On Christmas Day BMIN committee members and friends celebrated the annual Christmas Day Lunch at Sunshine Salvos. Attending from the BMIN committee were Colin Reynolds (Salvation Army), Nayran Tabiei (Muslim faith), Glenn Steere (Church of Jesus Christ & Latter-Day Saints), Venerable Phuoc Tan (Buddhist faith) and Kawalpreet Singh (Sikh faith). It was a lovely afternoon of community spirit, unity, generosity and love. There is no better day than Christmas Day to remind our local community that as a tapestry of faith traditions, we are united in harmony, love and respect!
The Star Weekly published the following article in the lead up to the Christmas Lunch:
The Christmas spirit will be on full display when the Sunshine Salvation Army lays on its annual lunch.
The Sunshine Salvos have been running a Christmas Day lunch for many years, but in recent times have combined with other faith groups around Brimbank to serve lunch for up to 80 people who may otherwise not have been able to celebrate.
Sunshine Salvation Army Lieutenant Colin Reynolds said the day was all about bringing people together.
“We’ve developed it into an expression of a lot of the different religious traditions around Sunshine,” Lieutenant Reynolds said.
“I think whenever you can get a lot of the main religions and faith traditions together, especially over food … it’s a really positive thing to share with the community.
“It’s a real reflection of the diversity of the whole Sunshine area.”
While the Salvos will be hosting the day, leaders of the Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints communities will be among those enjoying the day.
“The reason that we do the meal is because the people who come along and enjoy it wouldn’t necessarily have anyone to enjoy it with,” Lieutenant Reynolds said.
We are often shown images of men as being rough, aggressive, emotionless and disconnected. Moving beyond these stereotypes, healthy masculine roles can include broad emotional expression, active parenting, taking non-traditional roles, showing vulnerability, and healthy relationship skills.
There are many different ways to be a man. Acknowledging this provides an opportunity for everyone to be respected for who they are and give respect to others. We hope to highlight the men in our community who role model healthy behaviours and traits, and show that men are more than these unhealthy stereotypes.
On Sunday November 18th, approximately 265 people gathered at St. Alban's Comunity Centre for the 2018 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference. The event was hosted by the Brimbank & Maribyrnong Interfaith Network and the City of Brimbank, in association with the Faith Communities Council of Victoria.
Proceedings commenced with various faith and community stands on display, which included fun activities, a delicious lunch and an opportunity for people to network.
A wonderful Welcome to Country was given by Aunty Julianne Axford, which was followed by dignitary speeches from Councillor Tachos from the City of Brimbank; Commander Stuart Bateson from Victoria Police - click here to view speech; and Helen Kapalos, Chair of Victorian Multicultural Commission. Master of Ceremonies was the Reverend Ray Gormann, from the Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network. A statement on the Social Costs of Gambling Harm was read out by Reverend Ian Smith, Secretary of the Faith Communities Council of Victoria. Click here to view statement.
This year’s keynote theme was on the 'Social Cost of Gambling Harm’. Keynote speaker was the Reverend Tim Costello, spokeman and director of Alliance for Gambling Reform & Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia. Tim spoke on how Australians have become the world's most prolific gamblers, as gambling is normalised in our society and marketed as entertainment. But the social costs of gambling harm are enormous: relationship difficulties; emotional or phychological distress; financial, health, cultural problems etc. And these negative effects seem to fall disproportionately on those with low incomes and the disadvantaged, including culturally, linguistically and religious diverse communities. Listen to the keynote speech below:
The conference was wrapped up by Barry Balta, Chair of Brimbank & Maribyrnong Interfaith Network, who thanked the organisers and participants and handed the baton (message stick) back to Murray Davies, Chair of the Faith Communities Council of Victoria. Murray then officially announced the 2019 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference will be held in Springvale on Sunday November 17th 2019, in partnership with the Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong and the City of Greater Dandenong. Delegates from both the Brimbank & Maribyrnong Interfaith Network and the Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong were invited on stage.
Further Information on the 2018 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference
Saturday 4 August over 50 people gathered at Avalokitesvara Yuan Tong Monastery in Sunshine for Gift of Life Forum.
Participants were welcomed by the Abbess Venerable Jue Chu who introduced the Mayor of Brimbank City Council Cr Margaret Giudice who emphasised the important of hosting this forum. Dr Frobes McGain, an anaesthetist and intensive care physician working at Western Health, introduced participants to the key facts and reasons why we need Donate Life campaign.
Participants then enjoyed dance performance which was followed by a short 2 minute video introduction to the BMIN committee. This was followed by five short speeches by BMIN members who explained why they think their faith traditions welcome and encourage organ and tissue donation.
The forum then proceeded to present perspectives from a donor’s family which was presented by Monia Choudhary. Two more performances of flute by Megan Kenny and dance performance by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints concluded this successful event.
