Religions for Peace (NSW) is a state-based associate branch of Religions for Peace Australia, which in turn is affiliated with Religions for Peace International. Josie Lacey AM, has chaired the NSW Branch of Religions for Peace for the last 18 years and provides report of the final meeting for 2020.
Topics for dicussion at our meeting were:
Zoroastrian Religion, with Zarir Bamji,
Social Cohesion with Bahai leader Ida Walker,
Hanukkah with Ian Lacey AM, and
Christmas, with Rev. Fr. Patrick McInerney
Then Q&A at the morning’s most interesting Zoom meeting of Religion for Peace ( RfP ) NSW, which I have been privileged to chair for some 10 years.
Also attending was The Reverend Dr David Gill AM from the Uniting Church, Wilma Viswanathan and Caroline Haski, Robert Grant from Rama Krishna Sarada Vedanta and Professor Abd Malak AM.
Many apologies at this time of the year , Our Host Walt Secord , Vijay Singal and Jeremy Jones AM, Buddhist leader Mohini Gunesekera AM Zohra Ali, Lorraine Murphy and others. Many thanks to Sachin Saxena from the Hon Walt Secord’s office who helped organise our zoom meeting.
We have been very privileged to have the Hon Walt Secord MLC Shadow Treasurer as our host over the years.
I’d like to thank Barbara Miller, who is married to Norman an Aboriginal Australian and has a son Michael. She has been working for Aboriginal advancement since 1970 as a Uni student. I asked Barbara Miller to write a draft resolutions for RfP NSW, which we then endorsed. National RfP then used these drafts resolutions to lobby Federal government.
The Sydney Statement
Religions for Peace (NSW) is a state-based associate branch of Religions for Peace Australia, which in turn is affiliated with Religions for Peace International.
As the Convenor of Religions for Peace (NSW), it is my great pleasure to endorse The Sydney Statement. It is a very impressive interfaith document which spells out the values and principles for building better relations between believers from different religions. The 21 commitments it proposes provide practical ways of achieving that vision.
Religions for Peace (NSW) has representatives from 8 major world religions and faith traditions – Baha’ism, Buddhism, Christianity (Catholic, Uniting Church and Coptic), Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. We follow interfaith principles and practices very similar to those enumerated in The Sydney Statement. For example, through dialogue and sharing we have learnt about each other’s faiths; many of us have visited each other’s places of worship for religious festivals; some of us have visited each other’s homes for religious and family events. In short, we have become friends.
The Sydney Statement is a great achievement. I recommend it be made part of the curriculum of every school in the state, especially for the interfaith dimension of HSC Studies of Religion. I also propose it as a resource for discussion, reflection and action by faith, interfaith and civic groups everywhere.
Youth PoWR (Parliament of the World’s Religions) is to be congratulated for generating and publishing The Sydney Statement as a charter for achieving their dream for interfaith relations in our city and in our state, as are the various organisations who supported and guided them throughout this project.
Josie Lacey OAM
Convenor, Religions for Peace (NSW)