Tasmania: December 2017/January 2018

Tasmania Logo

For our event in December, we will join The Religious Society of Friends as they open the Peace Garden, noia poweena, and dedicate a Peace Pole on Monday 11th of December at 11am in front of The Friends’ Meeting House, Boa Vista Rd, North Hobart.

Greetings of peace!

As Maggi Storr tells us, ‘noia poweena means land of complete rest and is a phrase taken from a creation story told in the book, The Cotton Papers: Land of the Sleeping Gods. The garden is a Growing Respect Garden which promotes peace and harmony. Kris Schaffer has guided the selection and planting of the garden and the plants have been chosen for their spiritual and healing qualities.’

Tom Teniswood has made a Byakkoo Shinko Kai Peace Pole with the prayer ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ written in six languages. Kris has added a prayer in an Aboriginal language with the meaning ‘Salutations of Peace to Mother Earth’.

Human Rights Awards

Congratulations to Waqas and Hina Durrani, a Muslim brother and sister from Pakistan, who were recently awarded a Commendation in the Multicultural Section of the Human Rights Awards for 2017, for outstanding service to the CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Different) community as well as to the mainstream community. Over the last year, they have won awards for the Pride of Australia, Tasmanian Young Achievers and Volunteering Tasmania. Religions for Peace Tas has supported their remarkable efforts to create bridges of understanding between the Muslim and mainstream Tasmanian communities.

Imagining a Different Future

Save the date for a coming conference to be held at UTAS from 8-10 February, Imagining a Different Future: overcoming barriers to climate change https://www.climatejustice.network In particular, there will be a Community Day on Saturday 10 February seeking input from community groups on this important topic.

The Multicultural Council of Tasmania has awarded Religions for Peace Tasmania a grant to bring Nivy Balachandran, an Executive member of Religions for Peace Australia and Regional Coordinator of the United Religions Initiative https://uri.org/ to participate in the conference and to run workshops and programs such as ‘Negotiating Confrontation’ for those interested. Belonging to the Hindu faith herself, Nivy recently married Tal Meretz, a Young Jewish man also involved in interfaith activities, including Interaction, the Youth arm of Religions for Peace Australia.

Nivy is a Juris Doctor (Monash), Master of Arts (UniMelb) and a Bachelor of Arts, (RMIT) is a recognized leader in interfaith and intercultural affairs, and has represented Australia at interfaith conferences in France, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia, India and Pakistan.

Nivy is very experienced in promoting dialogue between faiths and cultures and in bringing people of different worldviews together to work for the common good. She is specially gifted in involving young people from different backgrounds for mutual benefit.

Watch this space for details. It will be good if as many people as possible can take advantage of Nivy’s workshops and presentations.

Forthcoming Festivals

The special days in December/January are

  • Advent Sunday (Christianity) 3 Dec 17
  • Bodhi Day (Buddhism) 8 Dec 17
  • Hannukah (Judaism) 13 Dec 17
  • Christmas (Christianity) 25 Dec 17
  • Mahayana New Year (Buddhism) 2 Jan 18
  • Birthday of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji (Sikhism) 5 Jan 18
  • Epiphany (Christianity) 6 Jan 18
  • Nativity (Orthodox Christianity) 7 Jan 18
  • Maghi (Sikhism) 13 Jan 18
  • Brahma Baba’s Day (Brahma Kumaris) 18 Jan 18

Connection to Country


4 December 17 6.00pm State Cinema, Hobart
Connection to Country is a one-hour documentary about the unbroken connection to country that still survives today, as it was 70,000 years ago when, in the words of the old people, ‘the world was soft’. The film follows the Aboriginal people of the Pilbara and their battle to preserve the largest concentration of rock art in the world, the Burrup Peninsula, from the ravages of a booming mining industry.
$15 unwaged, $20 waged.

Hobart Buddhist Meditation Centre

12 December 17 will be the last evening meditation for 2017 with low key meditations and inspiring readings to give you a break from the Christmas rush.

15 January to 21 January there will be a Retreat and working Bee at Dorje Ling Retreat Centre. For bookings and enquiries contact: http://tashicholing.net/about/contact/

Tasmanian Council of Churches:

In Hobart, Carols by Candlelight is being replaced this year by smaller services:

10 December 2017 from 5.00pm Family Carol Singing at All Saints’ Anglican Church in South Hobart, 339 Macquarie St. Led by a brass band and organ.

16 December from 8.30pm at Scots’ Memorial Church, 29 Bathurst St., Hobart. Led by the Summer Singers and Thirsty Ground.

17 December 2017 7-9pm Carols on the Hill at Guildford Young College, Hobart Campus. This is a free ticketed event. See www.eventbrite.com.au ‘Carols on the Hill’.

