PPEC | CALLING APPLICANTS | for Multicultural Bay Ambassadors Program | closing midnight 21 October 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Engaging diverse communities and help protect Port Phillip Bay!

The Multicultural Bay Ambassadors program is a four month learning and volunteering opportunity for emerging professionals interested in sustainability education and community engagement.

From the ‘burbs to the Bay, no matter where you live in Melbourne we all impact the Bay through our daily activities.

At the EcoCentre we endeavour to work with communities all throughout the catchment of Port Phillip Bay, but are challenged with physical, cultural and linguistic barriers to engage effectively with Melbourne’s growing multicultural population.

This is where you come in! We are calling for people from diverse cultural backgrounds to become ambassadors to champion new engagement projects aimed at multicultural communities.

Key objectives of Multicultural Bay Ambassadors:

  • Develop a culturally inclusive event for your own or another cultural group.
  • Connect people to their local ecosystems, waterways and bay habitat.
  • Inspire and activate environmental action amongst multicultural communities.
  • Share evaluation and learning back to the EcoCentre to improve our cultural competence.
  • Opportunity for skills development and applied learning.

Program components:

  • Learn about the EcoCentre’s sustainability education and Baykeeper programs.
  • Network and engage with community action groups in the Bay catchment.
  • Develop, promote and facilitate a community engagement event.
  • Receive mentoring and professional development support from EcoCentre staff.
  • A stipend ($500) is provided to acknowledge your commitment, travel and other costs.

Key selection criteria:

  • Aged 19 years or older.
  • Represent or have a good understanding of a diverse cultural demographic(s).
  • Demonstrated commitment to sustainability issues.
  • Well developed written and verbal communication skills.
  • Regular availability at least one day / weekday to take part in training or meetings held in St Kilda (ideally Monday, Tuesday or Thursday).
  • Available on some weekends to take part in community events.
  • Have or willing to obtain a current Working With Children Check.

Duration: The program runs from November 2018 to February 2019. Detailed dates/times will be mutually agreed upon recruitment.

How To Apply: please complete the online form by midnight 21 October 2018. For further information please contact Reiko or April. Phone: (03) 9534 0670 / email

Port Phillip EcoCentre Inc (PPEC)
St Kilda Botanic Gardens, 55A Blessington St, St Kilda, VIC 3182, Australia.
Tel: (03) 9534 0670

RCA | RELEASING | Refugee Alternatives 2018 Conference Report | 13-14 February 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Announcing the release of Refugee Alternatives: Improving policy, practice and public support. 

The 29pp Report is from two-day conference, hosted at the University of Melbourne, bringing together a broad range of expertise from across the country and globally to cover topics of displacement, protection, cooperation, wellbeing, resilience, education, advocacy, and unity. The conference’s goal of seeking alternatives was expressed through 15 diverse sessions on a broad range of themes.

An overview of the key themes and recommendations can be found in the full report alongside a seperate outcomes report that summarises the main outcomes of the conference.

2019 conference is planned for February 2019 in Adelaide. Keep updated via the Refugee Alternatives website and if you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at

Refugee Council of Australia

Co-hosted by the Refugee Council of Australia and the Melbourne Social Equity Institute. 

CCEH | CALLOUT TO | Drop the Jargon Day | 23 October 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Drop the Jargon is a day for professionals in Australian health, community services and local government to use plain language. 

Why should I pledge?
6 out of 10 of people in Australia have low health literacy. Many Australians have trouble understanding and using information provided by organisations. They also have trouble navigating complicated systems like healthcare services.

When we use jargon, technical terms or acronyms, it is hard for people with low health literacy to understand and use information.

Make it easy for people with low health literacy to get better information and outcomes from services they use.

Drop the Jargon Day this year is 23 October. Pledge and take part in activities at your workplace. 
Here are some of the MANY words submitted for #dropthejargonday

Looking for reliable translated health information? 

Visit the Health Translations Directory to access more than 16,000 resources in over 100 languages – free and online.

Drop the Jargon Day
Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CCEH)
23 Lennox Street, Richmond VIC 3121

CEH has been contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services to manage and improve the Directory. CEH acknowledges the Wurundjeri people, the traditional custodians of the land on which we work.

MSHN | FORUM | Improving Sexual Health of People living in Sunraysia | Wednesday 24 October 2018 | 12.30–4pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join this Multicultural Sexual Health Network forum about emerging sexual health issues and strategies to ensure better health and wellbeing outcomes for multicultural communities.

Many factors determine sexual health. Migration, having a refugee and asylum seeker background and living in rural areas are the most important sexual health determinants.

At the Multicultural Sexual Health Network forum, guest speakers and participants will explore these everyday practices and broader systemic and organisational structures.

This forum is suitable for: School nurses, teachers, youth workers, community workers, settlement services, community groups, NGOs and anyone working with young people.

