UN | ASPIRING | International Day of Peace | 21 September 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

The Right to Peace - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The United Nations Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 because they understood that it would not be possible to build a peaceful world if steps were not taken to achieve economic and social development for all people everywhere, and ensure that their rights were protected.  The Sustainable Goals cover a broad range of issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.

Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG16)Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” calls for promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

A peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone. Peace will enable a sustainable environment to take shape and a sustainable environment will help promote peace.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
The Universal Declaration – the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages - is as relevant today as it was on the day that it was adopted.
“It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race. This year marks the 70th anniversary of that landmark document.” Secretary-General António Guterres
The Universal Declaration states in Article 3. “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” These elements build the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Yet, the Universal Declaration does not include a separate article on “Right to Peace”. This is why we ask you this year:

What does “The Right to Peace” mean to you? Share your ideas with us through #peaceday and #standup4humanright.

In the lead up to the International Day of Peace on 21 September, we call upon all to take action. There are many ways, here are some suggestions:

  • You can support SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions by seeking  peaceful resolution of conflict when disagreements arise around you.  You can be part of the solution by taking small steps. You can prevent an injustice at school or in your community by adopting a non-violent approach to problem solving and reporting potential crimes, including online bullying.  
  • You can promote human rights by collecting and promoting videos of as many articles as possible in as many languages as possible. Record yourself reading one of the 30 articles of the Declaration in any of the 135 languages currently available and share your video with your friends.
  • You can engage by speaking up when others are at risk and stand with others’ human rights at work, in school and around the dinner table.
  • You can reflect how each of us can stand up for rights, every day.

Human rights are everyone's rights.

United Nations
International Day of Peace | 21 September

AGMC | CONFERENCE | Living and Loving in Diversity | Friday 21-Sunday 23 September 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Join us for three days of meeting new friends, interesting discussion and practical workshopping to build a better future for multicultural LGBTIQA+ communities and their family and friends.

The Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC) 2018 National Conference will be held at the iconic St Kilda Town Hall September 21-23!  It will be the only conference of its kind to discuss, share and explore diversity and intersectionality at its fullest.

Schedule Overview
A conference for multicultural/multifaith and LGBTIQA+, there is a special focus on youth, disability, and what is happening for our international brothers and sisters.

Themes covered:
  • Socio-political
  • Youth
  • Older adults
  • Refugee and asylum seekers
  • New and emerging communities
  • Multi faith
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Disability
  • International research and movements
  • Local advocacy programs and strategies
Register for Early Bird- Ends 30 August 2018
Early Bird rates are now available – join us for three days of meeting new friends, interesting discussion and practical work-shopping to build a better future for multicultural LGBTIQ communities and their family and friends.

The AGMC have a limited number of scholarships for the 2018 Living and Loving in Diversity Conference!

Where: St Kilda Town Hall, Corner Carlisle Street and St Kilda Road

Getting There:
WALK: The St Kilda Town Hall is an 8 minute walk from Balaclava station, and an 8 minute walk from Tram 96 Terminus.
CYCLE: Bike parking is available outside the Town Hall.
TRAMS: Tram 67 stop 35, Tram 3 & 15 stop 36
TRAINS: Balaclava Station, Sandringham Line.

Acknowledgment of Country
AGMC 2018 National Conference is being held on the traditional lands of the Yalukut Willam Clan of the Boon Wurrung. We wish to acknowledge them as Traditional Owners and to pay respect to their Elders, past and present, and the Elders from other communities who will be attending.

More about the Conference

National Committee, Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council Inc.

GEIFN | GOES | Speed Dating a Religious Zealot | in commemoration of UN International Peace Day | Saturday 22 September 2018 | 1.30-2.30pm

Share a round-table conversation with a person of different faith and ask any question you’ve always wanted to ask in a spirit of fun, truth, honesty, fabulousness and reconciliation. A short date, then its time to move on, that’s the zeal!

Is it religion or ignorance that causes the Suffering? Drawn from a range of religious traditions. The Network was formed in early 2011 with representation from many faith groups.

Often migrants come with a religious background and have all sorts of positive and negative experiences. Upon arrival, religion might be the last point of call due to historical experience or entrenched prejudice. As a new arrival, it is difficult to make and sustain meaningful friendships and relationships.This is an opportunity for audience members to sit informally together with people of different religious traditions all working, living and loving in Victoria.

