From December 3rd upto December 9th 2009, Melbourne hosted the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions. Here, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Monash University – Professor Gary Bouma – chair of the Board of Management of the Melbourne Parliament – looks back at the achievements of this momentous event.
PWR 2009 Melbourne has left indelible traces in the ways Melbourne’s highly diverse religious groups interrelate and are dealt with by local, State and Commonwealth governments.
Wherever I go people recall the colour, drama and eye-opening events and encounters enjoyed thanks to PWR. Their experience continues to motivate and inform their daily negotiation of religious diversity in Melbourne.
As a direct result of PWR 2009 each of the city councils that make up greater Melbourne have established Interfaith Councils which promote local efforts to promote living well together and are the first point of call in cases of crisis or conflict.
The State governments of several stripes since 2009 have continued bi-partisan support for PWR inspired and energised programs promoting increased understanding and trust based on respectful interaction.
The youth who participated and performed continue to have a commitment to dialogue, understanding and mutual respect.
A truly beneficial legacy.
Prof. Gary D. Bouma,
Chair of the Board of Management for the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions
2009 Melbourne Parliament Logo and literature © Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions; Images courtesy Parliament Photographer Ray Messner, Flickr