Guest speakers include:
  • Melissa Chadwick, Sexual Health Nurse, Headspace Mildura
  • Mehdi Sanati pour, GP Specialist, Tristar Medical Group Mildura
  • Dale Thompson, Sexual Health and Viral Hepatitis Clinical Nurse Consultant, Sunraysia Community Health Services Mildura
Topics covered will be:
  • Contraception in Mildura
  • Sexually Transmissible Infections in Mildura/Sunraysia
  • Promoting testing for young people at higher risk of STIs/BBVs in Mildura/Sunraysia
Inclusions: Lunch and afternoon tea provided. Lunch will be at 12.30pm.

Where: Quest Mildura, 115-119 Madden Avenue, Mildura VIC 3500

Registrations: close on 17 October. Book online through Eventbrite

Multicultural Sexual Health Network (MSHN)
Amir Ansari at or 0438738406 or 9418 9916
Mabor Chadhuol at or 9418 9917

The network is a hub for information sharing, referral, enhanced service coordination and multi-sectoral advocacy around sexual health and blood borne viruses.

MSO | PERFORMS | Buddha Passion | sung in Chinese and Sanskrit | Saturday 6 October 2018 | 7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

For more than a thousand years pilgrims in China left marks of their passing in the Mogao Caves, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas. Their carvings, paintings and murals speak with a devotion that transcends time, and forms the inspiration for a remarkable new musical work.

In this Australian premiere, a joint commission by the MSO, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, New York Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Tan Dun has dreamed the world’s first passion set to the teachings of the Buddha. Two years spent in the Mogao Caves – the world’s most impressive repository of Buddhist art – have allowed him to create a monumental work, sung in Chinese and Sanskrit. This is a captivating opera in six acts telling of love, forgiveness, sacrifice and salvation. With MSO Chorus.

From an Academy Award®-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to radically experimental works composed for such organic materials as water, paper and wind, Tan Dun has again and again been proven as one of the truly compelling musical forces of this era.
“Tan Dun’s music is as wide-ranging as it is all-embracing, and resonates with a global audience.” – Gramophone
Duration: 2.5 hours with a 20-minute interval.

Cost: Selling fast. Limited seats available. $50-$120

Where: Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne

Bookings: online through MSO

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall, 100 St Kilda Road
Box Office 03 9929 9600 (10am-6pm Mon-Fri)

Presented in association with Melbourne International Arts Festival and Nan Tien Institute of Higher Education.

CoPP | CELEBRATING | Port Phillip Seniors Festival | 8-21 October 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

An annual celebration recognising the valuable contribution older people have made and continue to make to our community. 

The festival is a great opportunity to get out and about, meet people, get dancing, try new activities and have fun!
Businesses can support and be a part of the 2018 Seniors Festival by putting a festival poster or dot in your window or have a special offer for residents with Seniors Cards. You will be promoted through the seniors week network.

Click here for full festival program.

City of Port Phillip
Address: St Kilda Town Hall, 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda Victoria 3182

PWR | JOINING | Voices of the Next Generation and Affirming Interfaith Has No Age | 1-7 November 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Embrace the promise of inclusion and join us for a program dedicated to creating understanding, reconciliation, and change through intergenerational engagement as part of the Next Generation Assembly and Program Initiative. 

Join changemakers from around the world in engagement, empowerment, and visibility of youth across the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. Affirming Interfaith Has No Age: Youth Voices for Change.

Explore the offerings of the 2018 Next Generation program and join interfaith leaders across generations in celebration of the power of youth voices within the global interfaith movement and at the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions.
  • Dr. Eboo Patel is a leading voice in the movement for interfaith cooperation and the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a national nonprofit working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground and Interfaith Leadership. Addressing the Parliament as part of the Next Generation Assembly.
  • Jessica Bolduc is Anishinaabe-French from the Batchewana First Nation, is the Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement, an Indigenous-led, and settler supported collaborative seeking to change the country now known as Canada by changing relationships between young Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Addressing the Parliament as part of the Next Generation Assembly.
  • Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith, a global movement to end religious violence, and Mean Communications, a digital agency for social good. Since 2008, World Faith has expanded to 10 countries and mobilized 5,000 volunteers in over 300,000 hours of service. Addressing the Parliament as part of the Next Generation Assembly.
  • Habiba Dahir is a program officer for the Women in International Security – Horn of Africa (HoA). Her work is dedicated to Countering Violent Extremism particularly in countries in the Greater Horn of Africa. Addressing the Parliament as part of the Next Generation Assembly.
  • Abubakar Khan is a young American, Canadian, Pakistani Muslim. He is the co-founder of The Chosen Khan, an online platform that highlights diversity, interfaith and creative dialogue. He is the chairman of Social Sport, a charity that helps to integrate refugee youth through the power of team sports. He is also a member of Vancouver Helping Hands, a group that helps members of the DTES by providing them with care packages and conversations. Addressing the Parliament as part of the Next Generation Assembly
Next Generation Program Initiatives at the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions

Registrations: Online through PWR

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

GOVV | CELEBRATING | Victorian. And proud of it.

[Edited extract from public address]

Across our state, every day, Victorians from all walks of life are living out our shared values. Victorian. And proud of it. celebrates real-life examples of contribution and belonging, as told by real Victorians

The centrepiece of the Victorian Government’s Multicultural Policy Statement is the Victorian Values Statement.

