Hindu Council organised a multi-faith Eco-Forum in 2011

Hindu Council organised a multi-faith Eco-Forum in 2011

Hindu Council helped prepare and launch the Hindu Climate Action Kit

Hindu Council has also been involved in ARRCC’s Advocacy work with the federal politicians in Canberra                                      

Association with Faith Ecology Network (FEN) FEN is an interfaith network of people connecting faith with ecological awareness and care. HCA has participated with FEN since 2008 as an active member of its Working Group, participating in its annual seminars, prayer vigils and other promotional activities.

Association with FoodFaith FoodFaith aims to build bridges across different faith, cultural and community groups through our shared learnings and practices of food and sustainability. Hindu Council has been associated right from the launch of the FoodFaith initiative in March, 2015.

HCA’s Shri Sai Paravastu and family has been involved in setting up the Community Garden in Lane Cove.

 

 

 

 

 

Hindu Council releases a of Multi-faith Music CD

Hindu Council of Australia – Release of Multi-faith Music CD

The Hindu Council of Australia organised a Multi-faith Music CD Release function from 4pm till 6.00pm on Saturday 1 July 2017 at Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre in Canberra. The theme of the program was “Theology and Music”.

The music CD was produced by Mr Divyanshu Pota who recorded music from five separate traditions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and Hindu.

Prakash Mehta, PresidentMaster of Ceremonies Mr Thamo Sri Tharan introduced the program and asked Mr Prakash Mehta to welcome all guests on behalf of the Hindu Council of Australia ACT Branch and Dr Himanshu Pota to speak on the theme.

The program commenced with a prayer by Mr Lakshman Prasad and the lighting of lamp by the leaders of the various faiths present:The Most Rev Christopher Prowse Archbishop of Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn; Mr Hasib Khan of Canberra Islamic Centre; Mr Greg O’Rourke of Tibetan Buddhist Centre;and Sri Prachar of Sri Chinmoy Centre. Leaders of other faith leaders present were: Mr Bill Arnold of the Jewish Community (being Sabbath he remained silent); Ms Shahnaz Kouhbor (Baha’i); Mr Amardeep Singh (Sikh); Ashok Jain (Jain); Dr Pal Dhall (Satya Sai); and Mr Lhakpa Tshoko (representative of His Holiness the Delai Lama for Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia).

Speakers amplified the role of music and presented music from their faiths providing further evidence of commonality and its transcendent nature.

Canberra Hindi School children Setu, Sanjana, Holi-jai, Isha, Priyanshi and Shivam sang a song in Hindi and Mr Yash Agasti played a favourite hymn of Mahatma Gandhi “Vaishnava Jan To Tene Kahiye” on key board.

Mrs Ira Patkar of the Mudrakar Kathak Dance School presented a classical Kathak Dance.

After Mr Santosh Gupta presented the vote of thanks the program concluded with a universal prayer sung by Mr Manish Chopra and his daughter Gauriof the Divine Life Society.

Attendees applauded the initiative by the Hindu Council on selecting a topic that provided a fresh insight on Religion and Faith. The gathering ended notingthat music can and does create good bonding and togetherness among the faiths of the world.

The meeting concluded with vegetarian refreshments and a meet and greet session.

 

 

 

 

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

Karma Kitchen gets invited to Food Faith Harmony Day

In recognition of Karma Kitchen project of Hindu Council, FoodFaith has invited Karma Kitchen to join Blacktown Harmony Day celebration on Wednesday, March 21st, at Bowman Hall. The event will be from 11am to 1pm (possibly starting earlier.)

The event is being organized by a number of organisations including Blacktown Council, SydWest, FoodFaith, FEN, TAFE, Relationships Australia and Settlement Services. 

The ‘Breaking Bread’ initiative that FoodFaith is co-ordinating as part of Harmony Day involves different cultures and faiths presenting samples of their breads with accompanying information on its history, uses, customs, associated festivals, sustainability elements and recipes. Hindu Council Karma Kitchen would bring along enough ‘pieces’ to feed a few hundred people. Karma Kitchen may also provide herbs or spices for a communal dip or spice for a collaborative symbol.

Hindu Council has been involved right from the launch of the FoodFaith initiative in March, 2015 by Judith Friedlander, Senior Researcher at the UTS Institute for Sustainable Future. I have been in contact with her for many years in connection with our campaign to reduce meat consumption. I was one of the Faith Leaders who spoke at the launch ceremony.

Mr Sai Paravastu of Karma Kitchen has been involved in setting up the Community Garden in Lane Cove, setup and being run by the FoodFaith group.

Mr Sai Parvastu and Vijai Singhal, Director Hindu Council would be representing Hindu Council in this event.

HCA youth join Youth Parliament of World’s Religions Cabinet

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.