On Sunday November 18th, approximately 265 people gathered at St. Alban's Comunity Centre for the 2018 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference. The event was hosted by the Brimbank & Maribyrnong Interfaith Network and the City of Brimbank, in association with the Faith Communities Council of Victoria.

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Proceedings commenced with various faith and community stands on display, which included fun activities, a delicious lunch and an opportunity for people to network.

stands1Left: Registration desk volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints   Right: Baha'i Faith Stand

stands1Left: Buddhist Tea Ceremony   Right: Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

stands1Left: Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria    Right: Hennah Painting

stands1Left: Try on a Turban    Right: Arabic Calligraphy

stands1Food Provided by Nayran Catering

A wonderful Welcome to Country was given by Aunty Julianne Axford, which was followed by dignitary speeches from Councillor Tachos from the City of Brimbank; Commander Stuart Bateson from Victoria Police - click here to view speech; and Helen Kapalos, Chair of Victorian Multicultural Commission. Master of Ceremonies was the Reverend Ray Gormann, from the Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network. A statement on the Social Costs of Gambling Harm was read out by Reverend Ian Smith, Secretary of the Faith Communities Council of Victoria. Click here to view statement.

stands1Left: Rev Ray Gormann (Master of Ceremonies)      Middle: Rev Ian Smith, Faith Communities Council of Victoria
Right: Helen Kapalos, Victorian Multicultural Commission

This year’s keynote theme was on the 'Social Cost of Gambling Harm’. Keynote speaker was the Reverend Tim Costello, spokeman and director of Alliance for Gambling Reform & Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia. Tim spoke on how Australians have become the world's most prolific gamblers, as gambling is normalised in our society and marketed as entertainment. But the social costs of gambling harm are enormous: relationship difficulties; emotional or phychological distress; financial, health, cultural problems etc. And these negative effects seem to fall disproportionately on those with low incomes and the disadvantaged, including culturally, linguistically and religious diverse communities. Click here to view keynote speech.

stands1Left: Rev Tim Costello, Alliance for Gambling Reform & Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia
Right: Commander Stuart Bateson from Victoria Police

Upon the conclusion of dignitary speeches, a number of workshops were conducted throughout St. Alban's Community Centre. Workshops titles were:
1. The Social Cost of Gambling Harm (A Faith Response)
2. Freedom of Religion Vs Freedom of Artistic Expression
3. Living the Change: Faithful choices for a flourishing world tradition
4. Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme

For a description of each workshop click here

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Left: Workshop 1 - The Social Cost of Gambling Harm: A Faith Response
Right: Workshop 2 - Freedom of Religion Vs Freedom of Artistic Expression

stands1Left: Workshop 3 -  Living the Change: Faithful choices for a flourishing world tradition
Right: Workshop 4 - Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme

Entertainment during the day included the Brimbank Multicultural Community Choir, led by Veronica Gauci and singing in over 20 languages; and the Vietnamese Lion Dance whose dance symbolised good luck, health and prosperity.

stands1Left: Brimbank Multicultural Community Choir   Right: Vietnamese Lion Dance

The conference was wrapped up by Barry Balta, Chair of Brimbank & Maribyrnong Interfaith Network, who thanked the organisers and participants and handed the baton (message stick) back to Murray Davies, Chair of the Faith Communities Council of Victoria. Murray then officially announced the 2019 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference will be held in Springvale on Sunday November 17th 2019, in partnership with the Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong and the City of Greater Dandenong. Delegates from both the Brimbank & Maribyrnong Interfaith Network and the Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong were invited on stage.

stands1Left: Brimbank & Maribyrnong Interfaith Network delegates (2018) hand the baton to delegates from the Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong (2019)

 

Further Information on the 2018 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference

 

 

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