Tasmania: November 2016

Tasmania Logo

Greetings of peace and many congratulations for a happy Diwali!

The Religions for Peace Tas branch gathering for this month will be held on Saturday 19 November 2016 from 10am-4.00pm at the UTAS Multifaith Centre, TUU Building, Churchill Ave, Sandy Bay. Rev John Carroll, Secretary of Australian Religious Response to Climate Change at the headquarters in Sydney, will facilitate a workshop entitled Spirituality and Climate Activism.

Greetings of peace!

The Religions for Peace Tas branch gathering for this month will be held on Saturday 19 November 2016 from 10am-4.00pm at the UTAS Multifaith Centre, TUU Building, Churchill Ave, Sandy Bay. Rev John Carroll, Secretary of Australian Religious Response to Climate Change at the headquarters in Sydney, will facilitate a workshop entitled Spirituality and Climate Activism.

Apart from exploring how spirituality and climate activism can work together without becoming political (some faith communities discourage their members from becoming political), we will look at what people from different faith backgrounds are already doing in Australia.


John will also share some questions that inspired him, such as:  How does listening to the cry of the Aboriginal custodians of the land inform this work? What approaches might inspire others in my faith community to begin taking action?  A flyer is attached.

Suggested donation: $15.00, concession
$10.00 to help cover costs. 
Participants will need to provide their own lunch.
RSVP by 17 November. The RSVP link is http://www.arrcc.org.au/spirituality_and_activism_workshop
Enquiries to Terry 0438 069 728.



From Narindar and the Sikh community:

The Diwali program for Gurdwara Sahib Hobart, 126 Roches Beach Rd, Roches Beach, will be held on Sunday 30 October from 5.00-8.30pm.  All are welcome. Diwali, as the celebration of the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, hope over despair and knowledge over ignorance, is a festival celebrated with great joy. It is also the festival of the New Year.


Birth of the Bahaullah at the Baha’i Centre

Kris tell us, “Thought you might like to hear what I’m preparing for the birth of Bahaullah at the Baha’i Centre, 1 Tasman Highway, Hobart, on Wednesday 2nd November night at 6.00pm for pot luck tea, then at 7.00pm, a children’s presentation of the Bab and Bahaullah followed by indigenous contributions…  it runs for 40mins after pot luck tea so finishes at 8.00pm.. Please invite EVERYONE….


Tasmanian Peace Trust Annual Lecture


The Tasmanian Peace Trust Annual Lecture for 2016 will be presented by  David Tacey   It is entitled Spirit Country:  the Aboriginal gift as non-violent resistance. The lecture begins at 2.30pm on Sunday 6 November 2016  at the Friends Meeting House, 395 Argyle St, North Hobart.  Everyone is welcome. 


Soul Food


This is just a quick reminder about a very exciting Soul Food program for 6 November at 3pm at the Baha’i Centre, 1 Tasman Highway, Hobart. This month’s program “Children – Shining Lamps of the Future” will highlight the importance of the education of children. We were all children once, and we share the desire for the well-being of our children, which has always been and will continue to be the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind, so come and enjoy this lovely program. Look forward to sharing this special time with you!

We also promise you a nice afternoon tea with lots of hot food to warm the body. Hosted in the tranquil ambience of the Bahá’í Centre of Learning, (Behind A.B.C. building) 1 Tasman Highway, providing an opportunity to be inspired, uplifted and to celebrate our humanity and oneness in a spirit of friendship and unity. This pleasant meditative afternoon is a free Community inspired event


World Meditation Hour

Join millions of people around the world for an hour of silent meditation for world peace. This will be held at the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, 51 Tower Rd, New Town (Cnr Bell St) on Sunday 20 November 2016 from 6.30-7.30pm.


Prof. Gillian Triggs to Launch new book on Religion and Refugees

Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and Acting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, will formally launch and share her reflections on Dr Susan Ennis’ new book

About the book:

This book is an in-depth study of selected refugees from Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. It examines the relationship between the refugees’ religious and spiritual beliefs and the refugee experience. Susan takes a closer look at the circumstances of the refugees’ flight, their asylum, and their initial period of settlement in Melbourne, Australia during the period between the 1990’s and the early 21st century. She finds that a sense of religiosity seemed to aid the refugees, in some way during all stages of their journey. Furthermore, nearly half of the refugees she studied reported a shift in their religiosity over the course of their emigration. Based on her research, Susan puts forward a framework of religiosity and the refugee experience grounded in shifting typologies at each stage of their journey.