Datees ask any/all the questions they always wanted to ask but never had the opportunity. Reducing the perception of ignorance, prejudice and aloneness between individuals, practitioners and traditions present in modern day Australia.

Where: Ngargee Room, St Kilda Town Hall, Corner Carlisle Street and St Kilda Road

Getting There:
WALK: The St Kilda Town Hall is an 8 minute walk from Balaclava station, and an 8 minute walk from Tram 96 Terminus.
CYCLE: Bike parking is available outside the Town Hall.
TRAMS: Tram 67 stop 35, Tram 3 & 15 stop 36
TRAINS: Balaclava Station, Sandringham Line.

Cost: AGMC Attendance Fees.Scholarships: There are a limited number of AGMC scholarships for the 2018 Living and Loving in Diversity Conference!

Human rights are everyone's rights. Everyone's business. Everyone's solution. We are better together.

Glen Eira Interfaith Network
Carey Rohrlach, Caretaker

PHAAA | Port Phillip Peace Pageant | Friday 21 September 2018 | 4pm-7pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Raising awareness for UN International Day of Peace, this is an invitation for the community to come together and bring an offering of Peace. 

You can also make an offering at our table available on the day. We have invited Peace organisations to join us.

4pm-5.30pm: Gathering at Acland Plaza, Acland Street, St Kilda

5.45pm: Peace Walk leaves Acland Plaza to take offerings of peace to the Cora Graves Centre, 38 Blessington Street, St Kilda  3182

6pm-7pm: Opening of Dove of Peace art exhibition at Cora Graves.

Planetary Healing Artists Association Australia
Mail: 224 Danks Street, Albert Park Vic 3204

"Volunteers always win...  the more you get to act, the more opportunities you create. Raise your hand. Step forward. Step up. You'll be glad you did." Jeff Haden

AIS | TALK | DIY Spirituality: A growing modern trend? | 12 September 2018 | 6-8pm

[Edited extract from public address]

In our dynamic and complex world, can traditional faiths like Christianity and Islam still be an enabler in attaining high states of spirituality or are more people likely to distance themselves from conventional faith traditions to explore and practice spirituality for themselves? 

Spirituality means different things to different people. Some people feel spirituality can only be nourished from mainstream faith traditions whereas others feel an internal connection through meditation is sufficient to harness tranquility and serenity.

Can a person reach the heights of spirituality through their own life experiences and through their own meditative practices? Why are so many young people distancing themselves from conventional faith traditions and becoming agnostic or unbelievers?

Where: Old Warden's Lodge, Trinity College, 100 Royal Parade, Parkville, VIC 3010

Moderator: Dr Zuleyha Keskin, ISRA, Charles Stuart University
Salih Yucel, Associate Professor, Fethullah Gulen Chair, ACU
Bishop Philip Hugins, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

Bookings: online through EventBrite

Australian Intercultural Society

WIN | TOUR | Places of Worship | Thursday 13 September 2018 | 9.15am-2.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Learning more about each other's beliefs, cultures and traditions.

Tour will visit:
10am-11.30am: The Islamic Museum of Australia | 15a Anderson Street Thornbury. Includes a one hour guided tour | Cost $10.
12noon-1.30pm: Sri Guru Sing Sabha Sikh Gurudwara | 344 Hume Hwy Craigieburn. Includes vegetarian lunch | Please bring a hair covering if you have one.

Cost: Free but Museum entry is $10 | A vegetarian lunch will be provided at the Sri Guru Sing Sabha Gurudwara

Bookings: Please register here | Bus places limited to 50
RSVP essential: Monday 10 September to Laurence Gray (03) 9742 4013; Email:

Wyndham Interfaith Network
Laurence Gray
Tel: (03) 9742 4013

PPLS | TALK | The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence | Thursday 13 September 2018 | 6.30-7.30 pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Can humanity bring new life into existence? Machines that are aware of themselves and seek their own betterment? What happens if and when our creations prove better than us at nearly every task imaginable? 

Join Gordon Young, professional ethicist and environmental consultant, for this talk to discuss current approaches to artificial intelligence and possible scenarios for its development. Hear about potential social, political, economic and psychological implications of a self-aware AI for humanity.

