VIC Chapter

Hindu Concil of Australia (HCA) started actively working in Victoria since April 2014 although it was represented through some other Hindu organisations here since about 2010.

Victoria Team. Left to Right : Dhananjay, Makarand, Abhijit, Kumar, Vinutha, Uma Vijay

HCA actively partners with core Hindu organisations such as Hindu Swaymsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Seva International.

Other Engagement Activities:

  • Engaged with Multifaith Advisory Grooup (MAG) under Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria
  • Board member of Spiritual Health Victoria and is proudly providing Hindu Chaplaincy services in the health care
  • Member of peak faith communities organisation in Victoria FCCV participating in multifaith dialogue

Victoria Chapter – Recent Activities

Celebrate Deepavali in Melbourne

Shri Swami Narayan Temple Melbourne is celebrating a Diwali Mela on Oct 26th at the temple, in association with HCA.

Hindu Council of Australia spiritual carers reflect on end of life care

By: Makarand Bhagwat.

On July 20, 2019, 18 members of the spiritual care team of Hindu Council of Australia (Victoria) met at a community centre in Mount Waverley to discuss palliative care.
What matters most to you?
In response to the question “What matters most to you?”, it was not surprising that one’s faith, family life and peace of mind ranked high for this group. Few were aware of community based palliative care services and availability of palliative services at home, or even that people at end-of-life may choose to die at home.

Some of the spiritual carers had more than 20 years experience, providing support to members of the community in prison, hospital or at home.

Spiritual carers available to provide support
Recently, 11 newly recruited spiritual carers completed a 20-hour training based on the guidelines of Spiritual Health Association (formerly Spiritual Health Victoria). The new graduates have already begun to respond to hospital calls. Mr.Makarand Bhagwat, Director, Hindu Council of Victoria supervises the team.

To contact a spiritual carer from Hindu Council of Victoria, please call Makarand Bhagwat, 0401350310, email

Eleven new Hindu Spiritual Carers (Chaplains) certified in Victoria

By: Makarand Bhagwat, Victoria Chapter of Hindu Council of Australia.

Hindu Council of Australia in Victoria today proudly certified 11 Volunteer Spiritual Carers (Chaplains). This team of 11 volunteers went through a 20 hour training based on the guidelines of Spiritual Health Victoria ( now called as Spiritual Health  Association Ltd from 1 July 2019) and a 1000 word essay by each volunteer on why they want to become a spiritual health carer.
Each team member is now formally accredited to work in the Victorian Health Care system, to provide spiritual care to Hindu patients.
The event took place at the ISKCON temple at Albert Park in Melbourne and HCA (Vic) thanks Shri Bhakta Dasa of ISKCON Melbourne, to provide facilities for this event and also a delicious lunch/prasad after the event at the temple. HCA (Vic) would like to thank ISKCON for providing this facility.
Ms Cheryl Holmes, OAM and CEO of Spiritual Health Victoria was the chief guest at this event and awarded the certificates to the qualified volunteers. Makarand Bhagwat, Director, HCA (Vic) presided over the event.
This brings to a total of 24 volunteer health care providers under HCA(Vic) in Melbourne metro.
As a next step, each volunteer will complete a Police Check and Working With Children Check to make them ready for providing services.
All Pastoral Care Managers/Coordinators in major hospitals in Melbourne will soon be informed about the strength of Hindu Chaplains. HCA (Vic) will provide information flyers at all major hospitals in Melbourne metro about caring of Hindu patients which is expected to generate more requests for these services.
Each certified chaplain spoke briefly about their aspirations on providing these voluntary service to the wider Hindu community.
Every volunteer was awarded a Certificate, an ID, and a small kit containing a copy of the sacred Bhagvad Geeta, a neck scarf and a 108 beads mala which they can use during their visit to a patient.

Yoga Day celebration in Victoria

By: Makrand Bhagwat.

Yoga Day celebration in Victoria.

