On Sunday November 13th 2022, approximately 250 people gathered at the Hawthorn Arts Centre, for the 2022 Victorian Interfaith Networks Festival. The event was hosted by City of Boroondara and Boroondara Interfaith Network, in association with the Faith Communities Council of Victoria.

encore events centreVenue of 2022 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference: Hawthorn Arts Centre (Main Hall)

The day commenced with various faith and community stands on display (see below), a delicious lunch and an opportunity for people to meet and network.

vinf standsFaith Stands: Baha'i Community of Victoria (left) & De Jiao "Teaching of Virtue" (right)

vinf standsFaith Stands: Sikh Interfaith Council - Try on a Turbin (left) & Brahma Kumaris Australia (right)

vinf standsHawthorn Arts Centre, Chandelier Room: Faith & Community Stands

Official proceedings began with a 'Welcome to Country' given by Wurundjeri elder Uncle Colin Hunter Jr. This was followed by dignitary speeches from Councillor Jane Addis, Mayor of City of Boroondara; and Lunorphare (Luna) Folly, Youth Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Both Jane and Luna addressed the theme of 'What creates a sense of belonging for young people in a Multifaith and Multicultural society'. For more information, see videos below.

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Councillor Jane Addis, Mayor of City of Boroondara (left); Lunorphare (Luna) Folly, Victorian Multicultural Commission (right)

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Wurundjeri elder Uncle Colin Hunter Jr. (left); Dr Anna Halafoff, Associate Professor in Sociology at Deakin University (right)

Upon the conclusion of dignitary speeches, Dr Anna Halafoff, Associate Professor in Sociology at Deakin University, gave a study report on Australia's Generation Z. The study provides a powerful insight into how teenagers are making sense of the world around them. For more information, see video below. This was followed by panel discussions with young people from diverse faith and cultural backgrounds, who spoke on their respective community projects.

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Young people discussing community projects

The festival included two outstanding performances from (i) Kundalila (a-cappella sounds) and (ii) Nadanalaya Academy of Indian Classical Dance (Bharatanatyam dancing). For more information, see videos below.

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Kundalila - unique a-cappella sounds

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Nadanalaya Academy Of Indian Classical Dance - Ganesh Bharanathyam Dance

In the closing ceremony, the chair of the Faith Communities Council of Victoria, Reverend Bhakta Dasa, thanked the City of Boroondara and Boroondara Interfaith Network for hosting this year's event and presented their delegates (Emma, Dilnaz, Tiff and Sana) with a gift to mark the occassion. Bhakta then announced the 2023 hosts, which are the City of Merri-bek and Merri-bek Interfaith Network.  Merri-bek delegates (Trish, Hidayet, Petr and Sayanti) were invited to the stage, where they in turn invited everyone to attend the 2023 Victorian Interfaith Networks Festival, to be held on November 19th 2023 @ Coburg Town Hall. Before closing proceedings, Reverend Bhakta Dasa thanked the Master of Ceremonies, Nicole Subhani, for conducting a great job.

vinf closing ceremonyThe 2022 hosts, City of Boroondara & Boroondara Interfaith Network, pass the message stick to the 2023 hosts, City of Merri-bek & Merri-bek Interfaith Network,

 

Further Information on the 2022 Victorian Interfaith Networks Festival

 

Videos:

 

 

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