Instructor Approval Process

Religions for Peace Australia is required to gain the approval of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for any volunteer instructor to teach the religion of each faith tradition. RfP Australia works in partnership with the major umbrella body of each faith tradition, which has the responsibility for training and accrediting each volunteer instructor. This accreditation process is the umbrella body’s stamp of approval that the instructor is capable of teaching the faith tradition in a government school setting and has the level of religious knowledge and the level of pedagogical knowledge to do so.

In the approval process, RfP Australia has the responsibility to ensure the acceditation process has been completed and the volunteer instructor has met the provisions of the Working with Children Act. Joyce Rebiro is the multifaith educator appointed by RfP Australia to oversee this process of gaining the approval of the Department.

See the Forms page for the papers and steps necessary to obtain approval as an Instructor for Special Religious Instruction.

Publications and Papers

Fry, Ian Rex, Dr. It’s Time to Talk our Way out of a Crisis, Dialogue on origins of Conflict

Cahill, D, Integration of Immigrants into Cohesive Civil Societies: The Role of Religious Communities and their Leaders

Cahill, D, Multicultural and Multifaith Bendigo: Returning to its past in a different way

Ennis, Sue, Religion, Spirituality and Refugee Flights and Resettlement

Cahill, D, Being Religious and Interreligious in Regional and Rural Victoria: The Role of its Interfaith Networks

Cahill, D, Australia’s Religious Profile, Preliminary Results, 2011 Census

Cahill, D, The Growing Banyan Tree: Developing Buddhist Presence in Australia

Cahill, D, Creating Religious Harmony and Social Cohesion in the City of Hume

Cahill, D, FROM 9/11 TO BREIVIK: Responding Nationally and Transnationally to the challenge of Diversity and Social Cohesion

Jan Pakulski, University of Tasmania: Confusions about Multiculturalism (Religions for Peace Australia publishes this paper, courtesy Prof. Jan Pakulski of the University of Tasmania.)

Cahill, D, Regional and Rural Migration in and for the 21st Century: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, Bendigo, 2007

Cahill, D., Bouma, G., Dellal, H. & M. Leahy (2004) Religion, Cultural Diversity and Safeguarding Australia (Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Canberra)

Cahill, D. and M. Leahy (2004) Constructing a Local Multi-Faith Network (Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Canberra)

Cahill, D. (2005) Managing and regulating religion in the context of global governance

Australian Links

Canberra Interfaith Forum

Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia

Australian Council for Christians and Jews

Muslims Australia – Australian Federation of Islamic Councils

Australian Multicultural Foundation

Centre for Dialogue – Latrobe University

Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews

Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations

Columban Centre for Christian Muslim Relations

Council of Christians and Jews New South Wales

Council of Christians and Jews Victoria

Council of Christians and Jews Western Australia

Dandenong Interfaith Network

Geelong Interfaith Network

Executive Council of Australian Jewry

Religion and Society Research Centre – University of Western Sydney

Reconciliation Australia

National Sikh Council of Australia

Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria

Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia

Griffith University Multifaith Centre

Hindu Council of Australia

Diversity and Social Cohesion Program, Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Harmony Day

National Council of Churches in Australia

Multicultural NSW

South Australian Multifaith Association

Uniting Church of Australia – Relations with Other Faiths

Faith Communities Council of Victoria

Victorian Multicultural Commission

Victorian Interfaith Calendar

Multifaith Conflict Resolution Network

Conflict Resloution Network

Australian Catholic University: Centre for Interreligious Dialogue,_institutes_and_centres/centres/inter-religious_dialogue

Swinburne University of Technology Student Care Multi Faith Facility

Monash University Multifaith Centre




Membership of Religions for Peace Australia is open to all persons of faith and goodwill who are interested in and committed to global peace across the world and to social cohesion in Australia, especially between the faith traditions. There is an annual membership fee, currently at $40, set each year at the Annual General Meeting generally held in April/May.

If you wish to become a member, please download the membership form. The constitution stipulates it be signed by another RfP Australia member. If this is impossible, please write a short resume of several hundred words with a referee, preferably a religious authority. Send it to RfP’s address, P.O. Box 1383, Carlton, Victoria, 3083.

Organisational Structure

Religions for Peace Australia has a Committee of Management, elected each year at its Annual General Meeting, held in April or May each year. For historical reasons, it is centred in Melbourne but there are representatives from associate branches in other capital cities. Currently these are in Sydney, Hobart and Brisbane. There are cognate interfaith bodies in Adelaide and Canberra as well as numerous local government interfaith networks across Australia.

The current Committee of Management is:

Chair: Professor Desmond Cahill, B.A., S.T.L., M.Ed., Ph.D., M.Ps.S.A., F.A.C.E.L.

