A new Hindu Education Centre coming up in Sydney

As Hindu population is growing rapidly in Australia (mostly due to migration), existing temples are struggling to cope up with the demand for spiritual guidance of Hindus. To keep up with the demand, a new Hindu Education and Culture Centre is being planned in western Sydney suburb of Riverstone.

Havan signifying the hand over of land by a donor to the trust is being planned on the site on 8th July 2018. 

According to its President, Prof Nihal Singh Agar OAM, the HINDU EDUCATION CENTRE SYDNEY Incorporated has several objectives, the core being:

  • Establish resources and facilities and centres of learning and teaching Hindutvam, including worship, inculcate spiritual practices and cultural behaviours of followers of Hinduism
  • Build and manage library, resource and research centre on Hinduism
  • Provide centralised facility for Hindu community
  • Provide support and promote activities of Hindu organisation.

The Centre’s constitution stipulates that income, property, profits and financial surplus of HINDU EDUCATION CENTRE SYDNEY, whenever derived, must be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of HINDU EDUCATION CENTRE SYDNEY as set out in this Constitution.  It also stipulates that the Centre shall not carry on business for the purpose of profit or gain to its individual Members and no portion of its income, property, profits and financial surplus may be paid, distributed to or transferred, directly, indirectly, by way of dividend, property, bonus or otherwise by way of profit, to the Members, or the Board of Directors, or their relatives, except as provided by this Constitution.

Ashraya Band celebrates International Day of Yoga with concerts in Darwin

To celebrate International Day of Yoga, the kirtan band Ashraya will be joining the festivities in Darwin. On their second tour to the Top End, they bring their world grooves and mellow sounds with beautiful ancient mantras that soothe the soul’s inner-most needs. 

Weaving together the mantras with amazing music, Ashraya brings a unique and creative approach to kirtan – from heart-warming, mellow harmonium chants to upbeat kirtan dance grooves. They will be performing at a number of events:

24th June | Habit Breaker ~ Freedom Maker

 
Ashraya is a Sanskrit word meaning shelter. In the beautiful, heartwarming mantras sung in kirtan, we find our shelter from the storms of life. They have performed at a number of locations including the MindBodySpirit festival recently in Sydney and with Hindu Balinese community in the north east region of Bali. 
 
 
The band members are all long term practitioners of Bhakti Yoga in the Vaisnava tradition. Their passion is share the joy that kirtan and the deeper spiritual aspect of yoga bring to others regardless of their backgrounds. They have been inspired to share the yoga wisdom and teachings so that others may apply these in their own lives to optimise their whole well being. You can also catch Ashraya performing regularly on the Gold Coast at the Mantra Room in Burleigh Heads. 

NSW Parliament to toughen Hate Laws

The hate speech laws in Australia give redress to someone who is the victim of discriminationvilification, or injury on grounds that differ from one jurisdiction to another.

Under the proposed amendments introduced to the Parliament, individuals who incite violence against a community or person based on their race could face up to three years in prison and an $11,000 fine.

The bill, if passed, will create a new offence in the Crimes Act of “publicly threatening or inciting violence” on the grounds of race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex or HIV/AIDS status.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman said current provisions in the Anti-Discrimination Act have been ineffective in prosecuting people accused of encouraging violence and have not led to a successful prosecution in 30 years.

[Click here to read more ….]

Source includes Wikipedia.

White Racist posters appear in a Queensland town

Ayr is located 88 kilometres (55 mi) south of Townsville on the Bruce Highway between Top end of Queensland and Brisbane to its south. produces the most sugar cane per square kilometre in Australia. The town has a total population of 8,281 according to the 2016 census of which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 7.7%. Unlike other cities, most of the people living in Ayr were born in Australia and 85.4% of people only spoke English at home. The most common responses for religion were Catholic 37.3%, Anglican 15.7% and No Religion 15.0%.[1]

If you visit this town on your way to beautiful beaches of northern Queensland, you would feel the same kind of welcome as you do in  most small towns of Australia. BUT not any more.