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

Cost: Free

Bookings: online through EventBrite

Port Phillip Library Service (PPLS)
City of Port Phillip

PHAAA | CALLING ARTISTS | Dove of Peace Art Exhibition 21 September-5 October | Applications closing 18 September 2018

[Edited extract of public address]

An invitation to Artists, Friends and like-minded creatives, and healing artists. The theme is world peace. 

Connecting together, artists will explore notions of spirituality and inner feelings with/in/out the relationship to their own creativity. Artists from different cultures, faiths and beliefs will come together in the spirit of love and compassion to create community peace. Raising awareness for UN International Day of Peace.

Submit artwork by 3pm at the latest 18th September 2018 at our office 224 Danks Street, Albert Park

Update: Workshops have been moved to the Men's Shed, St Luke's Church, 210 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne now:
5 Workshops to go to make a sculptured Dove of Peace (in chicken wire and paper mache, 8ft x 4ft) for our upcoming Peace event. The 'Dove of Peace' will be displayed at our Peace Pageant and then taken to the art exhibition. Artists will be required to paint their own piece of artwork on it.
If you would like to attend 1 or more workshops, complete and submit online application form

Please forward details to anyone that maybe interested.

Planetary Healing Artists Association Australia
Mail: 224 Danks Street, Albert Park Vic 3204

"Volunteers always win...  the more you get to act, the more opportunities you create. Raise your hand. Step forward. Step up. You'll be glad you did." Jeff Haden

JCMA | VISITING | Mikvah, Succot and Grandmothers | Thursday 27 September 2018 | 11am to 3pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Visit three fascinating places of Jewish interest.

  • 11-12 am. Guided tour of the Jewish Women’s Mikvah (ritual baths).
  • 12.15-1.45pm. Light Kosher lunch in the succah at St Kilda Synagogue. During lunch, the Rabbi will give us a short explanation of the Jewish festival of Succot and the symbols associated with it
  • 2-3pm. Visit to the Jewish Museum to see the exhibition, Our Grandmothers, which celebrates the love, spirit, strength and wisdom embodied by grandmothers in Judaism.
Cost: $25 which includes the cost of the tour, lunch and admission to the Museum.

Meeting: We will meet at the Mikvah, 38 Empress Road East St Kilda at 10.45am for an 11 am start.

Considerations: This is a Women Only event.

Bookings: Online through Eventbrite

JCMA relies on the goodwill of volunteers and the generosity of our donors.
Donations are tax deductible. Please go to JCMA Donation to make a donation

Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia (JCMA)
Post: 383 Albert St, East Melbourne Vic 3002
Lorraine Lipson, Secretary
Tel: (03) 9287 5590

MOHE | WORKING | Together: Building partnerships to reduce/prevent elder abuse and family violence | Wednesday 3rd October 2018 | 10am-12.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Does your work bring you into contact with older people?

If so, come along and hear from an expert panel addressing complex elder abuse situations and learn about integrated approaches to dealing with elder abuse.

The panel will include senior staff from the following:
• Integrated Model of Care for Responding to Suspected Elder Abuse
• Aged Care Assessment Service
• Orange Door
• Salvation Army Family Violence Service
• FMC Mediation and Counselling
• Victoria Police Family Violence Unit

Where: Kingston Arts Centre 979 Nepean Hwy, Moorabbin.
Parking: Free parking is available underneath Kingston City Hall (70 spaces). Two hour parking is available in surrounding streets.

Cost: Free

Bookings: RSVP: 28 September 2018 online through Eventbrite

Monash Health (MOHE)
Selina Nivelle, Elder Abuse Liaison Officer
Tel: 9265 7835

Brought to you by Monash Health Integrated Model of Care for Responding to Suspected Elder Abuse, Monash Health Strengthening Hospitals Response to Family Violence, Southern Melbourne Primary Care Partnership Elder Abuse Prevention Network and Bayside Elder Abuse Network.

EQPR | TRAINING | Leadership Academy | October 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Nothing is more powerful than the personal stories that humanise our community.

Moving hearts and minds involves so much more than just supporting social justice. It requires the skills to uncover, hone, and communicate your narrative.

How do you lead the narrative and effect social change?

We invite you to join us at our Leadership Training Academy #LTA2018 in October in one of six cities around Australia.
What does it mean to be an LGBTIQ role model?
And how do you 'step-up'?

