2021 Interfaith Reflections on Hope and Resilience of faith communities during the pandemic

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese have united to support Australian Catholic University’s new interfaith publication, Reflections on Hope and Resilience, which was released on 14 December 2021.
The volume features prayers, readings and reflections from 25 faith and community leaders representing 14 different religious traditions, including Anglican, Baha’i, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Salvation Army, Sikh, and Uniting Church.

To view the ACU’s Media Release Click Here.

To download the ACU’s 2021 interfaith publication ‘Reflections on Hope and Resilience’ (.pdf, 4.5 MB) Click on ‘Reflections on Hope and Resilience.

To read about the Parliamentary Interfaith Breakfasts Click Here.

GIN WAG – Saturday 27 November 2021 Please join us!

Reconciliation in the Park 2021 – New Date Sunday 11 July 10 am – 3 pm

Due to Government restrictions on account of COVID-19 this event has had to be postponed.

The new date is Sunday 11 July 2021 – from 10 am to 3 pm at Johnstone Park, Geelong.

“GIN WAG” 15 May – Please join us!

Reconciliation in the Park 2021

Geelong Mosque Open Day

In a spirit of friendship and conversation, we hope to give members of the local community an engaging insight into the Mosque’s life and promote a greater understanding of Islam.

The event will be held on Sunday 14 March 2021 from 10 am to 4 pm.

There will be a special program on the day from 12:30 pm to 02:00 pm, in which dignitaries are invited to share their thoughts on the importance of interfaith and intercultural understanding in the local community.

To view and download a flyer with further details of the day, click Here.

Details of other Victorian mosques holding their Open Day on the same day can be viewed at https://geelonginterfaith.org.au/event/victorian-mosque-open-day/

Pope Francis to hold interreligious meeting near the ancient city of Ur, the birthplace of Abraham.

Pope Francis is visiting Iraq during March 5-8, 2021 and comes as a pilgrim and as a global religious leader.

“Pope Francis is truly a father because he really wants all human beings to be united — not only Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants — but he is broadening his embrace to include the Islamic world,” said Shahrzad Houshmand Zadeh, a Shiite Muslim theologian who has taught at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Holding an interreligious meeting at the birthplace of Abraham, recognised as the patriarch of monotheistic faith by Jews, Christians and Muslims, “can shake people’s consciences to remind us of our common origin,” she said. “It’s like going home and finding our brothers and sisters again.”

To read more, Click Here.

“Sydney Statement” from the Youth Parliament of the World Religions, to be launched on March 11th.

The “Sydney Statement” is an interfaith charter for building bridges between believers from different religions.To read further about the Sydney Statement or to download the resource Click Here.

Pope Francis and Grand Imam Al-Tayyeb celebrate first-ever International Day of Human Fraternity

Pope Francis addressed the Grand Imam in words almost certainly without precedent in the relations between a pope and a Muslim leader, greeting him as “my brother, my friend, my companion of challenges and risks in the struggle for fraternity.” The pope thanked the Grand Imam for his “companionship in the journey of reflection and drafting of the document,” which they presented and signed exactly two years ago on Feb. 4 in Abu Dhabi. The document bears the title: “A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.”

To read the full article in America magazine click Here.

Vatican stamps highlight interfaith dialogue

Vatican interfaith postage stamps will be released late February 2021.

To read more, click Here,

Muslim Bachelor of Nursing student asks how he can help the faith of Christians

Life at University can, and often does introduce students to a different way of viewing reality.. And, as Australian Catholic University nursing student Hadi Sulieman puts it:
“I didn’t come to university thinking I was going to dive deeply into spirituality, but that’s what’s happened.”

Some might be intrigued by a devout Muslim ministering at ACU. But for Hadi there has never been a conflict.
“My approach is always, ‘How can I help the faith of my Christian brothers and sisters?’ I wish everyone had that approach.”

To read further Click Here for ACU’s media release.

Feast of Faiths Postponed

March 14, 2020

We wish to advise that the First Annual FEAST OF FAITHS is postponed to a later date.

Geelong Interfaith Network (GIN) would love all to come to this event free from fear. We wanted it to be family friendly with activities for children. Understanding the various faiths is of great interest to the “Third Age” that use Cobbin farm or live in retirement homes nearby.

We want all to come to Feast of Faiths happy to meet and ask questions, and that would be better assured at a later date.

Thank you so much to the many people helping to bring this event about.

A special thanks to:

  • Corrina Eccles and Wathaurong representative preparing for the Welcome to country.
  • faith and peace groups which have been preparing displays and performances.  
  • our interfaith choir that performed at Pako Festa for rehearsing new songs
  • sponsors that poured out their good will
  • the City of Greater Geelong’s Councillors (Cr Jim Mason and Cr Ron Nelson) & staff.
  • the Committee of Multicultural Affairs, MAPAC.
  • businesses which caught the vision and spread the word with posters (Tuckers, Buxton, What’s On Geelong, Bay FM, 94.7 the Pulse, etc)
  • members and friends in GIN since many manhours went into preparation, planning and securing resources for this groundbreaking event.
  • the general public of Geelong and beyond who have been inspired to get a taste of what the various faiths we share …

Authorities say events under 500 can meet, so we could have gone ahead, but we feel it is more responsible for us to postpone. We feel it is in the community’s best intesest to let them engage freely when the environment is more assured. Presenters’ safety is another big factor.