“This will become the benchmark study for the leaders of the multicultural and religious organisations, NGOs and INGOs…. The study’s findings will have a significant impact on our understanding of the refugee phenomenon throughout the world.” – Prof Joseph Siracusa, President, Council for Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, Australia


Gillian Triggs

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, with a five year appointment. She was Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney from 2007-12 and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law from 2005-7. She is a former Barrister and a former Governor of the College of Law.

Professor Triggs has combined an academic career with international commercial legal practice and has advised the Australian and other governments and international organisations on international legal and trade disputes. Her focus at the Commission is on the implementation in Australian law of the human rights treaties to which Australia is a party, and to work with nations in the Asia Pacific region on practical approaches to human rights.

Professor Triggs’ is the author of many books and papers on international law, including International Law, Contemporary Principles and Practices (2nd Ed, 2011).

Professor Desmond Cahill OAM is the Professor of Intercultural Studies with RMIT the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.

Dr Susan P. Ennis for more than 30 years has coordinated and taught English to newly arrived adult refugees and immigrants in Melbourne. Sue has also taught English as a Second Language in Turkey, China (during the Tiananmen Square incident), and Cambodia (during the UN mandate) and lived in Israel. Dr Ennis has served as Secretary of Religions for Peace Victoria Branch from June 2010 – 2016. Dr Ennis has been serving as the National Secretary of Religions for Peace Australia since June 2014.

Event Details

Program: Religion & Refugees: Prof Gillian Triggs to launch Dr Sue Ennis’ new book
Location: RMIT University, Building 80, Level 1, Room 002, 445 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Date: Thursday, 24 November
Time: 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM (AEDT)
Bookings: Free. Book online at Eventbrite
More Information: Dr Susan Ennis


Hobart Buddhist Meditation Centre:

NOVEMBER: Finding wisdom and compassion in difficult mental and emotional states. With Madhu (weeks 1 and 2), Maria (Week 3), Roger (week 4), and Tara practice
and discussion with Madhu (week 5).

DECEMBER: Week 1 (6th): Annual General Meeting of TCDF Inc. If you are not a member, or your membership has lapsed, you can join on the night. This evening will also include a short meditation, and members are invited to ask questions or make suggestions for the coming year. Week 2 (13th): The last evening meditation for 2016 will be led by Maria. Weeks 3 and 4 of December, in recess.

JANUARY 2017: Regular Tuesday evening sessions are in recess. However, on Wednesday, January 25, Rinpoche will be arriving in Tasmania and will give a public talk
in Hobart How to purify obstacles, both to spiritual practice and in daily life. Venue: Friends Meeting House. Cost: $15. Bookings not necessary.

FEBRUARY 2017: From 27 January to 3 February 2017, Rinpoche will be leading a retreat at Lorinna. For more information, http://tashicholing.net/events/rinpoche-2017/     Regular Tuesday evening meditation will resume at the Centre in the 2nd week of February (7th February)

All are welcome to all of the above sessions, including beginners. Meditation and Discussion 7.30-9 pm, every Tuesday. Entry by $5 suggested donation. Location: 71-3 Liverpool St [Goulds building, down the laneway to the right of the building, in the door between the bamboo pots and up the stairs to the 2nd floor]


Dances of Universal Peace

A special invitation to New Zealand: Dance Camp Aotearoa is uniquely special in that it integrates and interweaves beautifully the Dances of Universal Peace with our indigenous Maori culture. Experience the power and spirit of being welcomed to Camp in a unique way and traditionally sharing breath with each other with the hongi.

You are invited to come and join us in the co-creation of heart family, and to experience the joy of togetherness, connectedness and the deep sense of community and intimacy that the Dances so easefully and gracefully engender. 

Experience the richness of cultural diversity, as leaders and dancers gather together from Aotearoa and many different countries. Abrahamand Halima Sussman (US) are our special guests this year and we have Jonas returning from the Czech Republic. We will update you as other leaders confirm.

