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 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. Colonisation and European settlement and the dismissal of indigenous presence and spirituality in this land is related.
The history of inter-religious relations commencing in World War II between Christians and Jews is narrated, along with an account of early efforts at Ecumenism. The first Parliament of the World’s Religions and its ground-breaking work is touched upon, along with the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, and the subsequent impact on interfaith and multifaith activity in Victoria.
The creation of the World Conference on Religion and Peace is discussed, along with the impact of the 1989 World Assembly at Monash University. This led to the establishment of the Interfaith Network of Greater Dandenong, an organisation that is still functioning.
The influence of 9/11, the Bali bombings and the missing conversation about right wing extremism and Brendon Tarrant – the Christchurch shooting – is also discussed. The need for a national council of Interfaith or Religious Leaders is mentioned.
About: Emeritus Professor Desmond Cahill, OAM.
Educated in Australia and Italy, Des Cahill, is Emeritus Professor of Intercultural Studies at RMIT University, and has been a world leading researcher and teacher in the areas of immigrant, cross-cultural and international studies for more than four decades.
Since the events of September 11th 2001, he has played a major role in researching and bringing together the various faith communities in Australia and across the world through his research and community activities. He currently chairs the Australian chapter of Religions for Peace International, the world’s largest interfaith organisation, and represents Australia on the executive committee of the Religions for Peace Asia – in October 2008, he was elected its Deputy Moderator by the Governing Board representing the 18 member nations including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan and the two Koreas. He is a member of the Victoria Police Multifaith Advisory Council.
In 2006, he led Melbourne’s successful bid, in competition against Delhi and Singapore, to host the Parliament of the World’s Religions in December 2009, the world’s largest interfaith gathering. As a consequence, he has been made an Ambassador for Club Melbourne, a group of 100 leading scientists and academics, to promote the image of Melbourne around the world.
In the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, he was awarded the Order of the Medal of Australia for “services to Intercultural Education and to the Interfaith Movement”. Professor Cahill is Chair, Religions for Peace Australia, and Deputy Moderator, Religions for Peace Asia.