Connecting to the earth

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A local commemoration of World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016. An opportunity for interfaith groups and people of goodwill to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.

Glen Eira Interfaith Network

Scheduled Program: -- Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri Traditional Elder: Uncle Bill Nicholson from the Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council -- Welcome and Short introduction to Western Health Spiritual Care Khanh Do -- Keynote address by Nivy Balachandran, Coordinator at United Religious Initiative and delegate at the 2016 Paris Climate Change Conference -- Guided Walk: Through the Labyrinth with Rev Ray Gorman, Minister of Uniting Church in Sunshine -- Lunch catered by ASRC Catering -- Guided tour of the Sunshine Hospital organised by Sunshine Hospital Volunteers Department represented by Khanh Do The ability for participants to share time together, take inspiration from experienced leaders is an opportunity to experience just what is possible when we put our personal agendas and superficial differences aside to taste/reflect/enjoy our similarities. Specifically, a wonderful opportunity to hear about our first peoples, land care, subsequent arrivers and today's present collaborations slowly gaining voice. Uncle Bill shared his wisdom and kindness. Summarized here. Wominjeka is welcome. Ginny-Barak is "in the spirit of warm-heartedness, generosity and hospitality". The "Welcome to Country" is historically an Indigenous pass-port/border patrol/custom. The host tribe would issue words that would welcome and also identify the host tribe. A local elder offers a part of native bush/animal to indicate permission for visitor to have access to land, a sip of water to indicate permission to use water, the fire causing smoke was to purify the visitor from bad spirits, and the breaking of spear meant that while visitor was a guest they would be treated with peace and protected from harm. Nivvy shared her experience and insight. Summarized here that while Multifaith is a fact, Interfaith is a journey by/between/with individuals, for mutual benefit radiating out until it includes all as beneficiaries. Including atheists and humanists. The subsequent challenge to us remaining relevant to our identified audience while embracing wider community. Participants learnt about the need and many opportunities for us to work together to minimise negative impact on our environment. Starting with ourselves, extending to our neighbours and then beyond. Host Sunshine Hospital was an inspired choice and gave interested parties a "behind the scenes" tour of a modern partnership between Victorian Government, VUT, Melbourne University and Peter Mac. On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou for the inspired collection of speakers, skilful organisation, circular non-discussion, food and leadership, received with gratitude.

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