Raising Peace 2023
A Multifaith Meditation on Peace
September 24 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The Faith Communities Council of Victoria, the Victorian Council of Churches, Humanists Australia, Religions for Peace Australia and others presented reflections, prayers, meditations and songs that inspire a longing for peace from diverse faiths and other traditions. Peaceful relationships and peaceful communities are central in all faith traditions and these voices are important to hear to inspire us to work for peace. These contributions affirmed the peace in our body, mind, heart and soul that is the foundation for our visible efforts towards peace. Humanists, Rationalists and the Spiritual but not Religious cohorts were all included in the prayers and affirmations.
Prayers and Meditations on Hiroshima Day
Sunday 6th August 2023
On 6 August 1945 the first bomb was dropped on the centre of Hiroshima and later Nagasaki causing untold suffering and that time and continued suffering. Despite this in the World today we the nuclear threat is ever present between North and South Korea and Ukraine and Russia.
On Sunday 6th August 2023 Religions for Peace Australia was joined by faith leaders both men and women from Religions for Peace Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific Women of Faith Network and the Asia-Pacific Interfaith Youth Network. There were Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim prayers and meditations.
Watch this video:
The importance of allyship in responding to targeted violence and discrimination.
At the Annual General Meeting of Religions for Peace Australia (18 June 2023), Professor Nicole Asquith of the University of Tasmania gave one talk on the importance of allyship in responding to targeted violence and discrimination. This talk gave an overview about targeted violence in Australia, and then focus on the importance of allyship in responding to hate, prejudice and violence. Watch this video.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, gender or religion. Every day, millions of people are directly impacted by domestic violence. In the context of domestic violence, religious actors and institutions can both help and harm – but they are not neutral.
On 25 November 2022 – in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – Religions for Peace Australia invited faith communities to share strategies taken up for the prevention of violence against women. Here we share the work of Deacon Oliver Slewa, Program Manager, Domestic Violence, New South Wales Ecumenical Council. Watch this video
Faith leaders may fear that secular advocates encourage women to divorce, for example, while secular advocates may fear that faith leaders and community members pressure women to stay in dangerous relationships, using religious beliefs to justify abuse and potentially blaming women for their own victimization.
On 25 November 2022, Professor Cathy Vaughan presented on Preventing violence against women and family violence in faith settings . Watch this video.
UN World Day of Tolerance 2021
Religions for Peace Australia actively promotes peace in Australia in all dimensions of life: those at home, and the homeless; those who seek to build a home in Australia, and those who are sequestered outside Australia; those who have safety in and outside the home, and those who are victims of human trafficking and slavery; those who seek to foster harmony, cooperation and understanding among the faith communities and spiritual groups in Australia, and for those who have no religion – who, nonetheless are women and men of goodwill and human values. In this regard, to observe International Day of Tolerance for 2021, Religions for Peace Australia has prepared one video with prayers and talks from members of different religions and faith paths, on the topic of Tolerance. Read more – and view the video here
Religions, Peace, and the Moral Issues of Autonomous Weapons
Australian Quakers – in collaboration with Safe Ground, Religions for Peace Australia, United Religions Initiative, Pax Christi, the Multifaith Assocation of South Australia and the Canberra Interfaith Forum – hosted an online event on 22 September 2022 (in person and online) presenting the Australian Interfaith Response to the use of autonomous weapons – otherwise known as Killer Robots.
Due to our shared and growing concerns surrounding fully autonomous weapons, we held this event to explore the dangers of these weapons from different perspectives and how we can collectively take action to preserve our humanity and ban them.
Truth Telling in Australia
Pax Christi Australia – in collaboration with Religions for Peace Australia, jointly presented “Truth Telling in Australia” which was given by Sherry Balcombe, of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry. This session was recorded at Kildara Centre, Stanhope St, Malvern on Sunday 27 June 2021. Watch this video
Prayers for a time of Community Challenges
Australia is once again facing uncertainty about the future of Covid 19, the security of home and employment, the frailty of the aged and the messy spread and contagion of the Delta variant of Covid-19. Religions for Peace Australia has prepared a video of faith leaders from many traditions offering prayers for a time of uncertainty and Community Challenges. Watch this video
Indigenous Reconciliation and Faith: Walk Alongside to Build Religious Inclusivity and Acceptance
At the Annual General Meeting of Religions for Peace Australia (6 June 2021), Indigenous Woman Dr Anne Patel-Gray gave one talk about her work Walk Alongside to Build Religious Inclusivity and Acceptance and – as a Christian theologian and Doctor of Theology – told that Australia is not longer exclusively a Christian country but is now a multicultural and multifaith nation. The road forward for religions in Australia is an Interfaith road. In this article, we bring you the video of Dr Anne Pattel-Gray’s talk, and an overview of her work,What is Walk Alongside? Watch this video
Leading Faith Communities in Difficult Times
The Pandemic – and lockdown – have presented both religious leaders and faith communities with challenges, particularly with delivery of normal religious observances when faith communities were barred from meeting in common due Covid-Safe restrictions applied by the various states and territory administrations. Here, Religious for Peace Australia gives one video of leading faith communities in difficult times. Watch this video
