PWR | WELCOMING | Pastor Christopher Harris, Ta'Kaiya Blaney, Attorney General Kwame Raoul and More Luminaries at the 2023 Parliament | 14-18 August 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Welcoming Pastor Chris Harris, Sr., Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Ta'Kaiya Blaney, Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Chris Crawford, and Jerry White as featured luminaries of the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, gathering this upcoming 14-18 August 2023 in Chicago, USA.

These world renowned leaders are addressing the critical issues facing our communities and our planet through their unique areas of expertise. This August, join our luminaries at the world's premier interfaith event addressing the threat of autocracy and defending freedom and human rights for all.

Luminaries Answering the Call to Conscience

  • Pastor Christopher Harris is a native of Chicago, Illinois is the Senior Pastor of Bright Star C.O.G.I.C. Recognizing the need for more “community-minded clergy,” and due to increasing violence in Chicago, he established Bright Star Community Outreach in 2009.
  • Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, born in Chicago to Haitian immigrants, brings a lifetime of legal experience and advocacy to the office. He was sworn in as Illinois’ 42nd Attorney General in 2019 and took the oath to serve a second term in 2023.
  • The Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is president and CEO of Interfaith Alliance. An ordained Baptist minister, Rev. Raushenbush is a longtime leader in the interfaith movement working to protect an inclusive vision of religious freedom for people of all faiths and none.
  • Ta'Kaiya Blaney is a singer, songwriter, actor, speaker, and Native Children’s Survival Youth Ambassador. From Idle No More to the United Nations, and Standing Rock to the Indigenous Climate Action’s Youth Delegation, Ta’Kaiya has performed and spoken at international conferences and forums across the globe.
  • Chris Crawford is a policy advocate at Protect Democracy. His work is focused on ensuring free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power, including advocating for reforms of the Electoral Count Act and staffing the National Task Force on Election Crises.
  • Jerry White is the Executive Director of United Religions Initiative, an author, diplomat, and humanitarian activist known for leading high-impact campaigns, three of which led to international treaties: the Landmine Ban Treaty, the Cluster Munitions Ban, and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Leaders From Across Traditions and Professions are Answering the Call to Conscience

Join Pastor Chris Harris, Sr., Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Ta'Kaiya Blaney, Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Chris Crawford, Jerry White, and thousands of attendees at the 2023 Parliament Convening this August.

  • Enjoy over 10 main stage sessions and 800+ programs
  • Connect with thousands of fellow participants and 200+ exhibitors
  • Enjoy films, performances, and art all under one roof
  • Explore the City of Chicago through community events
  • & Much More!


Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Address: 70 East Lake St., Suite 230 Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Tel: (312) 629-2990

CUIN | UPDATING | New Resources and Reflections | 28 July 2023

[Edited extract from public address]
This month we have new teacher resources, new articles and talks to share with you all. We reckon there is something for everyone here.

LAUNCHING | New resources for teachers

Our Professional Development programs are now live on our Education and Experiences website! We're passionate about providing teachers and educators with the resources they need for their Professional Development.

You can find more information on our curriculum-aligned resources here, which include live sessions, complimentary lesson plans and teacher resources. 


During the month of July, the Education and Experiences team facilitated NAIDOC Week celebrations across Australia. From early childhood to corporate sessions, we are grateful to the presenters who shared their culture.   
Some of the programs delivered included Aboriginal Symbolic Art with gum leaves and ochre, Aboriginal Games, Storytelling and Artefacts and Dance and Didgeridoo, to name a few. These sessions provide participants an opportunity to engage in cultural activities and create an open and safe environment to engage in the stories, histories and knowledges of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Our programs sell out well in advance so book now to avoid missing out!

REPORTING | Emotional Well-being International Conference 2023

Our Founder and CEO Peter Mousaferiadis delivered a ‘powerful talk and lesson in offering keynotes’ according to one attendant to the Emotional Well-Being Institute’s Emotional Well-being International Conference 2023.The conference was jointly organised by Emotional Well-Being Institute, Open University of Mauritius and Middlesex University. 

Peter spoke about the mighty force culture is, how it can contribute to wellbeing and be a wellspring of inspiration, energy and renewal, but how it can also be a driver of conflict. Our humanity is entwined with culture and our collective wellbeing is predicated on our ability to manage this aspect well.
‘Cultural diversity is as important to our wellbeing as biodiversity. In other words, the time is ripe for us to move out of the present economic age and into a future cultural age, where the increased intermingling of people with vastly different worldviews, values, value systems, customs and beliefs proves to be a universal blessing rather than a diabolical curse.’

REPORTING | DEI and Wellbeing: A Winning Combination for A Thriving Workplace

Staying with the topic of wellbeing, our brilliant intern Naomi Fung, a double major in Psychology and Language Communication from the University of Hong Kong, contributed this piece on wellbeing in the workplace for the blog.  
  • ‘Imagine: being the only non-fluent English speaker in an English-speaking company. You can’t help but be silent during team meetings and your manager interprets your silence as rudeness and lack of cooperation and team spirit. How would that make you feel?’

ADVISING | ‘The drivers of discrimination are fear and ignorance’

In this interview with the HR Leader, Peter discusses how DEI is not just about improved organisational innovation, creativity and bottom line, but also about creating a more culturally harmonious world.
"If they’ve got a workforce that’s happy, and they’ve got a workforce that’s engaged, and they’re not having to turn over that workforce every few months, not only is it going to improve the bottom line, the good that they do within the workforce will also resonate into the community.”

Interested in staying up to date and finding out more about our cultural initiatives? 
Follow us on social media for the latest news and events, links below.


Cultural Infusion (CUIN)
Address: Suite 2, 273-277 Wellington Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066

VMC | UPDATING | Celebrating and investing in our diverse regional communities in Victoria | Thursday 27 July 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Welcoming the announcement from the Victorian Government on a number of initiatives. This includes the 5 million dollars to fund Regional Multicultural Festivals.

More details will come through soon as eligibility details are being prepared. The VMC will be advocating for multicultural and multifaith community organisations to be considered for this initiative.

We will also be coming to you for your feedback and advice on the Multicultural Framework Review.

We have made a commitment with the Expert Review Panel to ensure that regional Victoria’s voices will be included at upcoming sessions.

Stay tuned and I hope to see you at these sessions soon. 
Recently, I attended the Australian Karen Organisation's Silver Jubilee to celebrate 25 years of helping Karen refugees with settlement and community development.

It was a great reminder of what emerging communities can bring to regional areas.

Just one example is the growth in diversity and inclusion that Bendigo has seen since it welcomed its first Karen Burmese refugee in 2007.

Fifteen years later, this community has grown to more than 1600 people. 

With 177 full-time jobs developed and nearly 70 million dollars added to the economy, the effect on the community is undeniable. 

At the VMC, we continue to collaborate with regional multicultural communities through our Regional Advisory Councils (RAC).

Our RACs are currently having their second round of meetings for the year. This is a great forum to raise regional issues and celebrate regional successes.

Get in touch with us or join and raise the voice of regional Victorians.

Finally, nominations for the 2023 Multicultural Awards for Excellence are now open. 
Please nominate the heroes in your communities so we can celebrate their achievements together.

Thank you and keep reading below for the latest on VMC news and events and remember to sign up for the VMC database below.

Viv Nguyen, Chairperson

 News and Events 

JOINING | The VMC database!

