living in accordance to the purpose recorded in the scripture?

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are referred to more frequently as The Abrahamic Religions. They all accept the tradition of a god, Yahweh/God/Allah, that revealed himself to the prophet Abraham.

The Presbyterian and Global Ministry representatives discussed the Christian view of a Creator God taking 6 days with the 7th as day of rest.

The Islam representative talked of the Koran's describes life as shortening from 1,000 years to merely 100 years and Prophet Mohammed’s visitation to 7 heavens to receive deeper understandings at each level before proceeding to the next.

The Abrahamic traditions all embrace that there has been a historical “fall from Paradise/Grace/Mercy” so the purpose of an individual’s life is to return to “being in a state of enduring Grace” or being "at one with Divinity/God/Allah".

As that is a commonly available narrative in Australia, more attention will be supplied here to provide a glimpse of various different Buddhist views.

Over 2,600 years ago, in Ancient India a Hindu Prince Siddhārtha Gautama was born. His conception, birth and childhood was surrounded by auspicious circumstances. Ensconced in Palace life, providing certain conditions were met, he was destined for future scholar warrior king. Instead, at age 29 after a series of 4 insights (referred to as The Four Noble Sights), the prince abdicated his responsibilities for a 6 year pilgrimage as an apprentice to wandering sages and forest ascetics to find a lasting end of Suffering. Becoming Enlightened, the former prince became commonly referred to as Buddha (Sanskrit: Awakened One), historical Buddha (as today’s history commonly speaks of), or Buddha Sakyamuni (Buddha of the Sakya Clan),

It was some time after his bodily death before the teachings were recorded at what became known as The Great Assembly. It was here, for the first time among his wide and diverse disciples, students and adherents:
  • discovered the Buddha had taught many different things to many different students, in different languages, counting over 84,000 different teachings
  • that if the teachings could be considered as pathways, then the teachings could be sorted into 3 schools/pathways/vehicles: Theraveda (Pali: School of Elders or First Ones), Mahayana (Sanskrit: Great Way) and Vajrayana (Sanskrit: Thunderbolt, Diamond or Lightening Way)
The Buddha’s primary teaching: The Four Noble Truths. Here explained as: 
To live is to feel. To feel means we can feel pleasure, pain and indifference. We mistake this experience for real, attach to expected outcomes and from this Confusion create more Suffering. We are born and die into an endless sea of Suffering (Pali: dukkah; Sanskrit: Samsara), continuing in an unbroken loop/circle until choosing to end the Suffering (Pali: Nibbana; Sanksrit: Nirvana; English: Enlightenment) by Awakening Mind.

So to be an informed Buddhist, before quoting, researching, practising Scripture, we must first settle on whose Buddha, whose scriptural language and whose scripture?

To simplify, a sample of 3 diverse views are offered.
  1. Some traditions view the origin of pre-Buddha things as the cosmic interaction of Vishnu, Siva and Brahma. Brahma opening his eyes is the beginning of life, living and universe. Brahma closing his eyes is the end of that universal existence. This period is known as a kalpa (Sanskrit: eon, Age). In this version, Buddha, having became Enlightened, was implored by Brahma to engage in daily world to teach others about Suffering, its Causes, Antidotes and realisability of freeing themselves from their individual Suffering. Essentially, Creator God first, Paradise 2nd, human 3rd.
  2. Another view is a result of primordial conditions coming together on their own accord. Once in place, now overseen by a Jade Emperor and Heavenly Palace populated with Gods, Goddesses, Angels and Fallen Angels, and Human Earth and Demon Underworld. Building on the success of the introduced Original Scriptures (Version 1), especially selected are 3 x Heaven-Appointed and 1 x King-Appointed ambassadors. Waiting until the time to unite to undertake a Journey to the West to get Version 2. Essentially, Creatorless or Spontaneous Universe, Gods and Angels vs Demons playing endless game of chess with Earthly Humans as pieces.
  3. Another view is all concepts are flawed, human conceived tools to point to the unlimited and enduring, but we must start somewhere. So things are just simply the way things are. Beginning-less and coming together as a result of conditions that came together to make that result. Staying while conditions agree, modifying or ceasing as conditions change. There is individual and collective responsibilities, choices and consequences. Individual life is precious, fragile and finite with time of death unknown. Being born, living and dying into a sea of unlimited Suffering, until individual aspirants wish to break the cycle. In this version, Buddha, having became Enlightened, liberated Brahma from universal responsibility squarely onto the shoulders of individual-self-determination. In this view, Humans, Animals, Gods, Demi-Gods (sometimes called War Mongers) and Hungry Ghosts suffer under the weight of their respective burdens and are deserving of liberation.
Regardless of the guide, guidebook or vehicle, the purposes of role-models, scripture and rituals is for individuals to realise within themselves an open-heartedness that comes from deeply understanding Truth, spontaneous joyfulness that comes from omnidirectional kindness, with evenhandedness that comes from growing non-selfishness. All aspirants are directed to free themselves from their Suffering, and grow blessings by sharing surpluses with a greater number of beneficiaries for longer term societal benefit.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Organisers and Participants working to reduce misunderstandings, build collaborations, celebrate diversity and foster team approach to addressing today's society. Received with gratitude.

