Tasmania: August 2023

Tasmania Logo

Greetings of peace! Spring is coming and bringing with it its own newness and spiritual hope. We wish you, your families and your communities peace, well-being and safety as we move into the time of the year when spring flowers are blooming through the storms and our thoughts are turning more and more in prayer for the earth.

Greetings of peace!

Spring is coming and bringing with it its own newness and spiritual hope.

There are three especially important matters to bring to your attention in this update.

The first is that an important workshop (not to be missed!) entitled Reporting Prejudice Motivated Violence: reporting is the key to change will be conducted on 6 August 2023 2.00-5.00pm at the Multicultural Hub, 65 Hopkins St Moonah and online.

A flier is attached, and you are invited to share it widely among your friends and connections, because reporting prejudice-motivated incidents in an accurate way is important to bring change in the law, in the way it is policed and, we hope, in the community’s standard of behaviour.

The workshop will explain what prejudice-motivated incidents are, the importance of reporting them and how to report them accurately so that we can promote safety in our communities.

The second matter is the work of NAYBA, an organisation which conducts social impact audits, looking at the work faith communities do which contributes to social cohesion in Australia, and then puts this into dollar terms. NAYBA will be conducting a social impact audit in Tasmania beginning on 28 August. The audit completed in Gold Coast last year is attached and shows the enormous contribution faith-based groups make to our mainstream society.

The third important matter concerns new legislation passed by the Tasmanian Parliament recently which legally mandates a child and youth safeguarding framework and which directly affects faith communities in Tasmania. This legislation will be audited from 1 Jan 2024. There will be penalties for non-compliance. So it’s very important to understand what the law means to our communities.

As ever, we wish you, your families and your communities peace, well-being and safety as we move into the time of the year when spring flowers are blooming through the storms and our thoughts are turning more and more in prayer for the earth.



Holy Days in August 2023

Date Observance Faith/religion
11 July Paryushana Jainism
15 August Dormition of the Theotokos Mary / Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Orthodox Christian and Catholic
30 August Raksha Bandhan Hinduism
30 August Ullambana/Obon (Japanese)/Ghost Festival Buddhism


Support for Voice to Parliament

After consulting with our First Nations Affiliates, Religions for Peace Australia Executive is supporting the Yes vote in the referendum on the First Nations’ Voice to Parliament.

Two polls show that between 80-90% of First Nations people support the Voice to Parliament.

It is in the public arena that, after being fact-checked, one of the sides is promoting untruths in its brochures.

All round Australia, religious, ethnic and multicultural groups are supporting the First Nations in their call for a Voice to Parliament in the coming referendum: The Australian Muslim Times, the Uniting Church in Australia and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Victorian Womens Trust.

From Cairns, Australian of the Year Local Hero, Sikh Amar Singh is undertaking a two month journey around Australia, promoting the Yes campaign for the Voice to Parliament:

In addition, from Common Grace, an Indigenous Christian organisation, we received this message:

This year we face a significant moment as a country as we vote in the upcoming referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

Common Grace is inviting everyone to deeply listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and walk together for justice, healing and flourishing for all. In 2023, through the ‘Listen to the Heart’ campaign, we are calling for a YES vote on a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament and a sustained YES for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice.


Reporting Prejudice Motivated Violence 6 August 2-5.00pm Supported by Tasmanian Peace Trust

(Workshop will be held in person and online)

Prof Nicole Asquith UTAS (Convenor of the Australian Hate Crime Network and the Director of Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies at UTAS and Scott Davis (Formerly of Victoria Police, City of Hobart Council and Equal Opportunity Tasmania), will run a workshop entitled: Reporting Prejudice Related Violence: reporting is the key to change.

When: 2-5.00pm Sunday 6 August 2023
Where: Multicultural Hub 65 Hopkins St., Moonah and online
Interpreters: Farsi and Bhutanese interpreters will be available.
Registration is essential for attending in person or online: https://www.trybooking.com/CJDQS
Zoom joining link will be available in the Registration confirmation email.
Cost: Free of charge
Refreshments: provided
Enquiries: 0438 069 728
Email: faithcommunitiestas@gmail.com

Supported by the Tasmanian Peace Trust, Multicultural Council of Tasmania, Religions for Peace Tasmania, Australian Hate Crime Network, Sadman Studios.

At the RfPA AGM in June, Prof Asquith was our Guest speaker and gave a presentation entitled:

‘Then they came for me and there was no-one left.’ The importance of allyship in responding to faith-based targeted violence and discrimination.

The recording is now online at the following links:




Soul Food

The next Soul Food program will be held at the Baha’i Centre of Learning, 1 Tasman Highway Hobart

Sunday 6 August at 3pm. The theme is: ‘Sweetness of Compassion‘ is the theme of this event.

Refreshments will be provided. Visit www.soulfood.com.au or 6234 7654. Ample free car parking. This is a Free Community Event and all are welcome.