In the last couple of years, the VMC has played a significant role in supporting, engaging and informing the multicultural and multifaith communities during extremely tough circumstances, like the floods, fires and the pandemic.

In order to continue this effort, we need a robust and up-to-date Multicultural Communities Database.

Please help us by providing your organisation's contact details.

There are two questionnaires – please only fill out ONE. 

You can complete a questionnaire on behalf of an organisation you represent OR as an individual.
If you have any questions, please email the VMC 

You must complete the above questionnaire and consent to the VMC having information about your organisation to be among the first to know of relevant Governmental or community resources, awards, grants, news, events, programs, and other opportunities, including VMC-hosted events such as the Multicultural Gala Dinner. 

The VMC and DFFH will contact people on the database from time to time to ask for their views on important issues. 

VIC | GOV | ANNOUNCING | Delivering Even More Housing For Regional Workers

The Victorian Government is delivering a comprehensive $2 billion package to ensure regional Victoria receives all the legacy benefits that would have been facilitated by hosting the Commonwealth Games.
This includes investments such as:
  • $150 million in the Regional Worker Accommodation Fund 
  • $1 billion in the Regional Housing Fund
  • $150 million towards the Regional Tourism and Events Fund 
  • $60 million for Regional Tourism Infrastructure 
  • $70 million in Visit Victoria 
  • $10 million to grow our food and fibre exports 
  • $5 million for Regional Tourism Industry Development 
  • $5 million for Regional Multi-Cultural Festivals
  • $60 million in the Regional Community Sport Development Fund ($35 million for Regional Community Sport Infrastructure, $25 million to deliver Community Sport Programs) 
  • $20 million in the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund 
  • $10 million in Tiny Towns
  • $25 million on Council Support Packages

 Gender Equality 

GATHERING | Women Deliver to deliver for Victoria

Advancing the rights of women across the Pacific and in Australia will be the focus of an Oceanic Pacific delegation at Women Deliver 2023.

The Victorian Government, in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, is the Regional Convening Partner for the Oceanic Pacific region – mobilising diverse gender equality advocates across the region to identify priority issues affecting women.

Held every three years, the global conference brings together thousands of activists and decision-makers from communities, governments, philanthropy, the private sector and international agencies.

Women of all backgrounds, with expertise and experience, coming together at forums like Women Deliver, is critical for finding the solutions needed for a better future for women and girls.

 Education and Training 

CALLING | New kinders boost bilingual learning benefits | expressions of interest close 13 August 2023.  

Language immersion has a profound positive impact on children’s learning – and the Victorian Government is providing more language education to help give early learners the best start to life.

An investment of $3.7 million in the Victorian Budget 2023/24 will double the footprint of the successful Bilingual Kindergarten program from 10 to 20 services – giving more children across the state increased cultural, social and educational skills and knowledge.

Kindergartens interested in applying are further encouraged to deliver a local Aboriginal language program and will be supported to seek Traditional Owner approval to do so.

ADVISING | Melbourne, the number one city for international students

Melbourne is officially the best international student city in the country after the recent release of global rankings highlighted our unmatched educational opportunities, affordability, and cultural diversity.

The Victorian capital has been the QS Best Student City Index Australian leader since 2015 with growing numbers of students from around the world making Victoria their number-one choice.

Last year the Victorian Government also launched the International Education Recovery Plan 2025, backed by almost $53 million in funding for numerous initiatives. This includes the expansion of Victoria’s Global Education Network to 19 locations, with extra resources in Colombia, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.


GATHERING | Australia's largest ever event on multicultural communications – Ethnolink Summit 2023 is coming to Melbourne this August.

For one transformative full-day, be part of the historic gathering of 200+ government and not-for-profit communications professionals united by a common passion — multicultural communications.

Draw inspiration from their expertise, innovation, and passion, uncover cutting-edge strategies, and leave with a fresh perspective to your approach to multicultural communications and community engagement.
You don’t want to miss it. Tickets on sale now!

BECOMING | An ambassador for the occupational rights of Victorian migrant communities | applications for 2023 close 30 July 2023

The Bicultural Work Rights Ambassadors Program is run by the Migrant Workers Centre to train and support migrant leaders in Victoria to deliver education sessions on workplace rights and safety to their communities.

The program employs and trains active and trusted members of Victorian migrant communities to become Bicultural Work Rights Ambassadors, who are supported to deliver information sessions to their peers on workplace rights, occupational health and safety, and how to access culturally and linguistically appropriate support services.


Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC)
Address: Level 3, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9651 5901

ECCV | UPDATING | eBulletin #37 | July 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

The countdown to ECCV's 50th anniversary next year has provided a timely opportunity to reflect on our history and refine our vision for the years ahead. 

We're excited to begin the process of developing a new Strategic Plan, which will present a clear roadmap forward, outlining our future ambitions and addressing our fundamental “why”.
The Strategic Plan 2024-34 will be delivered in April next year, and we look forward to consulting with our members and stakeholders through this process.
We're also counting down to this year's Voice referendum, which offers a life-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve meaningful change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by enshrining a First Nations Voice to Parliament. Our migrant and refugee communities have a vital role to play in supporting this historic change.
That's why we're excited to co-host an Interactive Town Hall Sunday 13 August 2023 with Settlement Services International and the Multicultural Australia for Voice alliance. The event will be an open forum to discuss what the Voice to Parliament is, and what it means for all Australians. ECCV is proud to be playing a leading role in raising awareness about the referendum among Victoria's multicultural communities.

This month, we welcomed the reappointment of Vivienne Nguyen as Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Viv has been a champion for migrant and refugee communities across the state in her capacity as Chairperson and beyond. We look forward to continuing to work closely with both Viv and the Commission to improve outcomes for multicultural Victoria.

We'd also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Chris Hazelman, who retired this month after 15 years as Manager of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton & District. He has been a formidable advocate for multicultural communities in the regions, and played a pivotal leadership role during the pandemic and last year’s devastating floods. We wish Chris all the best. 
Eddie Micallef, Chairperson


ECCV commends new gambling harm reforms

ECCV welcomes the reforms announced this month by the state government to implement mandatory pre-commitment, carded play and load up, making Victoria's gambling harm protections the strongest in Australia. A 2018 ECCV survey revealed that more than half of respondents view gambling as a significant issue in their community, highlighting how urgently reforms are needed in this space. 

Interactive town hall on First Nations Voice

Linda Burney MP and Tasneem Chopra OAM will be guest speakers at the interactive town hall ECCV is co-hosting about the Voice referendum on 13 August. This free event will feature a panel discussion and festivities such as food trucks, market stalls and live performances. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts as part of the panel discussion. 

ECCV launches new online Ageing Well Hub

Earlier this month, ECCV launched our Ageing Well Hub, a dedicated portal on our website for seniors from migrant and refugee communities and their families and carers as well as the multicultural aged care sector. The Hub brings together our policy and advocacy work across key areas, such as elder abuse prevention, aged care sector support and seniors health and wellbeing. 

Multicultural communities Walking Together

On 15 July, ECCV partnered with Yes23, Islamic Council of Victoria and Migrant Workers Centre to host a workshop for leaders from multicultural and multifaith leaders about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. More than 50 people came to Trades Hall to learn about the importance of recognising First Nations people in the Australian Constitution and how multicultural communities can support this historic step.

