Marking the annual International Day of Women in Diplomacy, Chiara Porro, Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, speaks of the challenges and rewards of the job and of the crucial perspective women bring to international relations.
Religions for Peace Australia will conduct the 2023 Annual General Meeting in Canberra on 18 June 2023. The Guest Speaker is Prof Nicole Asquith of UTAS, Professor of Policing and Emergency Management, who is the Convenor of the Australian Hate Crime Network. She will be speaking about her extensive work supporting vulnerable people who face hate speech and targeted violence in our society.
A 20 metre cross, which took more than a decade to build, has been unveiled in a remote part of Central Australia. It’s located in Ikuntji, more than 230 kilometres west of Alice Springs. Landscape photographer Ken Duncan has led the project, raising several million dollars through private donations. Community members hope the site will be a meeting place for locals and create economic opportunities through tourism.
Harmony Week is the celebration that recognises our diversity and brings together Australians from all different backgrounds. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. Several resources are available, and there are a number of interfaith events occurring during Harmony Week.
Australia is the only liberal democracy that does not have a bill or charter of rights at the national level, and people’s human rights are not very well protected in Australian law. The starting point for a national Human Rights Act is to recognise that people’s human rights matter, all of the time, and should be protected.
On 4 November 2022, Commonwealth Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus MP KC, asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to recommend reforms to the law to implement the Government’s policy commitments in this area in a way that is consistent with Australia’s international legal obligations.
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 our second informal Zoom gathering to be held online on Friday 10th of March 2023. This event is held in concert with International Women’s Day.
Since 2014, Australian Catholic University has hosted six parliamentary interfaith breakfasts, bringing together parliamentarians and the leaders of many faith communities in a spirit of mutual respect and dialogue. The most recent breakfast was held on 24 November 2022 at the National Press Club in Canberra and featured addresses from the federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and renowned journalist Stan Grant.
Bishop Philip Huggins is Director, Centre for Ecumenical Studies, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra. Here, Bishop Huggins writes reflections on multifaith activity, the multicultural nature of our nation, and the wisdom for the common good which may well prevail in resolving conflict about 26 January and when we might celebrate who we are as a nation, going forward together.
Year 2022 saw relaxation of the pandemic restrictions, and the emergence of conflict in Ukraine. There was a strong response from religious leaders in Australia. Living the Change, taking care of the environment and sharing faith community responses to domestic violence were activities that Religions for Peace Australia took up during Year 2022.
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.