Hindus missing out Big time on School Chaplaincy

The National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP), is an Australian federal government programme which funds chaplains in Australian primary and secondary schools. The chaplains are to provide “support and guidance about ethics, values, relationships and spirituality”.[1] The grants are $20,000 a year for schools and $24,000 for schools in remote areas.[2]

Hindus are missing out big time on School Chaplaincy. Hindu students form 2.5% of school students in NSW but there is not a single known Hindu Chaplain in any of the schools.

While the NSCP is formally not religion-specific, the chaplains employed under the programme are disproportionately Christian. In 2011, one study stated that 96.5% of the chaplains employed under the programme were Christian, while only 64% of Australians identified as Christian (based on the 2006 census). By contrast, 0.01% of the chaplains were secular, whereas 19% of Australians identified as having no religion. Buddhism, the second largest religion, is followed by 2% of Australians, but only 0.03% of the school chaplains. Islam was followed by 1.7% of Australians, but only 0.9% of school chaplains. Judaism is the only religion which had a roughly proportionate representation, with 0.45% of the Australian population following the religion, and 0.5% of school chaplains.

(Source Wikipedia and Census)

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

 
 
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

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

Hindu Council on Australia Day 2018

A large chunk of Hindu Council of Australia team was invited by the NSW state premier for the Australia Day celebrations at Bowman Hall in Blacktown. The event was attended by about 300 community leaders. Four representatives of Hindu Council were present. It was opened by a cultural dance performed by the aboriginal custodian of the land. Multicultural Minister was deputed by the Premier to participate as a Kangaroo performer being chased by a Dingo. The state government it seems has accepted Hindu Council as an important voice of the community.

Dr Agar honoured on Australia Day

His dedication to the Hindu society has earned Professor Nihal Agar the membership of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List.

This resident of viagrausa-online.com – info Lane Cove is not your ordinary Australian. He came to Australia way back in 1967 to the University of New England on a post-doctoral Fellowship. In 2009, he retired as the Professor and Head of the Department of Physiology from there.

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He is also the founding member of one of the largest organisations dedicated to the Hindus of the world. Dr Agar also founded the Ekal Foundation Australia in 2007 and joined the Hindu Council of Australia in 2010.

Such is his dedication towards the Hindu community that he earned himself the membership of the Order of Australia. Twenty territory citizens were honoured on January 26 marking the Australia Day Order.

Nihal Singh Agar received this award for this service to the Hindu community in Australia. He has been behind promoting cross-cultural cooperation.

Today, he is an honorary associate in the school of molecular bioscience at the University of Sydney.

He was among the 824 Australians honoured with 613 General Division appointments in the Order of Australia and 211 Australians recognised through meritorious and military awards.

Dr Nihal Singh Agar
  • Chairman, Hindu Council of Australia, since 2009
  • Representative, Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations, current
  • Representative, Deepavali Advisory Committee, Community Relations Commission, 2012
  • Founding President, Hindu Education and Culture Centre, since 2012.
  • Founding President, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, 2004-2010; Executive Committee Member,
  • Founding President, Vishva Hindu Parishad, 1990-2005.
  • Founding Member, Sri Venkateswara Temple Association, since mid-1980s.
  • Volunteer, Australia Uttarakhand Relief Fund, 2013.
  • Member, Sub-Continent Ministerial Consultative Committee, Australian Government, 2012.
  • Member, Indian Ministerial Consultative Committee, New South Wales Government, since
  • 2011; Chairman, Education Sub-Committee, 2012.
  • Honorary Associate, School of Molecular Bioscience, University of Sydney, since 2001.
  • Former Professor and Head of Department, Department of Physiology, University of New
  • England; Faculty Member, 1967-2000.

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