 Opportunities and Resources 

Expressions of Interest: Strategic Plan 2024-34 | submissions close Monday 7 August 2023 

ECCV is seeking experienced consultants with a passion for multicultural affairs and the community sector to facilitate the development and delivery of a new Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan 2024-34 will clarify ECCV’s purpose, vision, and mission, and detail objectives to guide actions and effectively measure social impact. 

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Policy Adviser | applications close Sunday 6 August 2023

ECCV is seeking an experienced and driven Policy Adviser with a passion for multiculturalism and social justice to join our team. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to our evidence-based work. The Policy Adviser will coordinate our Policy Advisory Committees and utilise high-level research and analysis skills to produce submissions and reports. 


Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV)
Address: Suite 101, 398 Sydney Road, Coburg Vic 3058
Tel: (03) 9354 9555

ILF | UPDATING | News from the Indigenous Literacy Foundation | July 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Yamandhu marang,

There is a lot to be thankful for this month. And I turn that thanks to our valued supporters. 

This month we celebrated NAIDOC week, a time to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Thank you to all of our Sydney based supporters who joined our NAIDOC event at the International Towers, Barangaroo. I hope you enjoyed hearing from ILF Ambassador, Wayne Quilliam and 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here' star Bianca Hunt on the importance of this year's NAIDOC theme, For Our Elders.

A big thank you to those who supported us through book sales and by participating in our special raffle prize, as a result we raised over $4000 which will allow us to gift over 400 culturally relevant books to kids in remote Communities. I would also like to thank Freshwater Farm, Ethical Brand Co, Leif Products, Mr Smith and Wayne Quilliam for your generous contributions to our prize packs.

A big thank you to those who supported our end of financial year fundraising. We simply couldn't continue our work without your support. You are an integral part of our journey as we grow our reach and build long term relationships with Elders and residents in remote Communities to provide access to culturally relevant books.

This Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD) on 6 September we are collaborating with Sydney Opera House and are proud to present a 15-minute FILM celebrating  stories and songs from remote Communities followed by a 45 minute LIVESTREAM from the Sydney Opera House. All ILF eNewsletter subscribers will receive a link to register on 9 August. It's a fun, FREE learning adventure! Registrations open for schools, organisations, social groups and individuals on 9 August 2023. 

This year's ILD FILM will showcase three beautiful bilingual children's books - Shordi Krik, We Look We Find and Country Tells Us When... Make sure to grab yourself a copy of each book and join us in celebrating First Nations peoples’ stories, cultures and languages. Books must be purchased before 17 August 2023.

Mandaang guwu,
Ben Bowen, Chief Executive Officer

SPOTLIGHTING | Word of the Month

To celebrate UNESCO's second year of the Decade of Indigenous Languages, each month we encourage readers to learn a new word in either an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language. 
This month's word is male grey kangaroo in Bundjalung language! Bundjalung Country is in the far North East Coast of NSW and the Southern Eastern coast of Queensland.



The 2023 NAIDOC theme ‘For Our Elders’ acknowledges the incredible role that Elders play in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Communities. Hear from Kamilaroi and Dunghutti woman, Jolene (ILF's Book Buzz Manager) and Jingili, Mudburra and Mangarrayi woman Cindy (ILF’s Publishing Projects Editor) about what this years NAIDOC theme means to them.

REPORTING | National Indigenous Art Fair 

For the first time ever, the ILF attended the National Indigenous Art Fair on Gadigal Country. Thank you to Tranby College for supporting us in attending this event. It was so great to spread awareness of the ILF and connect with the general public. 


We are pleased to announce that we will be attending the PULiiMA Indigenous Language and Technology Conference. We are looking forward to connecting  inspirational people share a common ambition of conserving and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

HIRING | Publishing Co‑ordinator

We are hiring a Publishing Coordinator! If you are passionate about publishing and interested in working in a dynamic workplace, check out this opportunity.
Applicants require no publishing experience, remote and/or office work, and there are opportunities to travel. Please note: This is an identified role for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person. 

ATTENDING | Byron Writers Festival

We are pleased to be the charity of choice at this year's Byron Writers Festival 11-13 August 2023. We are looking forward to three days of books, reading and fundraising at the Festival! Please make sure to visit the ILF tent and say hello. We are currently sourcing volunteers, if you would like to volunteer please reply to this email with your interest.

SUPPORTING | 136 Schools are Busking For Change!

We've had an incredible response! 136 schools across Australia are Busking For Change in 2023! Please if you can, support a school to meet their fundraising goal. Congratulations St Catherine's School for raising $2,300 at their Busking For Change choral showcase. 

CLICKING | For More Stories


 Work in Community 

Northern Territory Workshops

This month, our team travelled out to Bulla Camp Primary School and Amanbidji School in remote NT with ILF Ambassador Ann James, illustrator Ann Haddon and designer Lee Burgemeestre to run workshops for the students there. These workshops were aimed at creating some new books with the schools featuring Ngarinyman language!

Book Supply 2024 Submissions

Thank you to the many publishers who have sent in book submissions for consideration for Book Supply 2024. Our Review Committee will be meeting early August to determine the packs for the four age groups. 

 Ambassador News 

Dr Jared Thomas

Congratulations to ILF Ambassador Dr Jared Thomas who was awarded NAIDOC SA Person of the Year 2023. Best wishes to Jared on such a well-deserved accolade!

Deb Dank

Congratulations to ILF Ambassador Deb Dank who won the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal 2023 for outstanding literary work in the preceding calendar year for her book We Come With This Place.

 Special Thanks 

A big thank you to UnLtd and NOVA Entertainment who are both supporting the publication of two of our forthcoming bilingual titles to be published later in 2023. This is wonderful support for our publishing program.

We would like to thank the International Towers at Barangaroo for their generous support in letting us hold our special NAIDOC event at Tower 3 where we had the opportunity to spread the work of the ILF with the general public 

We are indebted to our partner Australia Post for their support with the delivery of Book Supply packs to remote Communities and their ongoing fundraising. 

 Community Fundraisers 

A big thank you to Freshwater Farm who are donating a percentage of sales to the ILF from their limited-edition body bars, body wash and hand washes. The limited-edition products are designed in collaboration with Worimi Indigenous artist, Brittney Paulson. The products will be available on their website from early August or at Woolworths from mid-August.

A big thank you to LEIF who in addition to kindly contributing to our NAIDOC raffle prizes, they also donated an additional $5,000 from their online sales during NAIDOC Week. We are very grateful for this relationship with LEIF!

We would like to thank Yarra Plenty Regional Library (YPRL) who raised over $2,000 for the ILF through book sales held in the last year. YPRL are pleased that not only did over 2000 books find new homes, but that they are able to contribute to supplying over 200 culturally relevant books to children in remote Communities.


Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF)
Address: 17/207 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9280 0644
Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn

PWR | UPDATING | The Women's Assembly: Upholding Women's Wisdom, Freedom, & Human Rights

[Edited extract from public address]

Women are once again making women’s history at the 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions! 

Women’s wisdom, spirituality and empowerment take center stage at The Women’s Assembly, Programming, Village and Sacred Space. Join us as we advance the Call to Conscience for women’s dignity, bodily autonomy, and human rights, and experience countless opportunities for inspiration, soul nourishment and world-changing relationship building.