May you and your families be well or get well, and we hope to see you when we rescheduled the Feast Of Faiths.

On behalf of the Geelong Interfaith Network
Randall Apps
(Geelong Interfaith Network Secretary – 0425 762 739)

Feast of Faiths

The Feast Of Faiths will take place on Harmony Day, 21st March, 2020 at Cobbin Farm Homestead, 231 Grove Road, Grovedale 3216. ​

At the Feast Of Faiths, over a dozen faith and interfaith groups will have displays, music and activities to encourage a spirit of mutual respect, trust and understanding. ​

We already share our daily lives with believers from various beliefs who we meet at school, work, clubs, and the community in general. Now we have a chance to get to know more about each other without any pressure. You may even discover more about your own faith. 

We are saddened when intolerance causes suffering to those for religious differences. This is the chance to get to know the faith and beliefs of friends and co-workers in a respectful environment. 

A Harmony Day event in the true spirit of the day.

To download a .PDF copy of this flyer click here.

Mourning the Christchurch Events


The Australian Council of Christians and Jews expresses its horror at the killing of Muslim worshippers at prayer in Christchurch, in New Zealand.

The Australian Council of Christians and Jews strongly condemns such violent and evil behaviour which has no place in civil society.

We express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded, and our deepest solidarity with Muslims throughout New Zealand in this terrible hour.

The International Council of Christians and Jews has recently condemned the widespread growth of intolerance, racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia.

Instead of seeking to marginalise and demonise those whose religions and cultures are not the mainstream we call for the appreciation of our common humanity.

We express our deepest solidarity with the people of New Zealand who have led the way in embracing the multicultural and multifaith reality of their society, and trust that this violence will bring the nation together in mourning and affirmation of their common humanity.

Events such as this call on people of all faiths and none to redouble our opposition to all forms of bigotry and prejudice, to insist that leaders promote the common good of everyone, and to recommit ourselves to practising dialogue on all levels.

We believe a firm stand should be taken against racism, wherever and whenever it occurs.

Media Contact: Rev Dr Michael Trainor 0402452051

Dr Ron Hoenig 0419183214

Statement on Tragedy in Bourke Street, Melbourne 9/11/2018

The Geelong Interfaith Network deplores the violent attack that resulted in the deaths of both an innocent bystander and the perpetrator, and serious injury to others, in Bourke Street on Friday 9th November. We extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones of the victims, and to those still suffering from their wounds. We wish them the fullest recovery possible from such a traumatic event.

  The Network acknowledges that the attack was carried out in the name of religion by a man allegedly ‘radicalised in extremist Muslim ideology’. This is a cause of shame to us since violence of this kind grievously offends against all the faiths represented in the Network, including the Muslim faith.

We acknowledge, therefore, the right and the duty of the democratic state to bring such offenders to justice, and to take measures to protect the community against such offences. In a democracy, however, the state is bound to ensure that such measures, as well as promising to be effective, are also just.

 One of the requirements for such measures to be just is that they be based on truth. In this case the truth about the causes of the offence is complex: it was not just radicalisation in a particular ideology that contributed to the crimes, but mental illness on the part of the perpetrator.

Moreover, according to the experts, no simple inference from ‘radicalisation’ to violent action can validly be drawn. Some who are intellectually radicalised never offend, whereas others who are only superficially, and perhaps only recently, radicalised do offend, and in some cases the latter have a history of violent offending predating radicalisation.

In devising measures to apprehend potential offenders, and protect the community, the civil authorities must beware of simple ‘solutions’ which don’t fit complex causes. Simply holding the whole Muslim community accountable for the violence of a mentally ill member may make us all less safe by alienating – without just cause – the very community whose cooperation is most needed for any protective measures to work.

Our Network wishes to affirm the peace-loving nature of the Muslim community of Geelong, a community which has been a valued member of the Network since its inception.

13 November 2018

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue – Public Consultation

Australia has been largely successful in developing a multi-faith and multi-cultural society. For that reason, four members of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) will be coming from the Vatican to Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne in order to be better informed about the interreligious activities of the Catholic church in Australia; to be familiar with the interreligious particularities in Australia; and to encourage those involved in this service. Accompanied by the Most Reverend Christopher Prowse, Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn, who is chair of the Australian Bishops’ Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations, the four members of the Delegation are:
H.E. Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot MCCJ, Secretary of PCID. Born in Spain. The head of the delegation, is also an expert in Islam.
Monsgr. Indunil Kodithuwakku. Born in Sri Lanka. Follows the relations with the Buddhists, Shinto and Confucianists.
Monsgr. Santiago Michael. Born in India. Follows the relations with the Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.
Fr. Markus Solo SVD. Born in Indonesia. Follows the relations with Muslims in Asia and Pacific

This Public Consultation is open to anyone who is involved in or interested in interreligious relations.
The Delegation will engage with specially invited leaders from the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities, asking them: What are your hopes and concerns for the life of your religious community in Australia? How can the Catholic Church be of assistance? How can the Catholic Church and your own faith tradition draw closer together? Download the flyer for more information.

When:            Sunday 23 September 2018      2:30pm to 5pm
Where:           Catholic Leadership Centre, 576 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne

New Jewish War Memorial Unveiled in Canberra

A new national war memorial has been unveiled to remember the 341 Jewish servicemen who laid down their lives fighting for Australia, 100 years to the day since Monash was knighted on the battlefield.

To read more Click Here.