#LTA2018 is a leadership and media engagement training program for LGBTIQ+ advocates and community leaders who want to build the core skills and techniques to effect positive social change.
We have compiled an exciting curriculum that includes programs from some of the largest LGBTIQ+ rights organisations in the world — the GLAAD Media Institute and the Stonewall UK LGBTIQ Role Models program.

And with the support of our sponsors and training partners, our two 2-day leadership training program is one of the most affordable in the country.

Bookings: Fees apply, but if cost is a barrier, we encourage you, or someone you know who you think will greatly benefit from the training, to apply for a scholarship.

We want to give emerging leaders and change-makers the tools they need to break barriers and champion acceptance.

Will you join us?

The Equality Project

PWR | SHINING | 12 New Stars of Peace, Justice, and Sustainability in Toronto | 1-7 November 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Twelve new speakers join the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions as Voices of PoWR, bringing excellence and world-changing ideas to the 7th Parliament in Toronto, Canada.

Among them is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Arun Gandhi, who has built his life's work around the pursuit of understanding, service to others, and nonviolence. His words call to mind the vision of the Parliament: the dignity of people belonging to diverse faith and spiritual traditions must be respected and celebrated in the pursuit of our common goal of a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. Participants can hear Dr. Gandhi speak at the Peace & Love, Not War, Hate & Violence Assembly.

In a country as forward-thinking in its approach to the dignity and security of all peoples as our 2018 meeting place, it is a privilege for the Parliament of the World's Religions to welcome to our stage the nineteenth and first female Prime Minister of Canada. The Right Honourable Kim Campbell will hold court at the Parliament 6 November in a major session with founder and CEO of the Global Security Institute and Honorary Parliament Ambassador on Nuclear Non-proliferation, Jonathan Granoff.

Another returning luminary to the Parliament is the Rev. Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners whose books and activism compel a critical mass of Evangelical Christians (and neighboring communities) to reconcile their faith and their social behaviors, especially concerning the oppression of racial and ethnic minorities. Wallis will appear 1 November in the Opening Ceremony of the Parliament where he will address the theme of the convening: The Promise of Inclusion and the Power of Love.

Experts and activists alike will be eager to connect with Abubakar Khan, a Next-Gen Assembly leader showcasing the love of our neighbors through platforms and community organizing around issues of Islamophobia and other social problems.

The Assembly on Peace & Love, Not War, Hate & Violence will present the esteemed Dr. PL deSilva, who has worked extensively with combatants and non-combatants of the Sri Lankan Civil War, and has authored and established literature and institutes around healing from psychosocial trauma.

Carol Christ, a giant in female spirituality, will bring a dynamic talk to the stage of the Parliament's second Women's Assembly, addressing the Dignity of Women Across the World's Wisdom Traditions.

Powerful women, like the Global Sikh Council Director, Lady Kanwaljit Kaur, will extend the best of her work in equality, education, and service to the Parliament.

Naomi Lanoi, coming from Kenya's East African Indigenous Maasai tradition, is a successful and prominent activist for the equality of women in global Indigenous Peoples' communities and organizations, and will lend her expertise and inspiration to the Parliament in the Indigenous Peoples' Program Assembly.

The Parliament wouldn't be the Parliament without sage and spiritual illumination. Honoring the legacy of Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of the World's Religions is the eminent Swami Sarvapriyananda, who travels from the Vedanta Society in New York--first established by Swami Vivekananda after his engagement at the 1893 Parliament. Swami Sarvapriyananda will speak in the Parliament's Anniversary Banquet.

The Venerable Dharma Master Hsin Tao - a longtime Parliament friend and supporter - returns from Taiwan, where his Buddhist and social organizations channel great wisdom and love for humanity which he amassed on his path of spiritual healing from a childhood spent suffering in conflict and trauma.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson, a household name for Muslim intelligencia in North America and beyond, joins the Parliament of the World's Religions for the first time to address the Climate Action Assembly.

Want to see these world-changers in person, register for the 2018 Parliament today!

Don't miss the chance to volunteer with PoWR. Sign up today to volunteer for the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions.

