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.
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