The Multifaith Association of South Australia conducted its Annual General Meeting on 21st Feb 2016. The President’s report gives a summary of the previous year’s activities.
The MFA has been steady for a number of years largely to the diverse and dedicated committee.
A big thank you to our executive committee which consists of President Damian Outtrim , Vice- President Denise Martin, Secretary Gunhild Jonnson and Treasurer Salim Kalaniya. In total the working committee has eleven members which also includes Andrew Buchanan, Pauline Noorts, Philippa Rowland,Ingo Weber, Fuzzy Trojan ,Seema Jain and Maboobeh Aryanpad. Special mentions go to some of the MFA’s good friends which include Kris Hanna, Rob MacPherson and Hanim Mohammed.
A big thank you to the Bahai’ Centre, Unitarian Church and Brahma Kumaris for allowing the MFA to hold its monthly meetings in their centres.
The MFA holds monthly committee meetings and is connected with other national and international organisations.
Highlights since our last AGM.
2014 End of Year Multifaith Service.
We had a beautiful End of Year Multifaith Service at the Unitarian Church in Norwood. There was close to one hundred people who attended and enjoyed a variety of multifaith presentations and buffet lunch.
Australia Day Multifaith Celebration.
There was an Australia Day Multifaith Celebration at Bonython Hall in Adelaide City which was organised by the Order of Australia South Australia Branch. The Governor of South Australia His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO spoke at the event which included music, prayers and contributions from many faiths. I also presented on behalf of the MFA.
To Light a Candle documentary.
The Baha’i community organised a screening of the revealing Baha’i Documentary To Light a Candle which was attended by a few hundred people. Some members of the MFA committee and community attended.
Mush and Me.
The MFA was invited to attend a two person multifaith stage acting performance as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
We had a special guest interfaith speaker Rev Lindsey Faulkner who enlightened our March committee meeting.
Governor’s Multicultural Awards.
I was invited to present at the 2015 Governor’s Multicultural Awards Ceremony and Government House. The guests included the Premier, Opposition Leader and many community contributors. I was honoured to give a Multifaith Blessing, introduce Faith Leaders and guide the 400 guests into a minute silent prayer/meditation.
Open letter on Interfaith Harmony.
The MFA circulated a letter of peace which was aimed at seeking community support to work towards harmony within society.
Al- Salam Festival
Two of our committee members helped to organise this wonderful Muslim festival. There was attendance from other committee members and members of the MFA community.
Remembrance of Seven
I was invited to talk at a special Baha’i evening in remembrance of the seven Baha’i leaders who were imprisoned.
Religions for Peace AGM
I attended the Religions for Peace Australia Annual General Meeting in Canberra. Gunhild Jonnson is now the Membership secretary for RfP.
The MFA has changed over the years. We have a different membership profile today where we engage with a large circle of interested individuals rather that with faith organisations directly as in the past. Our constitution needs to be revised and updated.
This raises an opportunity for the MFA to revisit our aims as an Association and collectively decide what kind of an Association we want to be and how we want to function in the future. The MFA is committed to an extensive discussion of what kind of Association we want to MFA to be; to review and update the Associations membership and funding; and to review and update the Constitution.
In 2015 :
- We have researched and documented a number of interfaith organisations in Australia, NZ, UK, USA and other countries.
- We surveyed our members and supporters asking them What would you like the Multifaith Association of South Australia to do and be?
- We held a focus group meeting of members to canvass their ideas for the MFA. The group felt that the MFA is best placed as a voice for multi-faith peace and harmony and should provide outreach activities and interfaith We held an evening to have a discussion with interested people from the MFA community about future directions of the MFA.
Visit to 175th Anniversary Celebration at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Andrew Buchanan was an honoured guest and the celebratory community event marking 175 years of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ history in South Australia. The event was designed to celebrate our great State of South Australia highlighting our diversity of national background through cultural performances and displays. His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO, Governor of South Australia, and his wife Mrs Lan Le were among the official guests
Humanity at the Crossroads.
An MFA sub-Committee has diligently been working all year on matters addressing climate change issues. An appeal to Spiritual Leaders letter was created and circulated widely. An event named ‘Humanity at the Crossroads’ brought together spiritual leaders and experts from around Australia to present on this critical subject, the event was attended by more than 200 people . The committee is committed to continuing with their sincere endeavours. A big thank you to Ingo Weber, Philippa Rowland, Gunhild Jonnson and Fuzzy Trojan for their exceptional efforts.
Climate Change March
Multifaith SA unveiled its new banner with the theme “Together” at the Adelaide climate change march that was part of global climate change events in November 2015. We joined other faith groups and friends in support of peace and justice for all.
End of Year Celebration at the Unitarian Church
In December 2015 we also celebrated with the Unitarian Church of South Australia the end of the year. The service which was presented by Rob MacPherson also featured some wonderful Multifaith contributions.
The MFA’S Affiliations.
We are actively involved with Religions for Peace Australia, United Religions Initiative, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) and Charter for Compassion.
A Message for 2016
As times become more delicate in this wonderful world of ours, may we seek to find the common good within all of us and move towards greater harmony. May our faith journeys lead us to our highest truth and may we continue to learn, grow and share.
Very best wishes for a successful 2016.