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

GEIFN | MEDIA | Mix | April 2018

Approx 5 min reads

Benjamin Law explores ignorance, gullibility, role of self education and shared deliverance, with “Dicey Topics: Geneticist Jenny Graves on death, sex and religion” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Nathanael Cooper explores self-acceptance, liberating disclosure, family relations, harnessing talent and public eye, revealing why “'I hated myself': Calum Scott and the challenging path to fame” via The Age

Claire Thurstans explores relativity of strangers, timing and acts to “Be the person who shows kindness to strangers” via The Canberra Times

Harold Mitchell explores workplace relationships, unions, bosses, fairness and productivity, reasoning why “Now more than ever, bosses and unions need to work together” via The Brisbane Times

Julie Perrin explores camaraderie of strangers through loss, grieving and overcoming survivor’s remorse, with “Faith: Be awake to the real bearers of good news” via The Age

Rebe Taylor explores unearthed historical secrets shining a light to brighter future, reviewing “Deep Time Dreaming: Billy Griffiths on exploration of the distant past” via WA Today

Benjamin Law explores goodbyes, good living and good life, on “Dicey Topics: Miranda Tapsell on death, sex and religion” via WA Today

Maureen Mathews explores meaningfulness, mortality and vitality, in “About Last Night: Avoid regrets and get the most out of life” via The Age

Louise Rugendyke explores working prospects for differently-able, reviewing how “Employable Me reveals what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes” via The Canberra Times

Mark McKenna explores nationalism, sovereignty, belonging and unfinished business when calling “Whitefella dreaming; it's time to discover our reconciled republic” via The Age

Kylie Northover explores a migrant’s story, laugh along with insightful “Lunch with Hung Le: 'I'm too Australian to be a good cook'” via The Canberra Times

Dani Valent explores an example of enduring productive relationships, overcoming obstacles together and managing changing times to keep with a common good, revealing “Chefs Allan Campion and Michele Curtis: 'He had something to tell me'” via The Age

Sarah Kaplan explores recent archeological discoveries, reporting how “Scientists find evidence of paint, complex tools and climate chaos at the dawn of humanity” via The Age

Linda Blair explores attitude, direct-experience and causality as “Science proves attitude can be a powerful mental tool” via The Brisbane Times

Jim Bright explores self-gratification, lying and cheating, offering advice to avoiding “The underworld hall of mirrors” via The Canberra Times

Tim Richards explores the role of hospitality, good good and good company in breaking down barriers and building communities, on the “Foodie Trails, Footscray: An African food tour of Melbourne” via

Christine D’Mello explores the language of technology making learning accessible when “Online tutoring for students adds up” via WA Today

Henrietta Cook explores needs-based schooling for a modern generation, revealing “Classes, playgroups and confidence: the one-stop shop for families” via The Canberra Times

Anna Prytz shines a light on a fearless and open hearted approach to ignorance, when “'There's a line to draw': Muslim officer rises above online abuse” via The Age

David Crowe and Bevan Shields explore origin story, career path and enduring love, inviting us to meet “The boss of the Business Council defies the stereotype of the blue-blooded big shot” via WA Today

Miki Perkins and Adam Carey describe “Eyes across nation on Victoria as quest begins for Aboriginal treaty” via The Canberra Times

Approx 20min presentations

Christiane Amanpour: How to seek truth in the era of fake news

Mona Chalabiat: 3 ways to spot a bad statistic

Kailash Satyarthiat: How to make peace? Get angry

Approx 5 min presentation

Alex Boye with Southern Virginia University Allstars - Believer

Approx 2 min presentation

Sesame Street, Hank Azaria and Elmo look out for Imposters

Approx 5 min presentation

Adong Judith: How I use art to bridge misunderstanding