Biodata: Educated in Australia and Italy, Desmond Cahill, Professor of Intercultural Studies at RMIT University, is one of Australia’s leading social researchers. In 2006, he was made an honorary fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders for his work in immigrant, cross-cultural, interfaith and international education. He currently chairs the Religions for Peace (Australia), and represents Australia on the Asian Conference of Religion and Peace (ACRP). He led Melbourne’s successful bid to stage the forthcoming Parliament of the World’s Religions, the world’s largest interfaith gathering, and is now its Melbourne Program Director. A member of the Australian Partnership of Religious Organizations (APRO) and of the Victoria Police Multifaith Advisory Council, he is a Club Melbourne Ambassador as part of the “Think Melbourne, Think Victoria” strategy of the Victorian Government.

Deputy Chair: Rev. Professor Gary Bouma, B.A., B.D.,Ph.D.


Prof. Gary Bouma













Biodata: Gary D Bouma is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations – Asia Pacific at Monash University, and one of Australia ‘s leading academic authorities in the sociology of religion. He is also Associate Priest in the Anglican Parish of St John’s, East Malvern in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. He is Deputy Chair of the World Conference on Religion and Peace ( Australia ), Board Member, World Conference of Religions for Peace – Asia Pacific and is Chair, Board of Directors, for the Parliament of the World’s Religions 2009 to be held in Melbourne.

Secretary: Ms. Jo Elvins

Biodata: Jo Elvins is a retired social worker who’se 23 years of settlement work started at Christmas 1974 whenCyclone Tracy hit Darwin and thousands were evacuated. In 1975 she worked with East Timorese evacuees and from 1976 with refugees from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Other wave of refugees came to Australia from Poland, Romania, El Salvador, Afganistan, Ethiopia etc and she feels priviledged to have contributed to their new lives in Australia. She maintains this involvement as a member of the Communities Council on Ethnic Issues in the Eastern region of Melbourne and represented CCOEI on the interim committee for the Whitehorse Interfaith Council. She represents the Augustine Uniting Church on the PWR subcommittee of the Boroondara Interfaith Council. Together with her husband, she was at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 6th WCRP Assembly in Melbourne and attended the 8th Assembly in Kyoto.

Treasurer: Mr. Gurdarshan Singh Gil

Biodata: Gurdarshan Singh Gill, a founding member of Sri Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha, a premier Sikh religious organization in Victoria, has served as its director for many years. He is the past president of the Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong and currently he is the director of Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria. Gurdarshan has a very keen interest in interfaith activities and represents the Sikh community on a number of organizations and forums.

Committee Members:

Sister Patricia Blundell (Brisbane convenor)


Dr. Joan Daw (membership secretary)

Biodata: Joan Daw’s background is in teaching and the sociology of religion. She has been involved in research relating to Buddhist, Muslim and Christian communities in Australia. This experience has influenced her interest in interfaith relations and their potential for peacemaking.

Mr. Caesar D’Mello

Biodata: Caesar D’Mello is the executive director of the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT), which in collaboration with church, faith and other groups responds to the negative impacts of tourism that contributes to the poverty of the countries of the South. He was previously director of programs at the Columban Mission Centre in Melbourne and, prior to that, national director of Christian World Service at the national Council of Churches in Australia. He has had long experience in engaging with faiths for peace and justice, reconciliation and healing. He is contactable at

Rev. Malcolm Homes


Sister Josepha, S.V.D. (Sydney convenor)

Biodata: Sister Josepha is a Holy Spirit Missionary Sister who has worked in India with the marginalized for 40 years. Since returning to Australia, she has worked as a therapist in Silverwater Prison and at the Bethany Holistic Health Centre. She is a member of the Ecumenical Council of NSW. Formerly secretary for the NSW-WCRP, she is now its convenor.

Mr. Yasser Soliman


Rev. Helen Summers

Biodata: Rev. Helen Summers has completed her studies in Australia and the United States in religious studies and adult education. H elen taught English as an international language and language teaching methodologies for many years in Australian universities. After learning from many religious and spiritual leaders around the world, s he was in 1997 ordained as the first Australian interfaith minister from The New Seminary in New York, 1997 at in The Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York. Interfaith Ministers remain members of their own religious tradition, but are informed, knowledgeable and deeply respectful of the world’s diverse religions and spiritualities. She has been the foundation director of The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne since 2000. Helen is a member of the Board of Management, Parliament of the World’s Religions Melbourne 2009.

Mrs Pym Trueman (Hobart convenor)



Religions for Peace (Australia), formerly known as the World Conference of Religions for Peace (Australia) is Australia’s largest community-based organization working for inter-religious harmony and social cohesion.

Read moreMission

Contact Us

Religions for Peace Australia, Australia’s community-based interfaith organization with the largest coverage, operates as an e-network and so has no office or phone number.

Contact is by email to the secretary: Sue Ennis

wcrpaust [at]

Contact can also be made by hard copy to:

Religions for Peace Australia,
Box 1383,

Contact can also be made via the committee members – see organizational structure

Contact Us

Religions for Peace Australia, Australia’s community-based interfaith organization with the largest coverage, operates as an e-network and so has no office or phone number.

Contact is by email to the secretary: Sue Ennis

wcrpaust [at]

Contact can also be made by hard copy to:

Religions for Peace Australia,
Box 1383,

Contact can also be made via the committee members – see organizational structure