The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has commenced an inquiry into international armed conflict decision making with the terms of reference referred by the Minister of Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP. Religions for Peace Australia has made a submission to the Inquiry.
In the latter part of 2022, parts of Australia’s east coast were hit with ongoing flooding, just one week after the declaration of a rare third La Niña. Torrential widespread rain and storms across much of the inland south-east caused major flooding from already full waterways across southern Queensland, inland New South Wales and northern Victoria.
In response to the damage and suffering caused to those in flooded townships – and in small towns – and in the byways of regional Australia and Tasmania, Religions for Peace Australia will conduct Prayers for the welfare of all involved and affected, and for all who are suffering ongoing dislocation and illnesses.
Prayers and Sacred Reflections responding to Floods in Australia will take place online on Tuesday 13 December at 7:30pm. Participants will attend from all states.
In times of challenges presented by weather and the local environment, mental health is most important for those suffering the impact of extremes in their personal environment. The Brahma Kumaris community of Australia has produced a series of meditations which may be of help in bringing peoples to inner stillness. We take a look at The Sanctuary Experience and how it can help people experiencing extreme, emotional challenges.
Religions for Peace Australia invites people of faith in Australia involved in working with or thinking of working with faith communities/ faith leaders on the prevention of family violence to an informal Zoom gathering.
Emeritus Professor Desmond Cahill, Chair, Religions for Peace Australia, delivered the Annual Report for Religions for Peace Australia at the Annual General Meeting (online) on 19 June 2022. The report is given below.
Religions for Peace Australia is currently in the throes of forming an Interreligous Council of Australia. It is the intention of Religions for Peace Australia to engage respectfully for the presence of First Nations on this Inter-religious Council.
Religions for Peace Australia resolved at the recent Annual General Meeting on Sunday 6th June 2021, to write to the Prime Minister. One of our RfPA network roles is to assist with multi/intra-faith matters and social cohesion across the nation. In this regard, we raise three matters with the Prime Minister: Bringing Australians Home, the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and Financial Support during Future Lockdowns.
Australia is once again facing uncertainty about the future of Covid 19, the security of home and employment, the frailty of the aged and the messy spread and contagion of the Delta variant of Covid-19. Religions for Peace Australia has prepared a video of faith leaders from many traditions offering prayers for a time of uncertainty and Community Challenges.
Pax Christi Australia – in collaboration with Religions for Peace Australia, jointly presented “Truth Telling in Australia” which was given by Sherry Balcombe, of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry. This session was recorded at Kildara Centre, Stanhope St, Malvern on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Religions for Peace Australia gives one message about the Common Good and the need for vaccination, in order to protect the entire community we call home. We understand vaccine hesitancy. People have various reasons for being hesitant. However, for the Common Good of the Australian community, as your interfaith leaders we want to encourage you all to be vaccinated as soon as possible, each one of us. We urge all faith leaders to take action and promote the Common Good.
Religions for Peace Australia presents an overview of the Multifaith and Interfaith History of Australia, delivered by Emeritus Professor Desmond P. Cahill, OAM. This presentation commences with the history of the Macassans visiting Australia and their interactions with indigenous peoples. Colonialisation and European settlement and the dismissal of indigenous presence and spirituality in this land is related.
Religions for Peace Australia has produced a series of video outlining issues around Covid 19 and multifaith matters. In this video, Rev. Chris Parnell, Interfaith Minister, gives an overview of mental health issues, faith and spirituality addressing mental health and references a simple strategy and further resources for mental health.
Religions for Peace Australia presents Racism in times of Covid-19, an account of racism and extremism in times of pandemic. This video – delivered by Emeritus Professor Desmond Cahill, OAM, touches on many bases and causes of racism generally, in addition to addressing far-right extremism in Australia, which has undoubtedly contributed to this issue.
On 10 May 2021, the Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism in partnership with Religions for Peace Australia and the Canberra Interfaith Forum hosted the annual UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture at the Theo Notaras Centre. The lecture was given by the indigenous Senator, Sen. Patrick Dodson. The topic addressed by Senator Dodson was Reconciliation and Multifaith: Aboriginal Worldviews and the Christian Heritage.
Religions for Peace Australia will conduct its Annual General Meeting reporting for the year 2020, online, on evening of Sunday 6 June 2021 at 7pm. The Guest Speaker is Dr Anne Pattel-Gray , of Australia First Nations Program – World Vision Australia, is the first indigenous person to be awarded a doctorate in theology in the 1990’s. The meeting will be online, all are invited. The title of Dr Anne Pattel-Gray’s talk will be Walk Alongside to Build Religious Inclusivity and Acceptance.
The Aussie Camino is a picturesque pilgrimage inspired by Australia’s only saint, Mary MacKillop. The Way is from Portland, Victoria to Penola in South Australia, places associated with St. Mary McKillop of the Cross.
The Camino de Santiago, or “The Way of St James”, is a network of routes across Western Europe leading to the resting place of the apostle Saint James the Great.
While Caminos traditionally lead travellers to a place of spiritual significance, many of their walkers are not religious. Most are, however, open to soul-searching.
The Australian Research Council has funded a university based survey on the experience of LGBTIQ people in Australia and Religious Freedom. It is an important survey and will map out future needs for religious freedom and practice by LGBTIQ people and to survey the path to practice of their faith in Australia without discrimination.