The Victorian Valuexs Statement makes clear the rights and responsibilities we each share. These values are not negotiable – they are what we expect of every Victorian and what every Victorian should expect of each other.

Accepting these values is not difficult. Acceptance of our shared values is expressed in the everyday – through your contributions at home, at work, in the community and through volunteering.

These values are what makes Victoria a great place to live – a place we can all be proud of.

Victorian. And proud of it.
State Government of Victoria
Mail: GPO Box 4698, East Melbourne VIC 8002

PPLS | HOSTING | East Timor Friendship Visit | Thursday 11 October 2018 | 6.30-7.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Since 2000, the City of Port Phillip has been engaged in a friendship agreement with the East Timorese city of Suai in response to the violent end to Indonesian occupation and the independence vote in 1999.

Did you know you have an entire community of friends overseas?

Our two cities have been working together on many community development initiatives including the installation of solar cells for lighting in off-grid villages, local training programs and scholarship opportunities for young people.

Mr Alberto Barros, the Director of the Covalima Community Centre in Suai is visiting St Kilda Library to speak about these and other development programs in Covalima district and the ongoing friendship with the City of Port Phillip.

Join Alberto for a fascinating insight into a lasting friendship between two cities and two cultures.

Cost: Free (excepting purchases of With One Bean Timorese coffee will be available for sale at the event for $11.50 for 250g.)

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

Bookings: online through EventBrite

Port Phillip Library Service (PPLS)
City of Port Phillip

PWR | SHOWCASING | Women of PoWR for the Assembly & Program Initiative in Toronto | 1-7 November 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

Witness rallying cry of women and girls with the following impressive speakers joining our Women's Dignity Assembly and Program Initiative: The Dignity of Women Across the World's Wisdom Traditions and Society. 

Speakers at this PoWR-ful assembly and initiative will inspire and continue to create changes we are working diligently to embed globally, enhancing lives for women and girls each step of the way.
  • Bani Dugal is the Principal Representative of the Bahá’í International Community to the UN. She is serving as the Vice Chair of the Steering Committee of the NGO Working Group on the Security Council. Addressing equality between women and men in the Women's Assembly and Program Initiative. See more
  • Armene Modi founded Ashta No Kai (ANK), a non-profit organization to educate and empower rural women and girls in 10 villages in Pune District, India in 1998. Sharing her expertise on empowering women and the transformative power it has on their lives as part of the Women's Assembly and Program Initiative. See more
  • Dr. Azza Karam, Ph.D. serves as a Senior Advisor on Culture and Social Development at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Unpacking the role of women in global leadership as part of the Women's Assembly and Program Initiative. See more
  • Karma Lekshe Tsomo is a professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of San Diego, where she teaches World Religions, Buddhist Thought and Culture, Religious Identity in the Global Community, and other subjects. Highlighting compassion and loving kindness as a framework for transforming gender injustice in the session: Buddhism, Compassion, and Gender Justice as part of the Women's Assembly and Program Initiative. See more
  • Hugh Locke Canadian born, Hugh Locke is co-founder and President of the Haitian-based Smallholder Farmers Alliance. He currently advises and serves on the boards of a number of Haitian NGO's. Sharing his expertise and highlight the role of women in development as part of the Women's Assembly and Program Initiative. See more
  • Dr. Carol P. Christ is a historian, theologian, activist, and founder of the study of Women and Religion in the academy, she is widely recognized for her keynote address “Why Women Need the Goddess” which helped to launch the Goddess movement. Finding the spirit within the body and nature while leading Goddess Pilgrimages to Crete and will deepen Jimmy Carter’s insight about the role of religions in sanctifying the abuse of women and girls in a dynamic talk on the stage of the Parliament's second Women's Assembly, addressing the Dignity of Women Across the World's Wisdom Traditions. See more
  • Dr. Sakena Yacoobi is the founder and Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) an Afghan women-led NGO founded in 1995 and is well known for her work for the rights of children, women, and education. Highlightinf the role of women and women's rights in Afghanistan as part of the Women's Assembly and Program Initiative. See more
Registrations: Online through PWR

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

FOYER | MAKING | Constructive and Collaborative Approach Towards Tackling Youth Homelessness

[Edited extract from public address]

A unique solution to support homeless young people – the ‘Foyer’ model  – fusing stable housing with learning opportunities. More than a ‘roof over my head’, foyers in each state provide 16 to 25 year olds with accommodation while they study, work and develop skills to achieve independence.

There were 27,780 young people aged 12-24 year olds who were homeless on Census night. This figure includes youth forced to sleep rough in our cities, suburbs and regional areas, those in crisis accommodation or ‘couch surfing’. The Foyer Foundation aims to promote and grow the Foyer housing support model as a response to this deep challenge.

The Foyer Foundation is an independent charity, working in partnership with the national anti-poverty group the Brotherhood of St Laurence, to advocate for a unique solution to the challenge of youth homelessness and unemployment in Australia.  Foyers – there are currently 15 of them around the country – house teenagers and young adults who don’t have the support of family and are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Many are leaving the child protection system.