The town has become the center of controversy when a racist poster was placed up in one of the shops, telling foreigners and backpackers that they’re not welcomed. Although Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin condemned the people responsible for the poster,[10] the memories of a white only Australia policy that was abolished a long time ago, still seems to find favour among the shopkeepers. Little do they realize that they are driving the tourists away from their town and risk the town of Ayr disappear in an economic black hole like  many mining/agricultural towns in Queensland. 

The profanity-laden poster pasted on a shop window reads: “Unless you are of Northern European descent, speak English and you are not a thot (sic) or degenerate, f*** off, because you are not welcome here”. (Thot, is an Australian slang for “that ho over there”.)

Within hours of being notified, Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin issued a statement condemning the “vile” poster targeting backpackers. “I’m appalled … the person responsible should hang their head in shame,” Cr McLaughlin said. “We wholeheartedly welcome backpackers to our region, not only for the crucial work they do in our horticultural industries but for the cultural diversity they add to our community.”

[Click here to read more …]  

[And see the offensive poster here ….]

Source from Wikipedia also.

 

Australia’s first religious same sex marriage performed in a Synagogue

Australia has recently permitted same sex marriage. While many such marriages have been held in civil ceremonies, most religions have been reluctant to embrace the change and incorporate LGBT in their religious marriage ceremonies.

By Dolly442 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20285641 

Now, a first religious same sex marriage has been performed in a Synagogue.

[Click here to read more ….]

Ray Williams MP wants to stamp out racism in Australia

Some leaders have recently made racist and divisive statements affecting residents of NSW and Australia.

Upset by these developments, Hon. Ray Williams MP will host a round table with Community Leaders to explore ways to stamp out racism in Australian community.

He is holding a forum on the same 2:15pm, Saturday 26 May 2018

 

Tiny Australian towns are inclusive but lack diversity

While large Australian cities have seen a large influx of different ethnic and religious groups, tiny Australian towns although considered inclusive by some authors, lack diversity of ethnicity and religions. They seem to live in a time warp that existed in Australia before 1970’s. Most new immigrants avoid country towns for their lack of employment opportunities. Most Hindus who came to Australia after abolition of whites only policy, settled in cities though a handful of Hindu doctors  did settle in small towns. These doctors were respected and seen as as an important asset to medical services starved communities.

However most Hindus who came to Australia later, started settling in large cities as a rush of IT and then technicians came in. Later, students immigrating started drifting to medium towns for jobs and small businesses. It seems that tiny towns of Australia are still living in their old familiar ways. It is a matter of time, perhaps one full generation before these new migrants start affecting the way of life of tiny towns as they have done to large cities.

[Click here to read more …]

Freedom to teach religion in schools under threat according to Christians in NSW

May 5th, 2018

Rev. Hon. Fred Nile MLC, and Paul Green of Christian Democratic Party, wish to introduce the Anti-Discrimination (Religious Beliefs and Religious Activities) Bill in the Parliament in the state of New South wales in Australia.

According to Paul Green, MLC, the freedom of religious people and institutes are under attack and that this Bill will protect their rights, including protection from mistreatment on the grounds of faith. He is deeply concerned that without this bill, the ability to teach religion in schools and operate charities with Government funding will come under attack. 

“We are working to safeguard the ability of faith-based Schools to teach faith-based values without penalty, as well as ensuring religious groups do not lose their charitable status because of their faith.” said Hon. Paul Green MLC.

Rev. Hon .Fred Nile MLC says that free conscience including freedom to pursue ones own faith, is fundamental to Australian social values. “Every human being should live by their own conscience, including religious conscious” concluded Hon. Paul Green MLC. 

Hon Paul Green MLC is seeking the support of all faith groups to show their support for his Bill.

You can read more about the Bill at his website here.

Hindu Council of Australia welcomes the Integration multiculturalism model of Australia

Australian government has been agonizing at the growth of terrorism among some of the immigrant communities in Europe and USA. Its think tanks have been working hard on how to keep Australian multiculturalism a continuing success story. The Australian Government wants newly arrived migrants to succeed by integrating and make the most of the opportunities while maintaining a cohesive society.