Multifaith and Interfaith History of Australia
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. Watch this video
Mental Health and Covid-19
Religions for Peace Australia has produced a series of video outlining issues around Covid 19 and multifaith matters. In this video, Rev. Chris Parnell, Interfaith Minister, gives an overview of mental health issues, faith and spirituality addressing mental health and references a simple strategy and further resources for mental health. Watch this video
Racism in times of Covid-19
Religions for Peace Australia presents Racism in times of Covid-19, an account of racism and extremism in times of pandemic. This video – delivered by Emeritus Professor Desmond Cahill, OAM, touches on many bases and causes of racism generally, in addition to addressing far-right extremism in Australia, which has undoubtedly contributed to this issue. Watch this video
UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture 2022
On Tuesday 1 February 2022, Religions for Peace Australia (Victoria Branch and Tasmania Branch and the Multifaith Association of South Australia hosted the annual UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture – online. The lecture was given by Professor Douglas Ezzy, Professor of Sociology, University of Tasmania. The topic addressed by Professor Ezzy was Religious freedom, discrimination, and living well together. Watch this Video
UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture 2021
On 10 May 2021, the Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism in partnership with Religions for Peace Australia and the Canberra Interfaith Forum hosted the annual UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture at the Theo Notaras Centre. The lecture was given by the indigenous Senator, Sen. Patrick Dodson. The topic addressed by Senator Dodson was Reconciliation and Multifaith: Aboriginal Worldviews and the Christian Heritage. Watch this Video
UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture 2019
Former head of Australia’s Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, gave an address on Religious Freedom in celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week 2019 – at Melbourne University – on 5th of February 2019 to an audience of 400 interested persons. The University of Melbourne Chaplaincy and Religions for Peace Victoria Branch, collaborated to deliver a lecture by Professor Emeritus Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2012 – 2017. Watch this video, “Religion and Human Rights in Australia” on this page.
UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture 2018
University of Melbourne Chaplaincy and Religions for Peace Australia – Victoria Branch presented one lecture on Tuesday 6th February 2018 on Appraising the Royal Commission Report into Sexual Abuse and Religious Organisations.
Prof. Des Cahill commenced by saying, “Child sexual abuse (CSA), including clerical child sexual abuse, has always been with us, inc. in New Testament and subsequently throughout history.” In the lead up to the Royal Commission, there were 89 ‘relevant reports’ since 1989. There were a total of 16 international reports.
The Methodology of the Royal Commission amounted to,
- Private sessions and written accounts: 8,846 people + 992 written accounts
- Notices that produced 1,234,114 documents
- Hearings (57 in 444 days with 45,341 pages)
- Case studies – 57 of which 10 were wrap-ups
- Papers: 11 issue papers + 5 consultation papers
- Community forums: 44 + 6 youth (inc. 3 in youth detention centres)
- Impact – Online: (1,211,450 Visitors)
- Impact – Police referrals: (2,252)
You can watch the video of Prof. Des Cahill’s full presentation and Q-and-A on this page
World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture 2015
In celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week, Monash University Chaplaincy and Religions for Peace Victoria Branch hosted a public event at Monash University on Thursday, 12 February 2015. Guest Speaker Associate Professor Nasir Butrous gave an address on Ethnicity, Religions and Harmony: Exploring Christian Muslim Relations in Iraq Today. A video of this talk can be viewed on this page.
UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture 2014
RMIT Chaplaincy and Religions for Peace Australia – Victoria Branch presented one lecture on Thursday 6th February 2014 on”Multifaith Australia – Reimagining Our Common Future“.
This lecture was given by Emeritus Professor Joseph Camilleri of Latrobe University. In his talk, Prof. Camilleri told, inter-alia,
The time, energy and resources spent on the dialogue of cultures and religions have certainly been an indispensable investment in Australia’s multicultural future. But it is time to take stock of what has been accomplished – both strengths and weaknesses – and to think creatively about ways of developing not just more harmonious relations between adherents of different faiths, but a more harmonious society, indeed a more harmonious world.
The Response to the talk was given by Maria Vamvakinou, MP, Federal Member for Caldwell. Maria is Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration and a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. Maria also co-convenes the Australian Parliamentary Friendship Group for Multiculturalism. You may watch both video on this page.
The Diversity of Jewish Religious Groups and their Settlement in Australia
The Annual General Meeting of the Victoria Branch of Religions for Peace was conducted at Temple Beth Israel, Alma Rd, St Kilda, on Sunday, 1 June 2014. Prof. Andrew Markus – Pratt Foundation Research Chair of Jewish Civilisation at Monash University – delivered a talk on The Diversity of Jewish Religious Groups and their Settlement in Australia. A video of this talk is available to watch on this page.
Uplifting Videos: LEARN TO BE HAPPY AGAIN!
Many books and experts focus on the physical, mental and emotional aspects of depression but few mention, or consider, the spiritual aspect. All of us are both body and spirit. Bill Bryson in his book ‘The Body’ refers to us as ‘occupants’ of the body.
To ignore this aspect of ourselves is like walking blindfolded through life. We will never be completely happy until we turn our attention inwards, reconnect with our essence and end our spiritual crisis.
Watch these Videos: Watch these Uplifting Videos!