A “Foyer” is more than another building or traditional welfare program, though. It taps into the goals and ambitions of young people and nurtures their talents while building practical skills for life. A young person accommodated in a Foyer has stable housing for upto two years while agreeing to study and or work and take up other learning and personal growth opportunities. This ‘deal’ is central to the success of the innovative youth housing support model.

Support: The Foyer Foundation receives no Government funding and is run through the generous support of our donors. Contribute to the work of the Foyer Foundation by making a donation today!

Foyer Foundation Limited
67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Victoria 3065
Sinead Gibney-Hughes, Executive Officer
Tel: 0438 818 032

The Foyer Foundation is a national charity that works on the deep challenge of youth homelessness and unemployment in Australia. 

ARRCC | COMMEMORATION | Living the Change | Sunday 14 October 2018 | 2.30-5.15pm

[Edited extract from public address]

People of all faiths are invited to join the global faith-based sustainability initiative named Living the Change

A Victorian commemoration of the Global Week of Commitment 12-17 October 2018.
Celebrate reasons to work together in creating a flourishing world for all. We gather as members of diverse faith communities and those who care for our planet to share our stories of change, transformation, and regeneration. We tap into our deepest values to find the inspiration to address climate change and support each other in the journey.

Join us for an afternoon of sustenance for the heart, body and earth: music, speakers and discussion, culminating with delicious vegan food.

2.30pm Music
3pm Speakers
3.45pm Discussion
4.15pm Vegan Fingerfood Feast
There will also be an opportunity to make commitments to address Climate Change, and be provided with resources to do so.

Cost: Free, please book for catering purposes

Where: Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Bookings: online through Trybooking

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

A collaboration between Australia Religious Response to Climate Change and Greenfaith are joining with United Religious Intuitive, Cultural Infusion, Religions for Peace Victoria.

VARIOUS | HIGHLIGHTED | Grants & Funding Opportunities

[Edited extract from public address]

Check out the following funding opportunities for eligible candidates.

Awesome Foundation Grant
To support "awesome" projects including initiatives in a wide range of areas including arts, technology, community development, and more. $1,000 grants are awarded every month.

ygap's First Gens program
Closes 7 October 2018
ygap's First Gens program supports migrant and refugee led social impact ventures that are improving the lives of people living in disadvantage in Australia.

Materials efficiency program
This program is open to manufacturing businesses that have the potential to significantly improve materials efficiency and Sustainability Victoria is offering grants of up to $13,000 for businesses to improve the way they use raw materials and resources while boosting productivity.

Boosting Business Events Bid Fund Program
Managed by Tourism Australia’s specialist unit, Business Events Australia, the Boosting Business Events Bid Fund Program (BFP) is designed to increase the conversion of new international business events for Australia through the offer of financial support at the critical bidding stage.

Entrepreneurs' Programme - Accelerating Commercialisation
Accelerating Commercialisation provides access to expert guidance and grants to help businesses commercialise their novel products, processes and services.

CSIRO Kick-Start Funding
The CSIRO Kick-Start program helps Australian start-ups and very small SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) access company-matched funding to undertake research activities with CSIRO.

Curation courtesy of City of Port Phillip's Business News

GOVV | ENGAGING | Deadly Questions | Now Online

[Edited extract from public address]

You ask. Aboriginal Victorians answer.

Deadly Questions is an opportunity to learn about Aboriginal Victorians – their histories, cultures, connection to place and hopes for the future.
Many people have never engaged with these questions. Maybe it’s embarrassing to admit this, so it’s easier to hold back on asking. Some people fear offending or simply have no-one to ask.

Deadly Questions is a chance to begin the conversation.

Advancing Aboriginal self-determination and Treaty or Treaties are key Victorian Government priorities. This commitment acknowledges the strong link between self-determination and improved outcomes. It recognises that Aboriginal Victorians have the knowledge and expertise to know what is best for them, their families and their communities.

Are you ready to step out of the dark and ask a question?

State Government of Victoria
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Post: 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Victoria 3002
Tel: (03) 9651 5111
Email: dp&

The campaign has been developed as part of the Victorian Government's commitment to self-determination and Treaty.

PWR | REVEALS | 17 New Luminaries to Light Up the PoWR Stage in Toronto | 1-7 November 2018

[Edited extract from public address]

The 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions welcomes 17 new luminaries as Voices of PoWR, offering wisdom, advocacy, and progressive change to the world and to the 7th Parliament this 1 - 7 November in Toronto, Canada.

Millions know and love the speakers in this heavyweight list of history makers. The Parliament is delighted to be joined by peacemakers whose resolute commitment changed the direction of the world and by rising stars encouraging the dynamic and inclusive movement shaping today. These are individuals of faith and conscience—calling for a better world for all. We welcome their profound offering of intersectionality, expertise, critical mass, and critical thinking to the norms we wish to establish.