Hiroshima Prayers

Representatives from the nations of Religions for Peace Asia will be coming together to pray for peace online on Hiroshima Day 6 August, 6-7pm)

RfPA is collaborating with ACRP to share Asia-Pacific Prayers in memory of Hiroshima Day online. (Representatives from the countries of Religions for Peace Australia and Asia will be coming together to pray for peace on Hiroshima Day 6 August 6-7pm)

Religions for Peace Asia in collaboration with Religions for Peace Australia invites all people of faith to join Meditations and Prayers on Hiroshima Day.

Australia 6-7pm AEST (WA 3pm, NT/ SA 5.30 pm)

Jakarta 3pm
Tokyo/Korea 5pm-6pm

New Delhi 1.30pm
New Zealand 8pm

More information and zoom link at https://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/?p=17216


Hobart Buddhist Meditation Centre

Program for August:

Monday evening meditation:

Our weekly Monday evening Calm Abiding Meditation with Emilia continues (Zoom only) as per usual. A great way to begin your week.

Meeting time: 5.30-6.15 pm

Meeting ID: 843 3802 6421, Passcode: 789858 Direct link

Tuesday evening meditation:

Bookings and details are here

Please join us for another program of Tuesday evenings in the Golden Room at Kickstart Arts. Spend some lovely time with Dharma friends as we explore a very intriguing series of topics this month. All welcome including beginners!

Upcoming program for August 2023:

01/08/23: Meditation Practice (with Daniel)
08/08/23: Love (with Daniel)
15/08/23: Bodhicitta – Seven Point (with Tony W)
22/08/23: Bodhicitta – Equalising and Exchanging (with Tony W)
29/08/23: Integration – Questions and Discussion (with Tony W)

Sessions are free, however, there are costs associated with running our programs, so we encourage donations. Donations may be made on the night or via our booking system.

What about COVID?
The Tasmanian Department of Health classifies the current risk as Moderate which means COVID-19 is circulating widely in our community.

Masks, along with other COVID-safe behaviours, remain an important way to help reduce the risk of COVID-19. Although no longer mandatory in most situations, State Health recommends people wear masks in indoor settings especially where physical distancing is not possible.

Because many people with COVID-19 experience very mild symptoms and may not be aware that they are sick and infectious, please consider wearing a mask if you attend Tuesday evening sessions in person.


Sacred Conversations

here are the details for the next Sacred Conversations meeting:

When: Saturday 19th August, from 2pm to 4pm

Where: In person at the Baha’i Centre of Learning, 1 Tasman Hwy, Hobart
Our guest presenter will be Sree (njeyasreedharan). Sree will discuss the topic : ‘Oneness: The nonduality of duality and nonduality.’ Come and enjoy the pleasure of interfaith dialogue and fellowship. Everyone is most welcome! If you can’t make it in person, why not attend via our Zoom link:

As always, feel free to invite a friend.

To all of you dear friends in Zoomland, here is the link:


NAYBA (a wonderful opportunity for Faith communities to show how much they contribute to social cohesion in Tasmania)

NAYBA (pronounced “neighbour”) exists to help churches love their neighbour and transform their neighbourhoods.

One of the ways we do this is through the NAYBA Impact Audit, which measures the collective social impact of the faith community in a geographic region and puts a monetary value on the time given to serve those in need.

In doing so, the audit helps to build unity across churches and faith groups, open doors to government and other sectors, and demonstrate that faith is a force for good.

In case you’re not aware we have decided to conduct a complete audit of the entire state of Tasmania in the hope to be inclusive and capture the work being done in smaller more remote places. We are now on track to send out our survey on the 28th August.

The survey will be opened for responses for 3 weeks, where we will then spend the following months crunching the numbers, collecting beautiful case studying, building the reports and preparing for the public launch which will take place in February 2024.

If there are any additional churches, faith based: community care organisations, ministries or agencies that you are aware of could you please let us know as we want to ensure to provide an opportunity for as many leaders to participate as possible and share of their good works.

Thank you so much for your support up to this point and we are hopeful to see the impact of this work.

Tamara Espinet
Audits & Projects Manager NAYBA Australia
Helping Churches Transform Neighbourhoods
e: tamaraespinet@nayba.org
m: +61 421 931 349


Tasmania Department of Justice

A new child and youth safeguarding framework became law in Tasmania on the 1st of July 2023. It is known as the Child and Youth Safe Organisations Framework (the Framework).

Why do I need to know about the Framework?

All activities under the auspices of a faith-based organisation where adults have contact with children are covered by this legislation.

Compliance must begin no later than 1st January 2024. There are no exemptions to the legislation.

What does the Framework introduce to Tasmania that’s new?

The Framework introduces:

  • a Reportable Conduct Scheme, which requires leaders of specific organisations to notify an independent regulator when concerns are raised about conduct related to child abuse involving a worker, and conduct investigations.
  • an Independent Regulator, who will monitor organisations’ compliance with their new legal obligations, and provide advice, resources, and support. This new regulatory body is currently being set up.