The Women's Assembly

The Women’s Task Force of the Parliament presents the 2023 Women’s Assembly at 10am CT on Tuesday 15 August 2023. Outstanding women activists of the world’s faith and spiritual traditions will speak to the Parliament’s urgent theme, sharing women’s diverse, energized, and inspired resistance to authoritarianism and its disproportionate impact on women and girls.

Luminaries of the Women's Assembly
  • Her Excellency María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés is an academic, politician and diplomat with 30+ years of experience, including leadership positions within the Government of Ecuador and at the most senior level of the United Nations.
  • Great Grandmother Mary Lyons is an Anishinaabe-Ojibwe Elder, a world-renowned Wisdom keeper, humanitarian, activist, and author.
  • Rev. Aina-Nia Ayo'dele is a leadership coach, author, public speaker and ancient wisdom teacher who considers herself a Spiritual Liberation Activist.
  • Rev. Jennifer Butler is the founder of Faith in Public Life to amplify progressive faith voices and forge multi-racial, multi-faith and ideologically diverse faith coalitions to work for justice and the common good.
  • Cynthia Conti-Cook is a civil rights attorney and researcher studying the impacts of new technologies on movements for liberation and state systems of control.
  • Yaël Eisenstat is the Vice President at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) heading the Center for Technology & Society (CTS).
  • Sousan Abadi is a former Franklin Fellow at the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
  • Anila Ali is the President of the American Muslim & Multifaith Women's Empowerment Council.

Women’s Presence at the 2023 Convening

Women’s Programming Track
With over 80 programs throughout the week, the Women’s Track features programs from across the globe to enrich the spiritual lives of women and to empower collective and individual action securing their freedom and human rights during this critical moment in our collective history.

The Women’s Village
Located on Level 2 of the Lakeside Center, the Women’s Village is a unique and welcoming space, carefully designed to support the way women create and converge. Come to the Village to be nourished, activated and inspired to protect and deepen our commitment to preserve freedom, human rights and dignity for all.

The Women’s Sacred Space
A beautiful, interfaith space designed in the fashion of a Red Ten, open throughout the Parliament convening for meditation, contemplation, ceremony, celebration, rites and rituals.

Heartfelt thanks

Heartfelt thanks to Jean Shinoda Bolen, Carolina McCabe and our anonymous donors for their generous donations to the Women’s Task Force and our work bringing women’s wisdom, concerns and spirit to the Parliament!

Please support the ongoing work of the Women's Task Force! Donate to the Global Sisters Fund. Your donation gives us the opportunity to uplift the voices of women at the largest and most diverse interfaith gathering in the world.

We’ll see you in Chicago!

Rev. H.Ps Phyllis Curott, Chair, Women’s Task Force
Dolly Dastoor
Kehkashan Basu
Pat Fero
Sande Hart
Ann Smith
Sharan Singh


Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Address: 70 East Lake St., Suite 230 Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Tel: (312) 629-2990

CHUFFED | RAISING | Awareness, Support and Funds towards a fairer go for Aussie Workers, Aussie Trans, Ukraine's Frontline and Syrian Kids | July 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Support a fairer go for workers

Essential workers who got us through the pandemic should be able to put food on the table. But the wages of API pharmacy warehouse workers aren't keeping up with inflation, despite the CEO of their parent company Wesfarmers making $8 million last year. The company wouldn't even agree to a $2.25 an hour increase.
"Like other working people, we are sick of our wages going backwards while the executives take home record pay packets off the back of our hard work. 

We are on strike until we receive a fair and decent offer, and we are asking for your support!"
Each day longer keeps workers stronger and closer to winning - which would inspire workers everywhere that they deserve cost of living increases.  

Don't let big companies like Wesfarmers underestimate people power. 
“We’re all fighting for the same bloody thing - a fair go.”
Can you chip in to keep these workers going as they strike in freezing conditions? 

"Existential threat" to trans lives

Did you catch the Four Corners episode "Blocked" (56mins) about the "existential threat" to gender-affirming care for trans young people at a major Sydney hospital? It was horrific to hear from Lauren, who lost her son as a result of delayed care.

Trans Justice Project director Jackie Turner says "we need a plan to make gender-affirming care more affordable and accessible so that everyone who needs it can get it."  

Earlier this year over a thousand caring people on Chuffed rushed to help Jackie launch Trans Justice Project, a beacon of hope and solidarity following Nazi salutes on state parliament steps.  

Please give what you can to grow this people-powered response to devastating injustice.

Thanks for being part of this community that takes action when it matters most,

Now is the moment to build Trans Justice Project and fend off threats to life-saving health care. Will you help Jackie and chip in?

From Ukraine's frontline to Australia

Ukrainian soldiers on the ground offer a thank you to the hundreds of caring Aussies on Chuffed who supplied them with food, warm clothing, and a car. 

Dimitri was born in Kyiv but is doing everything he can to support fellow Ukrainians from Canberra. 
"Our resistance is a struggle for all free nations - but we can only win if we have each other’s backs."
Can you top up his crowdfunder to keep fuelling these heroes?

Urgent: Get Ella's knits to kids in Syria

Aussies Knitting for War Affected Kids are a beautiful community of volunteers creating winter survival packs for kids who have lost their homes in NW Syria. Some of the knitters like Ella above are in their nineties, and hand knit up to 20 jumpers each year.
"When a child has a hand-knitted jumper you know someone has cared enough to express love for the child with their time invested in every knitted stitch."
They’re in urgent need of funds within weeks, to get the packs done and on their way before the bitter winter hits. The widespread devastation of the February earthquake has made this more critical than ever.

Can you help meet their fast-approaching shipping deadline? Chip in now to keep a child devastated by conflict and earthquakes warm and protected.

These packs save lives. They're kitted out with head-to-toe warm woollies, additional clothing, gum boots, hot water bottle, blanket, toys and more.

Thank you 

For being part of this community that responds to despair with such determined kindness.


Team Chuffed
Address: Level 2, 60 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia

PWR | UPDATING | Chicago City Council Resolution, Luminaries of the 2023 PoWR, UN Human Rights Prize, Global Ethic Awards and more

[Edited extract from public address]

City Resolution Declares August ‘Parliament of the World’s Religions’ Month

On Wednesday, 19 July 2023 the Chicago City Council approved a resolution declaring August ‘Parliament of the World’s Religions’ Month. Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago joined faith leaders from around the country at a private meeting with Mayor Johnson, a keynote speaker opening the Parliament. 

“Chicago’s faith community is strong and vibrant, embodying the soul of our city and supporting its people and neighborhoods,” Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said. “As the son of two pastors, faith guided my family through difficult times and instilled my core values of service and community. The Parliament of the World’s Religions has represented these values throughout its long history of outreach and philanthropy, and I am grateful for continued partnership with them to provide resources and foster community here in Chicago, and beyond.”