On Thursday 31 May 2018 BMIN has celebrated Reconciliation Week and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and the ongoing contributions they make. Organised in partnership with Duke Street Community House this event included free lunch and activities at Matthews Hill Reserve including Traditional Games, Aboriginal face-painting and arts and crafts. Hamsa Farah, a member of the Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network, Environmental Scientist and a Muslim community member talked about relate his understanding of the Muslim faith to the building reconciliation with Aboriginal people.
On Sunday 15 April 2018 the Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network (BMIN) took part in in the second annual Victorian Mosque Open Day. A bus of 40 participants visited the Australian Islamic Centre of Newport.
The group heard the interesting story of building this great place of worship which contains no traditional minaret or domes. The new center is now able to accommodate for multiple community uses enabling many more women to participate in the Friday prayers and will have new classrooms for religious and wider community use, along with a ground-floor commercial cafe and catering facilities. We also enjoyed the activities which included hijab demonstration and henna painting for women and Arabic calligraphy. The hosts provided BBQ sausages and drinks for all.
The Mosque Open Day is state-wide annual event, run by Islamic Council of Victoria’s (ICV) is supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Victorian Government (Office of Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion). See more on ICV facebook page.
Harmony dinner celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week 2018 Hosted by My Community Voice convened by MiCare.
On 5 February, Brimbank Council, My Community Voice network, and MiCare hosted the Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network (BMIN) in recognising World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), an Annual UN Observance Week.
James (above), MiCare’s Youth and Communities Program Co-ordinator, welcomes our attendees and thanks them for coming to the event. The event involves a discussion between the networks about their activities, presentations from the BMIN and a cultural dinner funded by Brimbank council.
The My Community Voice network has membership of new and emerging group leaders from a multiplicity of backgrounds such as Iraq Syriac, Persian, Hazara, Sayed, Chin, Ethopian, Liberian, Sierra Leonean, Pashtun, Tibetan and Somalian.
Ray Gorman is the pastor of Sunshine Uniting Church and is one of the members of BMIN. Ray tells us about his life as he was growing up and how he came to join BMIN. Ray tells us he grew up in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs. As a child he remembers being told to stay away from the city’s western suburbs because it was regarded as “the rough side of town”. However, in later years his work brought him to the other side of Melbourne. Ray instantly felt the community friendliness and fell in love with the multicultural diversity of the people who lived in these areas. Ray eventually based himself in Sunshine for work and now lives in Footscray.
Nayran is one of the members of BMIN. Despite cultural and religious differences she and other attendees connected through their stories as refugees coming to Australia and the hardships and difficulties they faced. They also shared their experience of war and its devastating effect on their people in their home countries.
Nearing the end of the event was the cultural dinner. Our amazing staff member, Sanaz, put together an absolutely fragrant and delicious shared meal that was both Halal and vegetarian friendly. As our attendees mingled and chatted many also went for second helpings and some even went for thirds in between conversations. Thank you, Sanaz for the yummy spread.
25 December 2017
Much thanks to our faithful team of volunteers who made this year's Sunshine Salvos Community Christmas Lunch such a wonderful event! With around 100 adults and children enjoying fine food, finer company and toys for all the kids we had a great afternoon.
Today we were supported by our Quang Minh Buddhist friends, our Uniting Church, Lutheran and Latter-Day Saints friends and also our friends from the Sikh Community. We might come from different faith traditions but we all stand equally side-by-side serving our local Sunshine-Brimbank community. May this Christmas be a time of peace and harmony between all people of all faiths.
Colin Reynolds (Lieutenant)
Sunshine Corps | Central Victoria Division
The Salvation Army | Australia Southern Territory
42 Devonshire Road Sunshine 3020|PO Box 316, Sunshine VIC 3020
On Saturday, 11 November 2017, the Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network (BMIN) visited Bendigo, Victoria. A group of 25 people visited Bendigo for a guided tour of the Sacred Heart Cathedral (Sandhurst Diocese) in Bendigo. After morning tea and lunch provided by the Cathedral volunteers, the group moved to Great Stupa of Universal Compassion and took part of guided tours around the grounds of the Atisha Buddhist Centre Bendigo and the Stupa itself. Enjoy the highlights from the visit.
On Tuesday the 15 of August, Maribyrnong Youth Services, in partnership with the the Brmbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network organised a multi-faith dinner for young people in Maribyrnong.
The event brought 58 young people together to discuss what it like is for a young person to believe in a faith in 2017. Throughout the night, Maribyrnong Youth Services alongside the Maribyrnong Youth advisory Committee (MYAC), customized activities like bingo and trivia to explore topics with other young people, using interactive games and discussions about the value of believing in a faith. The event focused on allowing the young people to share similarities between their religious and spiritual beliefs and hear from a keynote speaker Nivy Balachandran, Coordinator at United Religious Initiative and delegate at the 2016 Paris Climate Change Conference speaker.
BMIN Team administration coordinates and promotes the events and initiatives on behalf f BMIN Committee.