Hindu Council Joins Hands with Palliative Care Victoria

By: Makarand Bhagwat, Hindu Council Victoria.

HCA Vic has joined hands with Palliative Care Victoria and will soon be providing voluntary spiritual care to the Hindus who are in palliative care and looking for spirtitual support.

Palliative Care – Helping people with life-limiting illness live well

What is palliative care?

Palliative care helps people with a life-limiting illness to have the best possible quality of life. It is available for everyone – of any age, race, culture, background or religion, and most services are free.

 Depending on your needs, palliative care may include:

  •              Medicine and other therapies to relieve your pain and manage symptoms
  • Support for your family members
  • Help and equipment to live comfortably at home where possible
  • Help to meet your spiritual, religious or cultural needs
  • Regular visits from health workers and other care providers


If you choose to have palliative care, you can talk about your individual needs, ask any questions and make requests so you have the best care possible.

 When using palliative care, the person with the illness and their family are always in control of decisions about their health, medical treatment and wellbeing.

 Palliative care does not mean the end

Palliative care can be used at any time in your illness, not just for people who are near the end of life. Using palliative care does not mean there is no hope, you have ‘given up’ or your families don’t care. You can continue treatment at the same time as receiving palliative care.

 You may be able to use complementary therapies or traditional medicine.

 Who provides palliative care?

Palliative care can be provided by your own doctor, specialist doctors and nurses, physiotherapists, religious or spiritual advisors and others.

 Where can I receive care?

Depending on your needs and other factors, you may receive care at home, a hospital or hospice, or other care facility. Care in a hospital or a hospice is usually for a short time to treat your symptoms and pain so that you can return home if possible.

 Will I have to pay?

Most services are free but there may be some costs for equipment or medicines. Ask your local service to make sure you know if there are costs.

 What about my family?

Palliative care also helps your family as they care for you. This may include:


  • Help with doctors and other appointments
  • Help to make sure you have the right medicine and care
  • Support to meet their needs
  • A break from care
  • Help to organise financial and legal support
  • Support and advice after business hours

 What if I need to speak another language?

If you feel better speaking in your own language, let your palliative care service know. Most of them can organise an interpreter for free.

 Where can I get more information?

For more information, you can talk to:

  •            Your doctor
  • Your local palliative care service

 You can also call Palliative Care Victoria to find out more information or help you find your local service.

 Freecall 1800 660 055 or 03 9962 9644 (9am – 5pm Monday to Friday)

 A telephone interpreter can be arranged – please tell us what language you need.

 PCV Victoria Website :


Thank you and regards


India Run Festival in Melbourne

By: Makrand Bhagwat.

Hindu Council of Australia Victoria chapter alongwith other parivar organisations is supporting this India run festival.

The tickets can be purchased by clicking on the link below –
Please use code ‘HCAIRF’ for a 10 AUD discount on the tickets.  Every runner will receive a free T-shirt for the race day and a finisher medal at the end of the race. 

HCA (Vic) participates in the Festival of Chariots (Rath Yatra)

By: Makarand Bhagwat, Victoria Chapter of Hindu Council.

A team of devoted volunteers from Hindu Council of Australia (Vic) participated in the Festival of Chariots (Rath Yatra) organised by its partner organisation, ISKCON, Melbourne at Catani Gardens during the recent St Kilda Festival on Sunday 10th February in Melbourne.
The group presented half an hour long spiritual bhajans on this occasion.
HCA (Vic) has a strong ongoing relationship with ISKCON in Melbourne and supports their spiritual health care providers who provide chaplaincy services in the health care system.
HCA actively partners with core Hindu organisations such as Hindu Swaymsevak SanghVishwa Hindu Parishad and Seva International, ISKCON, Sankat Mochan Samiti.

Hindu Council support Uluru Statement from the Heart

By: Makarand Bhagwat.