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and spent the earlier part of her youth in the woods for two thirds of every year. Her novels include The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace – both of which have recently been serialized for streaming – The Blind Assassin (which won the Booker Prize in 2000), The MaddAddam Trilogy, The Heart Goes Last, and Hag-Seed, a novel re-visiting of The Tempest. Her most recent collection of poetry is The Door. Her non-fiction works include Survival, her 1972 attempt to demonstrate that Canadian literature did – at that time – exist, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, and A Writer on Writing.
The Parliament welcomes Canadian author Margaret Atwood to the stage this November for Women and Climate Change: A Conversation Between Margaret Atwood & Lucy Cummings, Monday 5 November.

General Romeo Dallaire Lieutenant-General (ret) The Honorable Roméo A. Dallaire is founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, a global partnership with the mission to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers. A celebrated advocate for human rights, General Dallaire is also a respected author, government and UN advisor, and former Canadian Senator.
General Roméo Dallaire will speak at End Humanity's Greatest Threat: The Moral, Medical, Spiritual, Legal, Practical Response to Nuclear Weapons, Monday 5 November, he will also participate in A Dialogue with Kim Campbell, Tuesday 6 November.

Lucy Cummings is the Executive Director of Faith & the Common Good, a national, interfaith, charitable network dedicated to creating more sustainable communities. Through education and capacity building, FCG's programming seeks to harness the power of Canada's diverse faith communities to encourage: community greening & regeneration; interfaith climate justice, ecosystem and water protection alliances; and increased support for climate vulnerable neighbors.
Lucy Cummings will join Margaret Atwood in the session, Women and Climate Change: A Conversation Between Margaret Atwood & Lucy Cummings, Monday 5 November and will speak at Spirited Women as Agents of Change on Climate session, Tuesday 6 November.

Irwin Cotler is the Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, an Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and longtime Member of Parliament. This author and international human rights lawyer will speak on human rights, equality, justice, and human flourishing across cultural and geopolitical realities in a major forum tentatively scheduled for Monday 5 November.

Mariatu Kamara is the founder of the Mariatu Foundation, which seeks to provide refuge and healing for women and children in her native Sierra Leone. She is UNICEF Canada’s Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict and is a survivor of the civil conflict in Sierra Leone. Mariatu Kamara will join us at the Countering War, Hate and Violence Assembly, Tuesday 6 November.

Davi Kopenawa Yanomami is a Yanomami shaman and Portuguese-speaking spokesperson for the Yanomami Indians in Brazil. He became known for his advocacy regarding tribal issues and Amazon rainforest conservation when the tribal rights organization Survival International invited him to accept the Right Livelihood Award on its behalf in 1989.
This motivated advocate will speak at the Climate Action Assembly, Sunday 4 November.

Maude Barlow is a Canadian author and activist. She is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, a citizens’ advocacy organization with members and chapters across Canada. She is also the co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works internationally for the human right to water. Maude Barlow will be speaking on The Human-Environment Relationship, Monday 5 November.

Dr. James Orbinski is a Canadian physician, humanitarian activist, author and leading scholar in global health.
Through his extensive field work with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), including being Head of Mission during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, James Orbinski witnessed the horrors of violence and the heroism of those opposing it.
James Orbinski will reflect on his many years of working in battlefields and the role of love and compassion in healing humanity during his session Finding Compassion/Love in Hate, War and Violence, Saturday 3 November.

Bishop Dr. Barbara Lewis King affectionately called "Dr. Barbara," is the Founder Minister/World Spiritual Leader of Hillside International Truth Center, Inc., a New Thought, inclusive, healing ministry in Atlanta, Georgia. She was a featured speaker at the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As one of our major speakers, Dr. Barbara will join us Monday 5 November at Re-Examining Martin Luther King Jr.'s World House, a workshop on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

Dr. John Ralston Saul is an award-winning essayist and novelist. A long-time champion of freedom of expression, he was elected President of PEN International in October 2009 until October 2015.
Declared a “prophet” by TIME magazine, Dr. John Ralston Saul will enlighten us with his major speaker session, Contemporary Citizen Engagement and Democracy, Sunday 2 November. His most recent work, The Comeback (Le Grand Retour) is an examination of the remarkable resurgence to power of Indigenous peoples in Canada which has greatly influenced the national conversation on these issues.

Kiran Bali, MBE, JP is a UK Magistrate and the Global Chair of the United Religions Initiative. As a Hindu scholar she teaches students of all backgrounds and ages.  As a grassroots leader, she has worked to tackle climate change and to empower women.
For her voluntary community cohesion impact, Kiran Bali was honored by HM Queen Elizabeth II and has received a number of international awards for her global leadership. Kiran Bali will be speaking at the Women’s Dignity Assembly, Saturday 3 November and The Future of Religion, Sunday 4 November.