Luminaries Addressing the 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions

The Parliament of the World's Religions is honored to welcome Khalil Sayegh, Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, Khaled Abu Awwad, Shane Claiborne, Karen Freeman-Wilson, and Baba Wande Abimbola as featured luminaries of the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, gathering in Chicago, USA this upcoming 14-18 August 2023.
  • Khalil Sayegh is a Palestinian Christian fostering peace & justice in Israel/Palestine, an interfaith advocate, global speaker, and founder of Agora Initiative.
  • Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger is one of the founders of Roots/Shorashim/Judur, a Palestinian Israeli Grassroots Initiative for Understanding, Nonviolence and Transformation.
  • Khaled Abu Awwad is the Palestinian co-director of Roots, the Palestinian-Israel grassroots initiative for understanding, nonviolence and transformation.
  • Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author who heads up Red Letter Christians, and advocate for the end death penalty and help stop gun violence.
  • Karen Freeman-Wilson is the President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, working to advance economic, educational, and social progress for African Americans through direct service and advocacy.
  • Baba Wande Abimbola, Awise Agbaye, is the Spokesperson for Ifa in the world, founder of Ifa Heritage Institute in Nigeria, and former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University.
Join Them! 

Right to a Healthy Environment Global Coalition Wins UN Human Rights Prize

The Parliament of  the World's Religions is a proud member of the Global Coalition of Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples, Social Movements, and Local Communities for the Universal Recognition of the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy, and Sustainable Environment, which was awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize.

The UN Human Rights Prize is awarded once every five years to several recipients at a time. This year is the first time that it has been granted to a global coalition. The prize will be presented in New York on 10 December 2023, which also marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, making this recognition even more special.

Global Ethic Awards Honor the Legacy of the Very Reverend Thomas A. Baima and Hans Küng

At the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, convening in Chicago, USA this 14-18 August 2023, the PoWR’s Global Ethic Committee is recognizing the significant contributions to its foundational document “Towards a Global Ethic (An Initial Declaration).” Presented in honor of the Very Reverend Thomas A. Baima and Hans Küng, The Very Reverend Thomas A. Baima Outstanding Contribution to the Global Ethic Award and Hans Küng Outstanding Contribution to the Global Ethic Award recognize recipients advancing the Global Ethic through service and writings.

The Very Reverend Thomas A. Baima Outstanding Contribution to the Global Ethic Award recognizes the significant contribution of the American, Roman Catholic Archdiocesan priest to the Parliament of the World’s Religions’ signature document, “Towards a Global Ethic (An Initial Declaration),” also known as the Global Ethic. The late Reverend Baima was one of the Global Ethic’s early supporters and authors. The award honors Reverend Baima’s exemplary and inspiring commitment to living out the principles of the Global Ethic during his many decades of service as Vicar for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Archdiocese of Chicago, USA. Reverend Baima touched countless lives, inspiring others to work together with respect and harmony. He left the world a better place. Recipients of this award are selected based on their exceptional record of advancing the Global Ethic and of improving the lives of others by putting its ethical commitments into effect through their own work of service.

The Hans Küng Outstanding Contribution to the Global Ethic Award recognizes the significant contribution of the late Swiss, Roman Catholic theologian to the Parliament of the World’s Religions’ signature document, “Towards a Global Ethic (An Initial Declaration),” also known as the Global Ethic. This award honors the crucial role played by Dr. Küng as the Global Ethic’s principal author and tireless advocate for nearly thirty years. Dr. Küng launched the project of writing the Global Ethic by calling for peace between the religions and sharing his conviction that moral commitments already shared by the religions served as a starting place of agreement. This award honors Dr. Küng’s work to advance the Global Ethic in the public sphere through his influential writings and through his Global Ethic Foundation in Tübingen, Germany. Recipients of this award are selected based on their exceptional record of advancing the Global Ethic through their academic and other writings, by fostering dialogue about its commitments, and by increasing understanding of what a world still in strife holds in common.

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday 5 August 2023: join the pre-Parliament event Art of Universal Language.
  • Sunday 6 August 2023: join the global observance of Nuclear Prayer Day.
  • Saturday 12 August 2023: join the pre-Parliament Chicago Celebrates Unity in Action.
  • Sunday 13 August 2023: join the pre-Parliament event The Architecture of Faith: Finding Interconnectedness in Sacred Space.
  • 15 & 16 August 2023: join the Chicago Interfaith Trolley Tours around the City of Chicago.
  • Wednesday 16 August 2023: join the Toro Nagashi Lantern Ceremony at Jackson Park’s Garden of the Phoenix.

2024 InterFaith Calendar

The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC) is celebrating the homecoming of the Parliament Convening with a special discount off their 2024 InterFaith Calendar for attendees.

Seeking Religious Literacy

Prepare for the Parliament Convening with the Seeking Religious Literacy Course, Parliament Attendees Enjoy 30% Discount with code I'm in PWR 2023

Stay up to date with the work of the Parliament 

Advancing the mission of the Parliament of the World's Religions is made possible with the support from individuals and organisations!


Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Address: 70 East Lake St., Suite 230 Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Tel: (312) 629-2990

PWR | WELCOMING | Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Brandon Johnson, and Dr. Jane Goodall to Address 2023 Parliament Convening

[Edited extract from public address]

Welcoming the participation of the Speaker Emerita of the United States House of Representatives the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, the 57th Mayor of the city of Chicago the Honorable Brandon Johnson, and United Nations Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall as featured luminaries of the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, gathering in Chicago, USA this 14-18 August 2023.

Addressing this year's critical theme A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights, Speaker Emerita Pelosi*, Mayor Johnson, and Dr. Goodall* join thousands of faith, spiritual, and civic leaders in addressing the threat of autocracy eroding democratic institutions, freedom, and human rights around the world.

Luminaries Answering the Call to Conscience

  • Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi served as the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected the first woman to serve as Speaker. Pelosi made history again in January 2019 when she regained the Speakership – the first person to do so in more than six decades. Pelosi has represented San Francisco in Congress for more than 36 years. Currently serving as the Representative for California’s 11th Congressional District, she is fighting For The People to lower costs, grow paychecks and create jobs. She is the architect of generation-defining legislation, including the Affordable Care Act and the American Rescue Plan, and a defender of democracy at home and abroad.
  • The Honorable Mayor Brandon Johnson is the Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, USA. As the son of a pastor and one of ten siblings, Brandon Johnson was raised on a foundation of hard work, faith, and service. Brandon began his career as a public school teacher and went on to become an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union, where he led multi-racial coalitions to defend neighborhood schools from privatization, reduce high-stakes standardized testing and expand access to state funding. In 2018, he was elected commissioner of the 1st District of Cook County and in 2023 Brandon was elected as the 57th mayor of the city of Chicago.
  • UN Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall is a groundbreaking scientist, environmentalist, and global leader. Dr. Jane Goodall is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which builds on Dr. Goodall’s innovative approach to conservation, recognizing the central role that people play in the well-being of animals and the environment. Dr. Goodall travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, environmental crises, and her reasons for hope. In her books and speeches, she emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual action. Dr. Goodall is a UN Messenger of Peace and Dame Commander of the British Empire.

People of Faith are Committed to Upholding Democracy, Freedom & Human Rights

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi*, Mayor Brandon Johnson, and Dr. Jane Goodall* join our historic interfaith gathering this August, recognizing the critical importance of people of faith in resisting and mitigating the threat of autocracy in our communities and around the world.

* = Luminaries addressing the Parliament Convening via video address.

Commit to Freedom & Human Rights!
Join Them, Book Your Ticket Today!


Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Address: 70 East Lake St., Suite 230 Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Tel: (312) 629-2990

TJP | RAISING | Awareness, Support and Funds for Trans Justice Project

[Edited extract from public address]

Building a movement standing up for justice, freedom, and equality for all trans and gender diverse people.