As with the last few years we have a greater focus of attracting more ‘youth’ and ‘young adults’ to our Camp, for whom the possibility of cheap places exist. 

The main focus of the Camp is the Dances of Universal Peace, and you can also enjoy early morning Sufi practices, participant-led workshops, kirtan, singing, drumming, free dancing, storytelling, nurturing, yoga, and a fun program for children – or just take time out to bliss in heart-centred community. Come and experience the beauty of our Camp, the aliveness of nature  and our people. We love to welcome you. For costs, how to enrol and enquiries please visit the website www.dancecampaotearoa.co.nz 

From Hobart Buddhist Meditation Centre:

Our UTAS Chaplain, Thay, writes:


I just received this from my previous Hindu colleague at Flinders University Multifaith Centre, Oasis.

“I am just passing this on for general interest. The uninformed Western assumption is that all Muslim women are oppressed and downtrodden and are unable to participate in society in any meaningful way. While, as I have pointed out before, this may be the case in societies governed by the strictures of Wahhabism or tribal based societies (such as Afghanistan) it is not generally the case in the broader range of Islamic societies.

When I first moved to Malaysia in 1976 the country boasted more women Cabinet Ministers than Australia, and far more very senior women public servants, and far more women engaged in “non-traditional” professions, such as engineering, architecture, etc. During the late 1970s there were more Malay (Muslim) women engineering undergraduates studying in Australia than there were Australian women engineering undergraduates. One of these Malay women won the Australian Engineering medal for two successive years. And of the students sent to studying Australian Universities 48% were women – a participation rate which was at that stage higher than Australia but which lagged behind Thailand and Singapore.

Incidentally, I have flown with Royal Brunei which is a good airline with a very sound safety record. I agree with the ironic comment offered below.

“A 787 Royal Brunei Airlines flight landed in Jeddah last week piloted by three Muslim Women. Bit ironic that a plane priced at $200 Million with 300 passengers was being piloted by  3 women to a country (Saudi Arabia) which won’t let them drive a car.”


Coda: Nuns Reach 1M Likes on Facebook


In a news cycle in search of a heart-warming story, the Dominican Sisters of Mary take center-stage with the news of reaching one million likes on Facebook. Capturing a glimpse into the beautiful lives of the Sisters, their Facebook page has been visited by approximately 1.5 million loyal people each week from all corners of the globe. Conscientiously posting uplifting spiritual realities for the booming social media cosmos, the Sisters have quietly discovered a window into the lives of so many new friends that they have readily adopted into their ever-expanding family. The decision to join Facebook was led by Sr. Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, OP, in response to The New Evangelization. Like the ‘Mustard Seed,’ it began with a small idea in 2012, in this case a page on Facebook that has now grown to over 1 million likes.

When asked about the impetus for wading into the waters of social media, Sr. Joseph Andrew shared the following: “We always want to be ready to engage as many people for and with God as possible and thus began our Facebook endeavor to simply share bits and pieces of our lives on social media. Like all good inspirations, this too expanded into a much larger ‘family’ than we could have imagined! We are deeply grateful to the million-plus who have welcomed us into their lives, sent us their prayer intentions and have shared us with people far beyond our Sisters’ missions or travel areas. With most of our Sisters being so young, having a presence on Facebook to share daily Scripture verses or other special notes about Saints of the day, etc. was just a natural!”

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist were canonically established in 1997 and have joyfully taken their messages of faith to the modern world through education, television and music, to name a few of their outreaches. With over 130 Sisters and an average age of 30, they teach in preschool through college all over the United States; their Motherhouse is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They also serve as librarians at the North America Seminary in Rome.

Several of the Sisters have been guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show more than once and made it to the finals of the Game Show Network’s The American Bible Challenge. The Sisters have released two international albums, to wide acclaim including reaching No. 1 for several weeks on Billboard’s Classical Traditional Chart. Their open spirit has unexpectedly attracted widespread international media coverage.

Find the Sisters on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DSMME

For More Information: www.SistersofMary.org

In peace,
Convenor RfP Tasmania Branch
6272 6521

Religions for Peace Tasmania

Religions for Peace Tasmania