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

GEIFN | MEDIA | Mix | September 2018

Approx 5 min reads

Sisonke Msimang explores place, people, perspective and arriving into peace, revealing “My search for a place to belong after years in exile” via The Brisbane Times

Maureen Mathews explores overcoming feelings of loneliness within relationships, encouraging a reader to speak out loud “The three words that could keep your relationship alive” via The Age

Benjamin Law explores identity, belonging and spirituality, in discussion of “Dicey Topics: Ken Wyatt talks money, religion and bodies” via The Brisbane Times

Madeleine Dore explores different ways people get on with living, revealing “How to avoid bad habits when a relationship ends” via The Brisbane Times

Maureen Mathews answers a reader’s question of self-realization, letting go of false-hoods and Awakening truth in “About Last Night: Should I leave my wife?” via The Canberra Times

Carolyn Webb explores a team approach for distributing timely care to the rough sleepers, reporting how “Lord it's cold outside: the homeless people sleeping in churches” via The Age

Karl Quinn explores how absence of public role models impacts on personal self acceptance and societal inclusion, arguing why even before cash registers tinkling “Crazy Rich Asians has already won the battle” via The Brisbane Times

Karl Quinn explores ignorance, incumbency and inheriting public responsibility “The real cop behind BlackKklansman on the shame of Trump's America” via The Canberra Times

Gabriella Coslovich explores place, passion, pragmatism, position and purposeful practice with  “Marwa Al-Sabouni on the battle to rebuild Homs” via WA Today

New York Times explores an individual’s solution to being different, societal separation and wider invisibility, revealing why, how and when “Gilbert Baker, created rainbow flag symbolising gay pride” via The Age

John McDuling explores personal drive, innovation, societal consequences, revealing “The politicisation of Mike Cannon-Brookes” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Liam Mannix explores how attitude influences aging experience and living well “Worry less, be kind: Science's top tips on living to 100” via The Age

Jason Steger explores surviving war, refugism and living to tell the tale, inviting us to meet Australian “Majok Tulba: You cannot take life for granted” via The Age

Henrietta Cook explores testing results worth cheering about, revealing how “Mission critical: Fake-news test helps students take a giant leap” via The Canberra Times

Paulyne Pogorelske explores cultivation of belonging, togetherness and gratitude provides lifelong nourishment, relating in good “Faith” via The Brisbane Times

John Silvester explores the side affects from public divisive speech, fueling hysteria and misrepresentation in “Crime gangs: Facts, fiction and furphies” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Joe Hinchliffe explores flow on affects of taking responsibility for site waste, churning “Garbage in, water out: 'Mechanical stomachs' digest restaurant waste” via The Age

Jewel Topsfield explores developments in street side recycling, laying down tracks for a “Plastic and glass road that could help solve Australia’s waste crisis” via WA Today

Noel Towell and Benjamin Preiss explore a civic approach to food and garden waste into treasure as “Green bin revolution for Melbourne's south-east” via The Age

Stephanie Peatling explores an example of leadership and friendship through diversity,  celebrating “Josh Frydenberg and Ed Husic: Inside the Labor and Liberal MPs' unlikely friendship” via The Canberra Times

Michael Koziol explores a leading NSW example contributing to brighter shared future “'I'm in politics because I want to shake up the status quo': The Greens' Mehreen Faruqi heads to Canberra” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Approx 20min presentations

Melanie Funchess: Implicit Bias - how it effects us and how we push through (16mins)
Batya Greenwald: What kindergarteners taught me about gender (13 mins)
Tui Raven: What Is It Like To Be Aboriginal? (9 mins)
Viet Vu: Bi the way, we exist (16 mins)
Andrew Gason: Respect the criminal code (17 mins)
Nikhil Jain: 10% - What I learned as an LGBT activist (15 mins)
Judy Atkinson - The Value of Deep Listening - The Aboriginal Gift to the Nation (16 mins)
Sabah Choudrey: Brown, trans, queer, Muslim and proud (15 mins)

Approx 5 min presentation

Harris J - Love Who You Are

Approx 2 min presentation

Sesame Street: John Cho & Abby Cadabby: Sturdy

Approx 30 min presentation

Anh's Brush With Fame: Adam Goodes (29 mins)
Anh shines a light on AFL Legend Adam Goodes. Sharing experiences that shaped a very public stand against racism in the final years of his career, and the emotional toll it took. Remembering the past, respecting the present and being part of a national conversation about a brighter shared future.