We use ‘trans and gender diverse’ as an umbrella term for anyone who does not identify with the gender they were assumed to be at birth.

No matter who you are, your gender should never be a barrier to being able to build a good life. 

We deserve to thrive. Yet trans and gender diverse people are facing unprecedented attacks on our rights, lives and care from anti-trans lobbyists.

We already find it much harder to get a job, secure stable housing, and find community. But these attacks have the potential to turn back the clock, winding back the progress we have won over the last decade.

That’s why we formed the Trans Justice Project, the first trans-led national campaigning organisation.

Our mission is to connect, coordinate, train, and build a powerful movement standing up for justice, freedom, and equality for all trans and gender diverse people.

Together, we are working with trans and gender diverse people, our loved ones, and allies to bring about a future where all trans people are safe, celebrated, and free.

Are you with us?

Get Involved

  1. Chip in to help fund the project.
    We don't take government funding or corporate funding which risks our independence. That means that we only exist due to the support and solidarity of the trans community and our allies. Almost 1000 people have already donated to help get this movement off the ground.
  2. Fill in our volunteer form to tell us how you would like to get involved.
    There are so many different roles that you can play to help this movement. If you want to offer pro bono support of some kind feel free to add that into the form as well.
  3. Share this form with a friend
    Keep up the momentum by sharing the signup page on your social media or dm it to a friend.


Trans Justice Project (TJP)

GiveOUT | UPDATING | Growing the pot of gold under the rainbow, GiveOUT Day 2023 and more | July 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

This month we have several exciting opportunities to join the growing GiveOUT team. 

Read on to learn more, and for updates on The Amplify Pride Fund, Aurora Ball, and opportunities for LGBTIQ+ organisations.

We're hiring - join the GiveOUT team! 

Marketing Campaign Lead

Are you a marketing and communications superstar with experience delivering creative campaigns and creating engaging digital content?

We have an exciting opportunity to join our growing team as a Marketing Campaign Lead! Working with the CEO and Program Coordinator, this short-term strategic role is responsible for leading the marketing and communications campaign for GiveOUT Day on 19 October 2023.

Position objectives include: 
  • Increase the reach of GiveOUT Day to new audiences 
  • Engage diverse stakeholders and supporters through creative communication channels 
  • Maximise brand awareness of GiveOUT Day and raise the profile of LGBTIQ+ organisations 
  • Increase the capacity of LGBTIQ+ organisations to develop and implement their own marketing campaigns

Communications and Administration Coordinator 

Are you an all-rounder with a passion for digital platforms and systems management?

The Communications and Administration Coordinator is a short-term role responsible for communications and administration support for GiveOUT Day.

Position objectives include:
  • Raise the profile of GiveOUT Day and of LGBTIQ+ organisations 
  • Manage systems and platforms that are used to achieve communication objectives.
  • Ensure smooth administration support to the CEO and GiveOUT Day team.

Applications for both roles will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with these positions to be filled ASAP.

CALLING | Expressions of interest for GiveOUT Day volunteers 

Have you been looking for a way to make a positive impact for LGBTIQ+ communities? We’re currently seeking expressions of interest to join us as a GiveOUT Day volunteer!

Volunteers are the lifeblood of GiveOUT Day. This whiz bang crew assists with building our community, running events, and supporting LGBTIQ+ organisations as they raise necessary funds. Alongside the GiveOUT team, volunteers work to raise the profile of important LGBTIQ+ causes, with the aim of making this the largest GiveOUT Day yet.

We are looking for volunteers who can commit to at least 1-2 hours of their time from the beginning of August until the end of October. You can find out more and apply today at the link below. 

UPDATING | Amplify Pride Fund

In 2022, GiveOUT teamed up with Aurora to create the Amplify Pride Fund, supported by The Snow Foundation and a strong core of community donors.

We are incredibly excited to announce that thanks to the support from the Snow Foundation, the Amplify Pride Fund will return for a second year in 2023. Expressions of interest will open in July/ August. Stay tuned for updates about the application process which will be shared on our social media and in future newsletters.

One of our grantees for the 2022 Amplify Pride Fund round is Trans Justice Project, the first trans-led national campaigning organisation. Led by Director Jackie Turner and in collaboration with Dhaksh Sooriyakumaran (formerly at RESET), the team will deliver a project tackling anti-trans hate speech and disinformation online.

The Trans Justice Project is a national, trans-led organisation working to push back against the influence of the anti-trans lobby and build a powerful movement standing up for justice, freedom, and equality for all trans and gender diverse people.

UPDATING | Aurora Ball

Our friends at The Aurora Group recently hosted their annual Aurora Ball, and it was a great success! Over $250,000 was raised for The Aurora Group’s important work for LGBTIQ+ communities.

Through the generous support of the Snow Foundation and the incredible Aurora Ball attendees, over $70,000 was raised for the Amplify Pride Fund alone!

Last year Amplify Pride funded five game-changing organisations, and we could have funded eleven, if we had the funds. As Aurora and GiveOUT kick off the second year of the Amplify Pride Fund, we would love to reach our goal of $150,000. If you missed your chance to make a pledge on the night, or you’d still like to give, it's not too late to help us reach this landmark goal!

WELCOMING | We have a new Program Coordinator! 

After 10 months as GiveOUT's Communications and Administration Coordinator, we're excited to announce that Leonard will be continuing with GiveOUT as our Program Coordinator! 

Leonard has spent the last five weeks away adventuring in Europe (pictured!) and we're excited to have him back on board to bring GiveOUT Day to life in 2023 - we have lots in store, and can't wait to share more in the coming weeks and months. 
Opportunities for LGBTIQ+ Organisations

NSW | CALLING | Nominees for Mental Health Matters Rainbow Inclusion Award | nominations close on 21 July 2023

Nominate a mental health program, project or initiative that demonstrates commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ people to receive an award.

AUST | PRCO | HEARING | Your Say: Philanthropy and Volunteering | Wednesday 19 July 2023 | 2–3pm

As part of a public inquiry into philanthropy in Australia, the Productivity Commission (PRCO) is seeking contributions from LGBTIQ+ organisations to understand their experience of philanthropy and any issues they encounter.

The Commission is seeking contributions from LGBTIQ+ organisations, with two key ways to get involved. 
  1. Make an online submission.
    Find out more information and submit online
  2. Join the online consultation.
    To RSVP and receive a calendar invite for the session, please contact The Victorian Pride Centre's Pride Giving Advisor, Bree McKilligan on email.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

With love,
The GiveOUT team


The GiveOUT Team (GiveOUT)

MESAC | PRESENTING | Beaumaris Fossil Expo | Sunday 6 August 2023 | 10am–2.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

This annual Fossil Expo features amazing fossils from the nearby Beaumaris foreshore, and for the first time we are privileged to present collections from Fossil Beach on the Mornington Peninsula and the Victorian Surf Coast.