Hindu Council of Australia welcomes the Integration multiculturalism model of Australia and calls upon all Hindus in Australia to integrate as proud citizens. Hindus can demonstrate their successful integration in Australia by

  1. Taking employment and contribute to society and have an immediate network of Australian people to interact with.
  2. Become an entrepreneur even it if it is by starting a small business thereby creating business and employment in Australia
  3. Interact with your neighbors and become part of local community groups
  4. Secure success for your children, which in large part is done through higher education.
  5. Stay out of poverty and flourish.
  6. Reach the highest levels of society; in business, politics and the arts.
  7. Support Australian charities

Most Hindus place a strong emphasis on employment as most Hindu migrants to Australia have been skilled migrants only. Many Hindus who came as non-skilled migrants under family reunion, students or other schemes have taken up small business like grocery shops, franchise of food restaurants etc. There are very few Hindus who live in poverty after having been in the country for more than a few years.

Hindu Council of Australia has started many projects to help Hindus achieve these goals of integration. These projects include :

  • Karma Kitchen – to help feed the homeless and thereby help the Australians in poverty
  • Hindu Chaplaincy – To help people in crisis by providing emotional support in Australian institutions like Hospitals, Jails etc
  • Diwali Art Space Exhibition – To bring Hindu Art among Australian Art galleries and buyers
  • Gargi Woman Award – To recognize contribution of individual Australian women on behalf of Australian Hindu community
  • International Yoga Day – Help other communities in Australia to benefit from Yoga
  • Interfaith forums – To mingle with and increase the understanding between communities
  • Ecology and Vegetarianism – Hindu Council has been working with a number of multi-faith organisations like the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change and Faith Ecology Network to promote actions for addressing the impact of climate change.
  • Education – Provide a platform of eLearning for non-Hindu individuals and Australian institutes like Police etc to learn about Hindu sensitivities and Hinduism
  • Diwali Mela – to preserve music, dance and other culture and provide a glimpse of it to non-Hindus
  • Organ donation – to promote cohesiveness between communities and health of Australians

Hindu council plans to start new projects to

  • Bring Hindus boys and girls into popular sports like Cricket, Swimming and Rugby
  • Encourage Hindu youths to join police, army, the legal profession and trades such as plumbing, mechanics, electrical repair, tiler etc so that Hindu youth easily integrate with wider Australian community
  • To help those in politics to connect with Hindus at gross root level and to raise Hindu voice in elected bodies
  • Encourage Hindus in Business and mentor each other through a Business Council.

According to Alan Tudge, MP and Minister for Citizenship and Multicutural Affairs of Australia, our multiculturalism is different to what is termed “multiculturalism” in other nations (particularly European ones) due to our strong emphasis on integration.

Integration according to Minister Tudge, means that a person who comes here shares our values, engages in the community and has full rights to government services. In exchange they must obey the law, participate and uphold democratic principles and support other Australians. They make friends at work and in their neighbourhood and hopefully join or start sporting or other community clubs.

This model of integrated multiculturalism is different to an “assimilationist” model or a “separatist” model. Assimilation is the idea that we must all be identical, and abandon our cultural and religious heritage. We don’t expect or want that in Australia, says the Minsiter. Where there are conflicts in cultural behaviours, Australian law and values must prevail, but otherwise we welcome the diversity that people can bring from being born elsewhere.

A separatist model of multiculturalism, while being the opposite to assimilation, is when people bring their entire practices, languages and cultures and plant them into the new land, with little desire to share or mix in with their local community. They live side by side, rather than merged with the existing population. 

Separatism is resulting in the “slow death of Europe” as groups effectively colonise parts of it and erode the values that made Europe so prosperous, free and (consequently) attractive to migrants.

The successful Australian model is one of integration; not assimilation and not separatism, says the Australian Government.

Minister’s speech can be found here

Surinder Jain,

National Vice-President and Director

Hindu Council of Australia

Australian city Mayor promotes Yoga for mental health

CITY of Gosnells Mayor Glenn Dewhurst has urged kids to take up yoga as a way to help maintain mental health. Mayor Dewhurst joined children at Leisure World in Thornlie to promote the centre’s junior yoga program and encouraged youths to take up yoga to help manage stress.

Gosnells is a suburb of Perth, located within the City of Gosnells. Gosnells is approx. 20 kilometres south-east of Perth CBD.

[Click to read more ….]