What does the Framework make law that may be familiar already?

Religious groups that already have safeguarding policies and procedures that align with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations won’t be starting from ground zero when it comes to meeting these new legal requirements.

This is because the Framework legislates 10 Child and Youth Safe Standards that mirror these National Principles.

However even where these policies exist, doing nothing is NOT an option.

How can I find out more about the Framework?

The Department of Justice, in association with the Tasmanian Council of Churches and Faith Communities Network of Tasmania will hold two online forums:

The forums will be an opportunity for people to learn about the requirements for compliance, find useful resources and guides, and to ask questions.

The Department of Justice has also prepared this 101 document for the Framework that is a good place to start learning about the Framework and its key elements.

Please advise as soon as possible if translation support is required for these forums, so organisers can seek to arrange it.

If you have any questions, please reach out via cysof@justice.tas.gov.au


Securing Faith-based Places Fund: a new grant from the Federal Government

Many faiths know too well the financial cost of maintaining security for community buildings. At the moment, targeted hate and violence need to be prevented from causing harm to people and property.

The Australian Government recognises this and has announced the establishment of a new, $40 million, Securing Faith-based Places Fund. This fund is expected to cover both fences and other security infrastructure, but also recurrent security spending, such as the cost of a guard.

The Albanese Government will help protect faith-based places with a new $40 million grants program to improve security and safety.

Grants will be available for places of worship, religious schools and associated organisations to support safety upgrades, such as fencing, lighting, security cameras, traffic barriers, alarm systems, access controls and security guards.

Applications for funding open 31 July 2023 and can be submitted until 5pm AEST on 11 September 2023. The application portal will remain open for 6 weeks to allow for organisations to seek guidance and submit quality submissions.

For more information on the eligibility criteria, application process and FAQs, please refer to the webpage here: Securing Faith-Based Places



Victoria Bans the Hakenkreutz (German Swastika)

swastika ban in Victoria
The Nazi Hakenkreuz symbol is the most widely known Nazi symbol. The distorted version of the Swastika, the Nazi Hakenkreuz symbol, has become a symbol of the Nazi party and its heinous crimes against humanity. Neo-Nazi groups still use this Nazi symbol to intimidate and incite hatred and violence against the Jewish community and other diverse groups. This is fundamentally incompatible with Victoria’s multicultural and multifaith society, which is why as of December 29 2022, it is a criminal offence to publicly display the Nazi Hakenkreuz symbol in Victoria. You can read more about this here: https://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/?p=17203

More information here: https://vic.gov.au/about-the-nazi-symbol-ban

Download the Stakeholder Kit and the PowerPoint-presentation-About-the-Nazi-Hakenkreuz-symbol-ban


Victorian Anti Semitism Report

Jewish Community Council of Victoria logoThe Victorian Anti Semitism Report examines the key incidents, trends and ideologies driving the growth in antisemitism, which is becoming more threatening and visible, and also reviews the key far-left and far-right groups operating in Victoria, the impact of Covid-19 on these organisations and their leaders in Victoria and nationally. Finally, the report describes, in general terms, the state of rising antisemitism globally to provide the direction in which Australian and Victorian antisemitism may be heading.

Download the Report


Sudesh Didi’s visit as part of the Tamar Valley Peace Festival

Sudesh Didi, the European Director of the Brahma Kumaris, will be in Hobart on 20 September, and will present a program entitled Living a Life of Limitless Love: the pathway to peace. This program will be part of the Tamar Valley Peace Festival (17-24 September) in honour of the UN International Day of Peace (21 September).

When: Wednesday 20 September 6.30-8.00p,

Where: Aurora Lecture Theatre, IMAS Building, 20 Castray Esplanade, Salamanca Place and online

Bookings are essential, whether attending in person and online, at tiny.cc/limitlesslove The Zoom link will be available in the booking confirmation email.

Email: hobart@au.brahmakumaris.org
Phone: 6278 3788
Free of charge, but contributions are welcome to help cover costs
Download a Flyer for this event

News Items of Interest

Website of an organisation in Jerusalem which is inclusive of all the Abrahamic faiths: https://rossingcenter.org/

Religious Vilification Legislation, NSW

From Gurdwara to Greenery: Officer blossoms into an eco oasis

Upwey local recognised for work in Buddhist community with OAM

Interfaith brings kindness

How will Chatbots shape religious practice?

SBS: Hindus and Muslims support proposed law against religious vilification

The Conversation: Islamic State Flag Hijacks Muslim Words of Faith

Islamophobia in Australia

Australian-ASEAN Muslim Exchange Program: An Immersive Experience

My ordination as a rabbi is hotly contested, but it doesn’t bother me



In peace,
Convenor Religions for Peace Tasmania Branch
Convenor, Faith Communities of Tasmania
Phone 6272 6521