Rare opportunity to learn from the experts - Highlights include: 
  • Private collections of national significance 
  • The display includes Australia’s only model of Pelagornis (a toothed bird with a wingspan of nearly 6 metres). This prehistoric bird is known to have inhabited Beaumaris about 5.5 million years ago! 
  • A collection of Fossil Turtle fragments, never before seen in public. There are less than a dozen fragments of turtle known to exist from Australia, representing the last 60 million years of Australian prehistory. Several will be donated to Museum Victoria at the end of this exhibition. 
  • “Rosie” the partial backbone of a 6 metre juvenile whale. 
Presented by BESS (Bayside Earth Science Society Inc.) and MESAC
  • Where: Beaumaris Secondary College Auditorium, 117-135 Reserve Road Beaumaris, (near the corner of Balcombe Road)
  • Cost: $5 per head or $8 Family Ticket
  • Full Program

REPORTING | Winter Solstice Walk and Talk 2023

A pleasant and informative morning was had by all at the recent Winter Solstice Walk with all attendees receiving a book and fossil. It was great to see participants coming from as far as Mornington and Templestowe.


PUBLISHING | Insects and Spiders - new MESAC book

MESAC is very pleased to let everyone know that we have now completed the 5th book in our Urban Sanctuary series.Our congratulations go to the authors, John Buckeridge, Grace Hakam and John Eichler, for their rare and valued contributions.

The book covers many of the beautiful insects and spiders to be found in the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, and provides another species benchmarking resource for the future.

The book has now been delivered to various state, national, (and some overseas libraries), and remaining stock is limited.

Copies may be obtained from the Beaumaris Bookshop, 24 South Concourse, Beaumaris, and sometime soon, via a free PDF download via our website.



Marine Education Science and Community (MESAC)
Address: P.O Box 7228, Beaumaris, VIC 3193 Australia

PWR | UPDATING | Features of the 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions

[Edited extract from public address]

The 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions is 1 MONTH away, convening thousands of faith, spiritual, and civic organizers addressing the threat of autocracy, the backsliding of democracies around the world, the rise of nationalism, the climate emergency, and the humanitarian crises and wars around the world.

Ready to celebrate 130 years of legacy and 30 years of history in the City of Chicago, the 2023 Parliament Convening gathers under a clear understanding that without democracy, freedom, and human rights, our shared mission towards justice, peace, and sustainability is in peril.

Commit to Action, Join Us at the 2023 Parliament

Beyond thoughts and prayers, the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions offers a program that celebrates the diversity of participating traditions and equips leaders, organizers, and people with the tools, best practices, and an activated network ready to be a critical line of defense and progress.
Features of the 2023 Parliament Convening

  • The Parade of Faiths
    A pre-Parliament parade featuring Chicago-area faith, spiritual, & cultural communities hosted on Sunday 13 August 2023.
  • The Awards
    Legacy and inaugural awards recognizing changemakers in the interfaith movement.
  • The Sacred Fire
    A Sacred Fire lit continuously the five days of the convening, hosted by the Indigenous community.
  • Langar
    A complimentary vegetarian lunch open to all, hosted by the Sikh community.
  • The Plenaries
    120 minute intersectional mainstage sessions for all attendees in the Plenary Hall.
  • The Assemblies
    120 minute high level breakouts that feature major speakers in the Plenary Hall
  • Film Festival
    Documentaries and short films sharing diverse stories, sponsored by the Wayfarer Foundation.
  • Kids of PoWR
    Interactive and inspiring social justice programs for kids and families.
  • Art Exhibits
    Art and immersive exhibitions from diverse artists.
  • Community Events
    Offsite programs offered by community partners.
  • The Sessions
    Panels, workshops, observances, performances, and other on-site programs.
  • Service Projects
    Offsite community service projects exclusive to Parliament attendees.

Don't miss the world's premier interfaith convening of people of faith, spiritual, and ethical convictions in Chicago this 14-18 August 2023.

The 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions offers a unique opportunity to learn, share, and be an experiential part of the work making a difference in the world. Join us, be a vital partners in this fight for justice, for freedom, for human rights, and for democracy.


Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Address: 70 East Lake St., Suite 230 Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Tel: (312) 629-2990

PHAAA | CALLING | Expressions of Interest for Healing the Spirit Exhibition 2023 | submissions open now until midnight Tuesday 15 August 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

A 4-week long exhibition as part of our Healing the Spirit' Festival' 2023.

The exhibition will be 24 September - 29 October 2023 (dates may be subject to minor variation)

Selected works will be displayed in Artful Yoga Gallery, 1 Vale St, St Kilda 3182
and available for purchase for 4-weeks.
  • Artists will have the opportunity to participate in a professional curatorial discussion.
  • Artists and friends will be invited to our Healing the Spirit' festival and exhibition opening celebration.
  • The exhibition theme is Healing the Spirit' and can include nature, multiculturalism, spirituality, world peace, Eastern healing practices, and/or healing the spirit.


Planetary Healing Artists Association of Australia (PHAAA)
Address: PO Box 1638, St Kilda South VIC 3182
Tel: 0415 552 488

PHAAA | GATHERING | Healing the Spirit Peace Festival | Sunday 24 September 2023 | 1–6pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Healing the Spirit Peace Festival celebrates the International Day of Peace and further strengthens the bonds within our community. 

As part of the festival, we will be organizing a March to the Peace Pole, where we will come together to commemorate this important day and reaffirm our dedication to fostering peace.

We wholeheartedly invite you to join us in this festival, where we will engage in various activities, performances, and workshops centered around healing, well-being, and promoting a peaceful coexistence. We believe that through collective effort and a shared vision, we can create a positive impact not only within ourselves but also in the world around us.

Please mark your calendars for the Healing the Spirit Festival, which will take place on 24 September at O'Donnell Gardens. 

More detailed information regarding the schedule and activities will be shared with you closer to the date.


Planetary Healing Artists Association of Australia (PHAAA)
Address: PO Box 1638, St Kilda South VIC 3182
Tel: 0415 552 488

PHAAA | REPORTING | Peace pole Installation Ceremony | Friday 26 May 2023 | 2-3pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Expressing our heartfelt gratitude to each and every enthusiastic participant in the recent Peace Pole Installation Ceremony held at 30 Jacka Bvd, St Kilda, on the Foreshore. 

Support and contributions made this occasion truly special and meaningful.

A video has been uploaded on YouTube capturing the essence of the Peace Pole Installation Ceremony. The video beautifully encapsulates the moments of unity, harmony, and hope that were shared during the event.

We are immensely proud to have created this inclusive sacred space within our community, and we firmly believe that it will continue to inspire peace and goodwill in the future. The Peace Pole stands as a powerful symbol of unity and serves as a constant reminder of our shared commitment to promoting harmony and understanding in our society.

We invite you to watch and relive the experience by clicking on the following link: 


Planetary Healing Artists Association of Australia (PHAAA)
Address: PO Box 1638, St Kilda South VIC 3182
Tel: 0415 552 488

VMC | UPDATING | Building a stronger, more inclusive and socially cohesive Victoria | Thursday 13 July 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Last month, the Australian Government launched the Multicultural Framework Review.

This is a good step towards redefining the narrative surrounding multiculturalism and building a stronger, more inclusive, and socially cohesive Australia.

It will assess our most important national systems, policies and programs to ensure they work for our multicultural communities.

The VMC will make a submission and we thank you all for your ongoing engagement, which helps inform us in all of our discussions and submissions to government.

I also encourage you all to visit the Home Affairs website to learn more, and to consider participating in consultations or to file your own public submission. We all have the human right to civic participation, and your voice is important in ensuring inclusive decision-making for this reform.