Hindu Council of Australia (Vic) joined faith leaders at the celebration of the 2019 UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, to stop and listen to the voice of aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people in hope of reconciliation and healing our nation’s broken heart.
The event was held on Sunday 17th February at St Oswald Anglican Church, where Makarand Bhagwat, on behalf of Hindu Council of Australia (Vic) joined leaders from Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Islam and Sikh faith leaders and extended the support of Hindu community, to seek constitutional reforms to empower the aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community people.

Uluru Statement of the Heart faith leaders. Mr Makarand Bhagwat of Hindu Council is second from left

We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:
Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.
This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or
extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.
How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years? With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.
Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future. These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem.
This is the torment of our powerlessness.
We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.
We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.
We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history. In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our
trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

Victorian chapter distributes Hindu Chaplaincy Kit

By: Makarand Bhagwat, Melbourne.

Hindu Council of Australia’s Victoria chapter has completed distribution of kits to 11 accredited Hindu Spiritual Care Providers (Chaplains). The kit contains a lanyard and ID, a copy of Bhagvad Geeta, Rudraksh Mala, and a neck scarf.

HCA Victoria is currently looking for volunteers who can be trained as Spiritual Care Providers especially from linguistically diverse backgrounds. We encourage interested persons speaking Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malyalam languages to send their expression of interest to with your contact details.
A training session is proposed in April 2019 for volunteers.

Hindu Council supports UN World Harmony Week 2019 in Melbourne

By: Hindu Council Melbourne Chapter.

The Melbourne chapter of Hindu Council participated in and supported 2019 UN World Harmony Week. The event was attended by Mr Makarand Bhagwat.

World Interfaith Harmony Week is a UN resolution for a worldwide week of interfaith harmony proposed in 2010 by King Abdullah II and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan. The World Interfaith Harmony Week falls in the first week of February of every year[1][2] and aims to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith. 

The basis for the World Interfaith Harmony Week is the A Common Word Initiative which was authored by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and released in 2007. The A Common Word Initiative and the World Interfaith Harmony Week stem from the idea that humanity is bound together by the two shared commandments of ‘Love of God and Love of the Neighbor’ or ‘Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbor’.

In his speech at the UN General Assembly, Prince Ghazi of Jordan stated that the aim of the Interfaith Harmony Week would be fulfilled by:

permanently and regularly encouraging the silent majority of preachers to declare themselves for peace and harmony and providing a ready-made vehicle for them to do so … if preachers and teachers commit themselves on the record once a year to peace and harmony, this means that when the next interreligious crisis or provocation occurs, they cannot then relapse into parochial fear and mistrust, and will be more likely to resist the winds of popular demagoguery[6]

The UN resolution on the World Interfaith Harmony Week states:[7]

The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 53/243 of 6 October 1999 on the declaration and programme of action relating to a culture of peace; 57/6 of November 2002 concerning the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence; 58/128 of 19 December 2003 on the promotion of religious and cultural understanding, harmony and cooperation; 64/164 of 18 December 2009 on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief;
64/81 of 7 December 2009 on the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace, and 64/14 of 10 November 2009 on the Alliance of Civilizations. Recognising the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions in enhancing mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people. Recalling with appreciation various global, regional and sub-regional initiatives on mutual understanding and interfaith harmony including, inter alia, the Tripartite Forum for Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, and the “A Common Word”.
Recognising that the moral imperatives of all religions, convictions, and beliefs call for peace, tolerance, and mutual understanding:
  1. Reaffirms that mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace.
  2. Proclaims the first week of February of every year the World Interfaith Harmony Week between all religions, faiths and beliefs.
  3. Encourages all States to support, on a voluntary basis, the spread of the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship during that week based on Love of God and Love of the Neighbour, or based on Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbour, each according to their own religious traditions or convictions.
  4. Requests the secretary general to keep the General Assembly informed of the implementation of the present resolution.
Melbourne UN 2019 WIHW A4 Flyer Final print 3

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