NSW Govt gets serious about Religious education

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NSW state government had ordered a review of Special Religious Education(SRE) in 2015 and the report was received in 2017. Hindu scriptures are taught to students in schools by VHP and Chinmaya Mission under this special scheme. As a part of implementing many of these recommendations, an All Faith SRE (AFSRE) committee was formed. This committee represents different faiths including Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Bahai and Buddhist among others.

Another recommendation to have a formal syllabus, vetting of teachers identity, working with children check, training of teachers, a formal complain making and handling mechanism are being put in place and being made mandatory from this year. Two Hindu organizations Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Chinmaya Mission are both well on their way in complying with these new rules. AFSRE is providing guidance and hand holding to both of them. Both of them have taken the assistance of BBF process to comply with these guidelines.

Saiva Manaram is also registered as an SRE for providing education on Saiva Manram faith to school children and is also on its way to comply with the new rules.  As of this year, SRE’s who do not comply with the new process will not be allowed to teach in schools. Hindu teachers have prepared themselves well and are not affected. Hindu teachers will continue to teach in schools. AFSRE chair, thanked Hindu Council of Australia for having brought together the Hindu SRE providers to understand and fit in with the changes taking place.

Vic Govt funds $160,000 for Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple

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Australia’s Victorian State Government announced that it will provide more than $160,000 to the Hindu Society of Victoria to upgrade its Cultural and Heritage Centre, also known as the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple. Consecrated in 1994, the Society’s spiritual and cultural precinct, the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple, is now largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere. [Read More…]

A review of Australia’s religious freedoms

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Philip Ruddock appointed to conduct review of Australia’s religious freedoms

Fergus Hunter

Published: November 22 2017 – 8:10AM

The government has appointed Howard-era cabinet minister Philip Ruddock to lead a review into the legal protections for religious freedom in Australia, which has emerged as a contentious issue inside the Coalition ahead of the legalisation of same-sex marriage. 

Announcing the review, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said recent proposals for religious protections went beyond the immediate issue of marriage and warned any change should be undertaken carefully. 

“There is a high risk of unintended consequences when Parliament attempts to legislate protections for basic rights and freedoms, such as freedom of religion. The government is particularly concerned to prevent uncertainties caused by generally worded Bill of Rights-style declarations,” Mr Turnbull said.

Since the Australian people backed same-sex marriage in the postal survey, Coalition MPs have been pushing various proposals for religious exemptions, including allowing service providers to boycott weddings that conflict with their faith. One proposal would see a section of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights incorporated into the same-sex marriage bill.

Debate over the raft of proposed amendments has risked derailing the government’s plans to legislate the change by the end of 2017. 

Mr Ruddock, who retired from Parliament in 2016 and was recently elected as mayor of Hornsby, will conduct the review with an expert panel consisting of the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission Rosalind Croucher, retired federal court judge Annabelle Bennett and Jesuit priest Frank Brennan.

The Prime Minister said the review, which will report back by March 2018, would be a “timely expert stocktake” to inform any future legislation. 

Treasurer Scott Morrison, a vocal advocate for religious exemptions, said he was pleased with the review and emphasised it was “not a substitute” for relevant amendments to the same-sex marriage bill.

“Those amendments … will still be pursued and, as you know, I have a view that they should be supported,” Mr Morrison told ABC radio.

As the last attorney-general of the Howard government, Mr Ruddock introduced the 2004 amendment to the Marriage Act that explicitly defined it as a union between a man and a woman. 

He was recently the government’s special envoy for human rights and has strong connections to Australia’s multicultural and religious communities.

This story was found at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/philip-ruddock-appointed-to-conduct-review-of-australias-religious-freedoms-20171121-gzq9cl.html

Thank you Hindu Benevolent Fund

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An anonymous recipient of help from HBF thanks by sending following email:

Consulate general of India and Hindu council

I sincerely thanks for all the generous help and support provided to me in my time of hardship. I really appreciate and very thankful for the financial support provided in terms of paying my apartment rent, it actually made a huge difference and helped me a lot.


Donate generously to Hindu Benovolent Fund by [Clicking here]

HCA youth join Youth Parliament of World’s Religions Cabinet

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Hindu Council of Australia has joined seven other religious groups under the auspicious of Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim relations to conduct Youth Parliament of World’s Religions (PoWR). This will be the fourth year for Youth PoWR. The event is funded by the Columban Centre and may also be assisted by Multicultural NSW.

Youth PoWR is by youth, for youth, with youth. It is planned by a team of young people from various state and national peak religious bodies (the “Cabinet”) who met every month to arrange venue, speakers, process, catering and promotion; they do all the preparatory work and run the event. The speakers and the performers are all youth. The audience participants (the “Members of Parliament”) are all youth.

The youth meet in August/September which is called Youth Parliament and pass resolutions about religious harmony. Accordingly, seven young people from seven different religions addressed the Message to Civic and Religious Leaders

Here is some of what they had to say:

  • The leaders of our faith must foster cooperation and commitment on an ongoing basis, and lead us towards the common good in a world where the good is not always common. (Daniel Ang)
  • I call on the civic leaders present to inspire us with their dialogue and unify us with just policies. Policies which support the weakest and most vulnerable of society. Which embrace freedom of speech but protect an individual’s right to adhere to his or her faith. I call on civic leaders to resist a climate of fear-mongering and uncertainty. To remind us of the successes we are capable of achieving collectively. (Fay Muhieddine)
  • Leaders play a key role to educate the hearts of the youth to be open to all, embrace differences and respect one another, to learn how to live and breathe in harmony. You are the key to building a diverse and harmonious society of which we are all a part. (Su Sian Teh)

With ringing endorsements from the speakers, the message was then voted on and approved unanimously.

Ms Vincy Jain, our youth leader will be a part of the “Cabinet” which will make the event happen. During the planning of the event more youth will be involved. A large gathering of Hindu youth will be mobilized for the main event.


Bratabandha ceremony by Napalese Hindus 4th March

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Nepalese Hindu Society of Australia is organising a mass bratabandha ceremony for the very first time in Sydney on 4th March 2018.  The aim of the ceremony is to perform bratabandha on 51 batuks on a collective manner.

Click here if you would like to register your child