Rawaad Mahyub is the CEO of A Common Word Among the Youth (ACWAY), a global youth movement delivering local activities to promote inter-religious and inter-cultural peace and understanding.
Working in the field of social development for 15 years, with a focus on leadership projects for youth promoting change through civic activism, Rawaad Mahyub is pioneering the global youth movement and is one of the major speakers at Youth Voices for Change: Arts, Academia & Activism, Friday 2 November.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, internationally known author of thirteen influential books in eighty-five foreign translations; a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and retired clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco.
Internationally known as an advocate for women’s circles with a sacred center and her advocacy for a UN Fifth World Conference on Women, this prolific author's books are used as college and university texts in gender studies, women's psychology, mythology, spirituality, east-west philosophy, and psychology courses.
Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen will speak at three programs: Women's Coalitions Addressing Global Problems; She of a Thousand Names....The Great Mother and More; and Wa’akwa Kerlathenhs We Rise Together: Sacred Circles Healing and Empowering Women and Girls, Thursday 1 November, Friday 2 November, and Saturday 3 November.

Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. is widely recognized as the pioneer of nonviolence in the American Civil Liberties Movement. He is an activist, minister, and a scholar of the Bible, as well as a living icon embodying the power of nonviolence in securing justice and peace.
A long-time advocate for nonviolence, Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. was key in the Civil Rights Movement along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who described Reverend James M. Lawson as “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.” Inspired by Mohandas Gandhi’s nonviolent methods in India, in the 1950s, Rev. Lawson led revolutionary sit-in workshops in Nashville, TN.
This American activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement will speak at the Peace & Love, Not War, Hate & Violence Assembly, Tuesday, November 6.

Valarie Kaur is a seasoned civil rights activist, award-winning filmmaker, lawyer, faith leader, and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project™.
Whether inside supermax prisons, on the military base at Guantanamo, or at sites of mass shootings, Valarie Kaur identified a surprising key element for social change: the ethic of love.
Valarie's keynote address at the Inaugural Women's Assembly in 2015 inspired her to create the Revolutionary Love Project™ to champion love as a public ethic and wellspring for social action.
Valarie Kaur will join the Parliament via live video address for Faith & Interfaith: From Grassroots to the Globe, Friday, November 2 and via pre-recorded address for the Justice Assembly, Monday, November 5.

Brothers Abhayjeet Singh Sachal and Sukhmeet Singh Sachal travelled to the Arctic in 2016 and learned first hand the effects of climate change on the local community. The experience led them to act by creating the Break The Divide Foundation. Read more about their mission below. The brothers are major speakers for the session Change Agents: Activists on the Frontlines, Saturday, November 3.
Abhayjeet Singh Sachal is a 16-year-old Canadian humanitarian, environmentalist, and activist who believes that engagement in dialogue and conversation can serve to spark change around the world.
After travelling to the Arctic in 2016 and witnessing the impacts of climate change on Indigenous communities, Abhayjeet Singh Sachal became committed to raising awareness about the realities of climate change. Inspired to create change, he and his brother Sukhmeet Singh Sachal, co-founded Break The Divide Foundation, a non-profit organization that connects youth around the world with one another.
Sukhmeet Singh Sachal is a 24-year-old humanitarian, public health advocate, and environmental advocate who believes in the recipe of intercultural dialogue in order to promote peace in the world. Named Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 for 2018, Sukhmeet co-created Break The Divide with his brother, Abhayjeet, to connect youth in the North to youth in southern Canada to explore the topics of climate change and its effects on mental health.

Parisa Khosravi is a keynote speaker, strategic adviser, and a multi-award-winning veteran journalist and news executive. Throughout her career as senior vice president for international news gathering, national news gathering, global relations and the first ever ambassador for CNN Worldwide, Parisa directed historic coverage of countless award-winning news stories. Parisa left CNN in 2015.
A proud Iranian-American Zoroastrian with over three decades of experience on the global stage, Parisa Khosravi has first-hand experience working with world leaders, dignitaries and high-ranking officials across the globe in order to open doors to difficult and dangerous parts of the world where freedom of speech is in no way guaranteed. Parisa Khosravi will join us at the opening plenary, The Promise of Inclusion, The Power of Love, Thursday, November 1.
Join us in Toronto as we gaze upon systems of violence and injustice with a renewed vision of understanding, reconciliation, and change.

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ARRCC | WORKSHOP | Living the Change: faithful choices for a flourishing world | Sunday, 18 November 2018 | 2.30-4pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Our generation is the first to start feeling the impacts of climate disruption and the last to be able to do something meaningful about it. 

One response is Living the Change, a multi-faith global campaign which draws on our spiritual beliefs and values to inspire lifestyle choices which, when aggregated with the actions of others, will help limit global warming.

This workshop will be part of the Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference (VINC) 2018 but you can attend it as a standalone event. Be part of our workshop and join a globally-connected community of religious and spiritual institutions working together to champion sustainable ways of living.

Facilitator: Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), Rabbi at Leo Baeck Centre and member of the Jewish Ecological Coalition (JECO)

Where: St. Albans Community Centre - 309C Main Rd E, St Albans VIC 3021

ARRCC is a multi-faith, member-based organisation of people from around Australia who are committed to taking action on climate change. We believe that as people dedicated to the common good, inspired by our beliefs and energized by our spirituality, people of all faiths can and should be at the forefront of creating a safe climate. While celebrating the uniqueness of our different traditions, we stand together in working for an ecologically and socially sustainable future.