On another note, NAIDOC Celebrations have closed for another year, I want to thank the Monash Interfaith Gathering for allowing me to join their event. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the connection between the Indigenous environment and their cultural practices from Uncle Andrew Gardiner.  The VMC is proud to support Indigenous Australians; we are always seeking to collaborate and learn from each other.

And finally, I’m pleased to remind you that the second round of the 2023 VMC Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) meetings have kicked off.

The demographics of regional Victoria are changing at a rapid pace and our RAC’s are an important part of informing the VMC’s priorities and helping us to understand and support local communities through their individual issues, challenges and successes.

If you have a passion for regional Victoria and for multiculturalism I urge you to consider joining our Regional Advisory Committee. We are now inviting expressions of interest for the next term 2023- 2025

Thank you and keep reading below for the latest on VMC news and events and don’t forget to sign up to the VMC database below.

Warm regards,
Viv Nguyen, Chairperson

 News and Events 

JOINING | The VMC database!

In the last couple of years, the VMC has played a significant role in supporting, engaging and informing the multicultural and multifaith communities during extremely tough circumstances, like the floods, fires and the pandemic.

In order to continue this effort, we need a robust and up-to-date Multicultural Communities Database.

Please help us by providing your organisation's contact details.

There are two questionnaires - please only fill out ONE. 

You can complete a questionnaire on behalf of an organisation you represent OR as an individual.
If you have any questions, please email the VMC 

You must complete the above questionnaire and consent to the VMC having information about your organisation to be among the first to know of relevant Governmental or community resources, awards, grants, news, events, programs, and other opportunities, including VMC-hosted events such as the Multicultural Gala Dinner. 

The VMC and DFFH will contact people on the database from time to time to ask for their views on important issues.

The Scanlon Foundation Annual Community Grants 2023 | applications now open, close midnight Friday 1 September 2023

This year’s community grants will provide up to a maximum of $30,000 for projects that support migrant communities in employment pathways or with English literacy. The grant is open nationwide to all locations in each state. Projects should consider the experience of migrants and of receiving communities and aim to nurture positive outcomes.

CEH | PUBLISHING | Long COVID plain language and translations website 

The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) has developed a plain language and translated website on long COVID, which addresses the need for inclusivity across diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds and literacy levels.

The site has been professionally translated into Arabic, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese, and is also available in plain English for easy comprehension.

Approved by the Department of Health, this website raises awareness about long COVID, including symptoms, prevention strategies, and available treatments. It also offers a library of links to resources in multiple languages from reputable sources, produced locally and internationally.

LWB | TRANSLATING | Resources in 45+ community languages on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

To encourage participation in the Referendum for all Australians, Polaron Language Services with Life Without Barriers (LWB) and several partner organisations have developed accessible translated resources in more than 45 languages.

These are free to download and aim to break down language, literacy and communication barriers among Australia’s diverse communities. This includes:


VIC | GOV | HEARING | Your say: Strengthening Victoria’s anti-vilification laws

The Victorian government wants your input on strengthening Victoria’s anti-vilification laws. 

Consultation between government and community is happening now.

This first stage of consultation is focused on:
  • Extending vilification protections beyond race and religion.
  • Ensuring that Victorians can make vilification complaints for more than one attribute.
Community members can fill out a survey or upload a submission to respond to the consultation paper available on the Engage Victoria page. The deadline for feedback is 5pm Friday 8 September 2023. 

VIC | GOV | ADVISING | Victoria bans display of Nazi symbol

It is a criminal offence in Victoria to publicly display the Nazi Hakenkreuz symbol.

Unfortunately, neo-Nazi groups still use this Nazi symbol to intimidate, incite hatred and violence against the Jewish community and other diverse groups. It is fundamentally incompatible with Victoria’s multicultural and multifaith society.

However, the sacred Swastika should not be mistaken for a Nazi symbol - they are not the same. The Sacred Swastika has been used by Buddhist, Hindu and Jain communities for thousands of years to represent auspiciousness, purity, peace, good fortune and love.  Buddhists, Hindus and Jains can continue to display their sacred Swastika for religious and cultural purposes.

 Emergency Management 

VIC | EMV | GRANTING | Support for natural disaster preparedness and response in Victoria | applications close 4pm Thursday 10 August 2023 

Applications are now open for Emergency Management Victoria's (EMV) Risk and Resilience Grants Program.

It’s a funding scheme available for initiatives that reduce the risk and limit the impact of disasters associated with natural hazards in Victoria.

Projects are required to focus on at least one of the following key themes:
  • Climate change adaptation and risk reduction
  • Designing for risk and resilience – supporting initiatives that strengthen the resilience of Victoria infrastructure, including government and community infrastructure
  • Managing local and regional risks and building resilience – support initiatives that improve understanding of local or regional disaster risks, strengthen accountability for and governance of regional risks, and/or support initiatives that are seeking to directly reduce disaster risk at a local or regional level.

 Gender Equality 

Helping women serve and shape their local communities

The Victorian Government is providing women across Victoria with the tools and connections to advance their leadership ambitions ahead of local government elections next year.

Women Leading Locally is delivered by the Institute of Community Directors Australia in partnership with Women for Election. 65 women are currently participating in the second wave of the program.

Participants were selected from across the state with a focus on regions where women are underrepresented in councils. The 60 participants from the first year of the program will graduate in August.

Women participating in the program also represent other historically underrepresented groups including Aboriginal women, young women, culturally and linguistically diverse women, women living with disability and women who identify as LGBTQI+.

 Justice and Community Safety 

Crime Stoppers Victoria empowers communities with accessible support

Crime Stoppers Victoria have expanded their translated resources, which are aimed at providing crucial information and support to people from diverse backgrounds.

Latest additions include:
  • Car security checklist,
  • Home security checklist,
  • Drug harm frequently asked questions pamphlet,
  • Frequently asked questions flyer, and
  • Youth advisory group sign up flyer.
These new resources complement existing materials, such as the Crime Stoppers information poster and the Tri-service magnet, ensuring a comprehensive range of support tools. Crime Stoppers Victoria understands the importance of accessible information in promoting safety and crime prevention within our diverse communities.

These resources are now available in a wide range of languages, including Amharic, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Dinka, Farsi, Italian Khmer, Korean, Nepali, Punjabi, Somali, Thai, and Vietnamese. While some resources may have more translated options available than others, Crime Stoppers Victoria strive to cover as many languages as possible to reach as many individuals as they can.

 People with disability 

EFA | JOINING | Fun at friendship groups for young people with disability

The Tham Gia (Join In) program by Extended Families Australia (EFA) runs inclusive community friendship groups, targeted for young people with disability. There are currently groups located in the western and southern suburbs of Melbourne.

It’s all about helping young people with disabilities and their families with a multicultural background become more involved in community activities and learn skills that assist community inclusion.

There are two streams - the Explorer Program, which is for young adults aged 17-25, and the School Holidays Program, which is for the primary school age group and the secondary school age group.

 Senior Victorians 

Multicultural education campaign zeroes in on elder abuse

Launched this year on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June), the ‘Have You Thought About Later Life?’ campaign urges older people to safeguard themselves by organising their wills and other important legal documents.

For elderly Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, additional barriers to later life planning include lack of awareness as well as confusion due to different approaches in their home country.

The campaign provides a range of relevant educational resources in English, Mandarin, Arabic, Greek, Vietnamese and Italian. It is being promoted through community-specific media and by influencers within each community.


Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC)
Address: Level 3, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9651 5901