Hindus in Victoria advise Premier on Multicultural issues

By: Makrand Bhagwat.

Hindu Council of Australia Victoria is a member of the Multifaith Advisory Group under the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) , which advises the Premier and the minister for multicutural affairs on faith related matters in the community.
Some of the issues MAG discussed in the recent times were the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, LGBTI inclusion in the broader community, Family Violence, Issues related to Islamic community and achieving social cohesion to name a few.
MAG Chair is Helen Kapalos, who is also the Chair for Victorian Multicultural Commission. Helen organised a meeting with the Premier and the Minister way back in Apr-May this year and scheduled it for 15th August, which was yesterday.
HCA was represented in this meeting. Although the meeting was short, some of the recent issues were discussed. The meeting started on the backdrop of the recent comments made in the Senate by Katter’s party Senator Fraser Annings about bringing back the white Australia policy and opposing to Islamic migration. The MAG unanimously condoned Senator’s comments.
The other issue which was discussed was about the South Sudanese youth violence in the recent past in Melbourne suburbs. Bishop Philip Huggins from the Anglican Church said that he is working with the Sudanese community on this issue. All the faith communities expressed their support and asked if they could help. The Premier also commented that steps are being taken to provide training and job opportunities to the South Sudanese youth to bring them into the mainstream.
The Premier announced financial assistance of $600,000 to MAG which was welcomed by all faith leaders.
HCA will work closely with the MAG in future to positively contribute on all emerging issues.
After the meeting I personally thanked the Premier on attending the Indian national flag hoisting ceremony over the week end at the Federation Square.
Thank you and regards
Makarand Bhagwat

 

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Diwali celebrations in Sydney

Hindu Council of Australia has organized a number of celebrations of Deepavali festival around Sydney. Hindu Council has been celebrating Diwali for last twenty years in Sydney and has been the first Hindu organization to bring the festival of lights to Indians and Australians. For more information click here.

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Hindus participate in City2Surf for charity

By:Vikas Chopra.

City2Surf is an annual run for fun event in Sydney. Eighty Thousand people took part in the annual fun run this year running/walking a stretch of 14 km from Sydney’s Hyde Park through the city’s eastern suburb to Bondi beach.

Hindu organizations in Sydney and their members participated in the fun run this Sunday 12th August 2018. Hindu Council Team members started the day started meeting other participants @ Hyde Park in Sydney. About  30 participants (from Hindu Council of Australia & Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh Team) did warm up exercises and Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) before moving to their respective run schedules.

Renga Rajan completed City2Surf in 98 minutes.

Mr Renga Rajan completed the entire run in just 98 minutes.

Congratulations to the entire team many of whom donated their sponsorship money to Hindu Benevolent Fund.

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Sri Sitarama Kalyanam taking shape

A team of 40 volunteers has got together to plan Sri Bhadrachalam Sitaram Kalyanam Utsav being planned for 3rd and 4th of November to be celebrated as a part of Hindu Council of Australia’s annual Diwali festival. This year is a special occasion. It is the 20th year for celebrating Diwali in Australia.

Sri SItarama Kalyanam will have extensive decoration, cultural program and possibly a running commentary on the marriage of Rama and Sita being performed on the stage, as well. Temples want to have Rath-Yatra as a part of the marriage procession and it all depends on various permissions needed from the Police and road authorities.

After the procession comes into the Ground it is being proposed to have a huge “Kolla-attam” i.e. Dandiya style dance and to get a huge number of people of all ages to participate in it. During the 3 hours allocated to wedding there will be some performances with the dance schools and teachers if feasible. During the evening cultural time there will be a mix of other performers.

There is still a lot of detail to be worked out. so give the team some time to get back to you with more details. Rest assured it will be a packed program and evenly balanced program.
 
Would you like to help with decoration of this grand community event. If yes, then please express your interest by filling out the volunteer form here.
 
You can also express your interest to receive further information about the event by signing up here.
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Diwali themed Art Exhibition

By:Sonali Pathak. 

The Hindu Council of Australia and the Strathfield Council are hosting a unique ‘Diwali’ themed art exhibition.

Visit 

https://www.facebook.com/events/501809670275366/

to register your interest.

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City2Surf Join Hindu team to run for fun

By:Bimal Joshi.
 
City2Surf is a popular road running event held annually in Sydney covering a 14-kilometre course. The event is a “fun run” as well as a race, attracting both competitive runners and community participants who can choose to run or to walk.
 