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)

bENGAGED | REPORTS | AGMC | National Conference: Living and Loving in Diversity | 21-23 September 2018

[Report is compiled from multiple public addresses, multiple sources made over multiple publication dates and post-event reflection]

A rare opportunity to understand, interact and discuss all things multicultural, Multifaith and LGBTIQA+. Celebrating diversity within diversity - a show of solidarity between communities of all cultures, faiths, abilities, genders, and sexualities.

People of all ages, abilities and diversities, allies and friends assembled over an ambitious program of 3 days. Exploring topics and themes including Multicultural and LGBTQIA+, migrant and refugees, health initiatives and research, families and youth, representation in the media, disability support and much more.

Guest presenters included:
• Victoria’s first commissioner for gender and sexuality Ro Allen;
• CEO of SBS Michael Ebeid;
• Author and journalist Benjamin Law;
• General Manager of NDIS Stephanie Gunn;
• and writer and editor Roj Amedi

Migrant groups often come with no or limited English, or English As Another Language (EAAL). Education may have been interrupted due to civil unrest or war, limited based on gender or denied based on societal standing of ethnic/ race/ability. Those on the outer often suffer from invisibility, face barriers to access and have unique needs disregarded by systems awaiting updating for modern times. Requests were discussed elsewhere in the Conference about the lack of literature regarding sex, gender, sexuality and respectful relationships in languages other than English.
Navigating housing, health care and other systems life-giving or sustaining proves an ongoing challenge for EAAL cohort.

A Conference bringing together such disparate and segmented communities leaves many impressions, and will continue to unfold for participants.

Reported by ABS General Social Survey in 2014, in Australia, 33.7% of lesbian and gay, and 20.8% of bisexual people report having experienced homelessness, compared to 13.4% of heterosexuals.
For here and now, there are many opportunities to improve offerings to Victoria’s diverse multi-cultural and multi-lingual constituents by:
• acknowledging existence of compound intersectionality between race, ethnicity, religion and LGBTIQA+ identities.
• overcome an often EAAL-script that sexual diversity is a ‘Western disease’ or ‘white colonial deviance’
• Overcome an inherent institutional blindness - “whiteness” in attitude/service/provision to those from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background
• providing tools to allow Sangha and families to navigate difficult
conversations about diverse sexuality, relationship circumstances and personal expression in birth-language.

At the end of the Conference, participants assembled to develop and document strategies and key points to present to Government and relevant policy makers.

On behalf of BCV’s Buddhist Religious Instruction (bENGAGED) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Hosts, Organisers, Volunteers and Participants working to share, build collaborations, celebrate diversity and foster team approach to addressing today's society. Received with gratitude.

Other resources:
• State Government’s Victoria’s Values Statement
Victorian. And Proud of it.
Minus18: Australia’s youth driven organisation for LGBTIQ youth
Thorne Harbour Health: improving health and wellbeing of LGBTI communities, including those with HIV, AIDS

Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC)
President and Conference Chair Dr Judy Tang

Disclosure: Badge reads “For Equity: YES, I am”.
Unseen in picture is bDIVERSITY postcard below:

GEIFN | REPORTS | Speed Dating A Religious Zealot? An Other Perspective | Saturday 22 September 2018 | 1.30-2.30pm

[Report is compiled from multiple public addresses, multiple sources made over multiple publication dates and post-event reflection]

A commemoration of UN International Peace Day and opportunity for audience members to sit informally together with people of different religious traditions and intersectionality all working, living and loving in Victoria.

General discussion yielded that arriving and established migrants often come with a religious background and have all sorts of positive and negative experiences as the different face in town. 
  • Upon arrival, religion might be the last point of call due to historical experience or entrenched prejudice. 
  • As a newly arrived, it might be difficult to make and sustain meaningful friendships and relationships. 
  • As an old arrival, when has enough time passed to be considered a local?
As a demonstration of compounded intersectionality (having multiple identities co-exisiting at the same time), a minute’s ‘silence’ for UN International Peace Day was combined with Acknowledgement of Country and Guided Meditation.

To minimise confusion in thoughts, dialogues or activities, discussion of the usefulness in establishing definitions of key words at the start of important conversations. The importance of checking the source, citing the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri word Ngargee (gathering for celebration); Latin words Zeal (passion, enthusiasm) and Religion (again uniting energy); and modern causes for Confusion like West vs East.

The questions were posed to the audience that, based on the literal Latin definition of Religion:
  • would AFL qualify with its recent advances on gender, race and sexuality equity?
  • would AGMC's Living Loving Diversity qualify as religious?
Discussion included hazards of generalisations, specifics and subjectivity when establishing personal identity. When times are confusing, it is important to understand that all concepts and words are flawed, but useful in the beginning to start somewhere. This included understandings that any concept like binary can be understood to actually have 3 components. When this concept gets easier, then the 3 expands to 5. When that gets easier, then the 5 expands to unlimited. And when that gets easier, all contracts to 1. 