Brahma Kumaris Meditation:

31 December 17 6.30-7.30pm Silent meditation for peace in the world at Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, 51 Risdon Rd, New Town.

13 January 18 9.30am-3.30pm, Silence Day to spread vibrations of peace and harmony through the world.

Way of St James

From Tasmanian Council of Churches:
12-13 January 2018 The Way of St James in the Huon Valley
Inspired by the famous Spanish El Camino of St James, this two day pilgrim walk provides an opportunity to reconnect with the spiritual dimensions of life. For more details and registration: www.waytostjames.com.au

United Nations Association of Australia: Tasmania Division

From UNAA Tas Save the date: Visit of ICAN and the Japanese ‘Peace Boat’ 2 February 2018

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work towards the recent Treaty. ICAN will hold a public forum in Hobart on 2 February next, in association with the “Peace Boat” visit. Details to follow.

Religions that Originate in India

At the recent Victorian Interfaith Conference in Bendigo, Bhakta Das of Iskcon mentioned discussions re the formation of an organisation for religions that originated in India, something like the JCMA – Jewish Christian Muslim Association. This might encompass Hinduism – and all its strands and groups, Buddhism – and all its strands and groups, Sikhism, Jainism, and some other small groups. Discussions are still unfolding, but this is a wonderful initiative. Watch this space for news.

Sacred Conversations

Sacred listening … Sacred speaking … Sacred silence … A time and place to share your faith in an atmosphere of deep respect, humility, peace and love. Join us for interfaith dialogue, prayer, meditation, music and more. You will be most welcome! For more information contact Julian 0401 673 016

Download the Flyer for this event

Pokies Reform

At the most recent meeting of the Tasmanian Council of Churches Executive (16 November 2017), concern was expressed for the welfare of some of the most vulnerable people in our community and the ways in which the welfare arms of the various Churches are working together in a variety of ways to support these people.

One example of a current initiative is the Pokies Reform Coalition. A number of individual Churches and/or their welfare agencies have already supported the Community Voice on Pokies Reform Coalition, which is comprised of 55 member organisations including local councils, not-for-profit service organisations, peak bodies, church-based groups and many others who see the harm caused by poker machines on a daily basis. The full list of members can be seen at: http://sarc.good.do/getthepokiesoutoftasmaniaspubsandclubs/pages/who-we-are/

The following motion was passed by the meeting:

That the TCC supports the lobbying against gambling in Tasmania and applies to the Community Voice on Pokies Reform Coalition to register the Council’s support for poker machine reform in pubs and clubs in Tasmania.

Heads of Churches were unanimous in their support for the motion. TasCOSS is now coordinating the coalition and Meg Webb at Anglicare has forwarded our response and request for inclusion.

If you are interested on an individual basis, I notice that the link above also gives information about sending a message to the Premier.

Regular Events

Intercultural Church: The Intercultural Christian Church welcomes you to join in services for worship at the Uniting Church, Main Rd Glenorchy on Sundays from 4.00pm. Enquiries: Raj Chopra 0405 668 155.

Sikhism: The Sikh Community welcomes everyone to Sukhmani Sahib and Kirtan diwans at the Gurudwara Nanak Darbar, 126 Roches Beach Rd., Roches Beach on Sundays from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

Faith Communities Council of Victoria

Fascinating report about various Faith responses to women affected by family violence: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-04/cross-to-bear-catholic-church-domestic-abuse/8680158

See also: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-14/unique-project-aims-to-fight-against-islamophobia/9145750

The Women’s Task Force of the Parliament of the World’s Religions:

The Women’s Task Force of the Parliament of the World’s Religions calls upon religious traditions and spiritual communities to stand up and address sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment that is occurring within religious contexts and throughout mainstream society…

We invite our humans family and especially those in positions of leadership and power to join us in affirming to:

  • call upon all religious leaders and adherents to challenge and change harmful teachings and practices that justify discrimination and violence against women and girls
  • call upon the world’s religions to honour and uphold the dignity, well-being and fundamental human rights of women and girls
  • commit ourselves to this collective undertaking to heal the heart of our humanity by releasing women, girls, men and boys from the bondage of gender-based discrimination and violence.

We do so with hope and with faith in our future…

Religious and spiritual communities, though complicit participants in a global culture of sexual violence, can and should draw from each of their divine and sacred inspirations the courage that is required now to end this cycle.

Climate Action Task Force of the Parliament of the World’s Religions:

Declaration on Climate Change and Health from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

In peace,
Convenor RfP Tasmania Branch
Vice Chair, Religions for Peace Australia
Phone 6272 6521

Religions for Peace Tasmania

Religions for Peace Tasmania

This page is offered for information only; the material herein in not specifically endorsed nor approved by Religions for Peace Australia