Did you know: City2Surf is the fifth-largest running event in the world by participation (86,696, 68,930).
 
Location: Sydney CBD to Bondi Beach
Established: 5 September 1971
Distance: 13.907 kilometres (8.641 mi)
Event date 12/08/18
Run start time 9.30 am 
80,000 participants- world funniest run
 
Hindu Council of Australia is joining the run for the first time as a Parivar (family) run for unity and for making donations to a charity.
Route map is seating on website, further planning details are on the way.
 
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Youth PoWR chooses a Hindu youth speaker

By:Vincy Jain.

A Youth Parliament of World’s Religions is being held next month. Hindu council of Australia is participating as one of the organizers.

Our youth member Vincy has been participating in its cabinet meetings and has sent the following report.

Our meeting was held at this year’s venue, the Soka Gakkai International in Olympic Park, where we had a proper site visit before commencing the meeting. Our caterers, AJs Indian restaurant catered this meeting by bringing samosas and vegetarian biryani, which everybody loved! The highlight of our meeting was Mark’s presence. Being a Youth PoWR rep in the past, he brought a lot of insight, advice and knowledge to the table to make sure this years event is fruitful. We decided on the agenda for the event, including interactive activities among the audience, and planning out how we will have the set up for the day. We also had some marketing completed, such as the group picture and video for the FB event page. “

Vincy will be speaking as the Hindu speaker in this year’s event. This year Youth PoWR will be held at SGI Australia, 3 Parkview Dr, Sydney Olympic Park from 2:00PM to 5:00PM on Sunday, 19th August.  There is free parking available at the place, however you will need to be in early before spaces run out. The venue is also a five minute walk from Sydney Olympic Park Station.

Youth Parliament of World’s religions is an annual conference for the youth and by the youth to raise and discuss issues affecting youth and is an interfaith event. It holds this event in the month of September every year. 

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International Yoga Day at The Ponds

By: Tara Sharma

Hindu Council of Australia in conjunction with Art of Living Foundation celebrated Yoga Day at The Ponds suburb of Sydney. The event was attended by about 50 participants and the emphasis was placed on Yoga in everyday life.

International Yoga Day 2018 at The Ponds

The Ponds is located approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) north-west of the Sydney central business district in the Blacktown local government area and part of the Hills District. 

The Ponds has 1,730 Hindus or 15% of its population is Hindus.It is a very popular suburb with young families especially from the Hindu background due to its close proximity to many upcoming Hindu temples and Gurudwara.

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Hindu Unity Day unites Hindus in Canberra

Hindu Council of Australia invited about 15 Hindu organizations together on 16th June to discuss how can we preserve Hindu culture in Australia.

Each organization spoke about what they are doing and their idea of how we can preserve our culture in Australia. There was a unanimous agreement among all gathered Hindu organizations that such events to foster Hindu Unity should be held on a regular basis.

 

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Darwin revels in music and Yoga for four days

B: Kalindi,ASMY
The popular kirtan band, Ashraya, were invited to Darwin to be part of the festivities to celebrate International Day of Yoga. Over 4 nights, they brought peace and joy to the Darwin yoga and Hindu communities through the power of kirtan. 
 
 
The first night (Thursday 21st June) of kirtan was at the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets down on the beach as the sun sets. Hundreds of people listened and even participated in the kirtan! The kirtan was also livestreamed on Facebook and people from around the world joined in and commented how beautiful it was.
 
 
Friday night was hosted by a local vegan cafe, Kings Wholefoods Artisan, and approximately 100 attended Ashraya’s Mystic Journey, a soundscape of pranayama, mantra, mindfulness and kirtan. A delicious pure vegetarian meal was provided by our hosts followed by ecstatic dancing and chanting of the sacred mantras.
 
There were two events on Saturday. The first was Yoga Day Festival where Ashraya concluded the asana practice with heartwarming, peaceful kirtan. Participants were mesmerized and expressed how wonderful it was to end a yoga practice with such a beautiful meditation. Ashraya then played at the Yoga Day Festival after party where approximately 50 people attended. Ashraya started with a gentle guided meditation which then built into an ecstatic dance. Everyone was so happy with big smiles all around. 
 
One of the band members, Radha Krishna das gave a talk on breaking bad habits and how the yoga system can break these by completely satisfying us within. The band also led more beautiful kirtan with approx 100 people in attendance. A delicious dinner was provided by the event volunteers. 
 
Darwin! we look forward to Ashraya again in the future!
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