In this way, the Root Cause of Suffering can be considered as being the consequence of conditions numbering 2,3,5, infinity and back to 1. If/When/As that 1 is Ignorance.

As we all know, understanding, trust and peace does not arrive by accident. It arrives in step by step increments. Overcoming the occasional slip-ups and trips that any journey is subject to. Beginning with the individual. Growing in beneficiaries until including a greater number, if not all.

On this and every day, thankyou for playing a part in striving towards a society with fairer sharing of equity. Together we are better.

On behalf of BCV’s Buddhist Religious Instruction (bENGAGED) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Hosts, Organisers, Volunteers and Participants working to share, build collaborations, celebrate diversity and foster team approach to addressing today's society. Received with gratitude.

Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN)
Global engagement in friendlier neighbourhoods. Join us with 'humanising the other’.
Caretaker Carey Rohrlach

GEIFN | MEDIA | Mix | October 2018

Approx 5 min reads

Benjamin Law explores personal experience of familiar, unfamiliar and reconciling differences as “Author Sisonke Msimang talks bodies, sex and religion” via WA Today

Peter Craven explores the past crime of demonised love, shortened longevity and enduring legacy, reviewing “The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde: What emerged from Reading” via The Canberra Times

David Wilson explores grounding affects of connecting to natural environment and wider world, meet Ranger Emma Dale who demonstrates reasons for “Sharing the passion” via The Canberra Times

Jane Caro explores harsh self-judgment, owning up to its existence and letting go of silent burdens, revealing “Why struggling with shame is something many of us have in common” via The Age

Maureen Mathews explores entitlement, insecurity and overcoming anxiety in resolving “About Last Night: I think my partner's priorities are wrong” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Wendy Squires explores independent thinking, questioning blind belief, reasoned argument and increasing equity for now and brighter future, citing why “Harper is not an impudent child, she is hope” via WA Today

Kathy Evans shares an example of being the change we wish to see in the world, hearing why “From prodigy to global ambassador, pianist Ambre Hammond is on a mission” via The Canberra Times

Cameron Woodhead explores the value in reflecting on history’s lessons, reconciling truth and taking steps towards overcoming intergenerational trauma, reviewing why “One-woman show brings ancestors' voices to arresting life” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Hinde Ena Burstin, Anneke Deutsch, Sandra Padova, Robyn Peck and Jean Taylor salute the life of Sara Elkas, a “Jewish lesbian activist proud of her communities” via The Brisbane Times

Michael McGirr explores educational engagement and testing times in this “Teacher review: Gabbie Stroud and her struggle to keep the passion alive” via The Canberra Times

Peter Mares explores how disparate interests could be harnessed to address present society’s inequities, discussing “Build-to-rent: a potential solution to Australia's housing problem” via The Brisbane Times

Gabriella Coslovich explores the value in beautiful, welcoming, democratic temples to the common good, reasoning why “A question of place at the Architecture Biennale prompts contemplation” via The Age

Nicholas Whitlam explores an island with a long history of migration, being conquered and enduring humanity, inviting us to meet “Sicily, Italy: A toast to a unique history, food and culture” via

Steve Dow explores place, people, reconciling external influences and living within Culture, revealing how “Four generations of Banis take the stage” via The Age

Peter Mates explores different ways to fund  property ownership for current and future generations, affording “Housing: It's time for the lucky to share some of their good fortune” via The Canberra Times

Charlotte Graham-McLay tells a reimagined tale of two tongues, revealing how “Once shunned, the Maori language is experiencing a revival” via The Age

Bridget Cormack explores an example of personal identity, collecting place, shared connection and celebration of belonging, revealing “When four seasons are not enough” via The Canberra Times

Emma Koehn shines a light on collaborative effort to identify, tap and cultivate creativity as “$1.4 million pledged to harness creativity of Aboriginal entrepreneurs” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Antonia Noori Farzan explores an example of determination, self-inquiry and fresh perspective, meet Jocelyn Bell Burnell who went “From self-doubt to scientific breakthrough” via The Age

Peter Hannam explores benefits of fresh eyes, life experience and collective  participation, revealing why “'Blessed' Tree regeneration pioneer Tony Rinaudo gets global gong” via The Brisbane Times

Gary Nunn explores familial pride, entrenched prejudice, legalized punishment, overcoming public ignorance and prosecuting proof for a fairer society “How Australia's Justice Michael Kirby helped India's first openly gay prince combat sex ban” via ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Approx 20min presentations

Helen Turnbull: Inclusion, Exclusion, Illusion and Collusion (13 mins)
Luvvie Ajayi: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable (11 mins)
Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0 (19 mins)
Dr. Marilyn Sanders Mobley: The Paradox of Diversity (16 mins)
Tom Ngo: I am AZN American (27 mins)

Approx 5 min presentation

Sally Seltmann: Heart Thats Pounding

Approx 2 min presentation

Sesame Street, Lena Headey and Murray: Relax

Approx 30 min presentation

Compass: Queens Of Shebah (30 mins)
Shebah, the taxi service for women offers a fascinating perspective on women of different faiths and cultures as they drive and ride in a supportive, safe environment.