Law Reform: Funeral and Burial Instructions

The Victorian Law Reform Commission has examined the legal status of funeral and burial instructions of a deceased person. The Commission’s report – and video – explain what is important, what the law says (in each state and other jurisdictions) and what changes might improve matters. This is of extreme importance in the case of the indigenous peoples, who have a need for burial “on country”. A Yorta Yorta example is narrated in the video.
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Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda Jayanti celebrates the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda’s birthday falls on the Paush Krishna Saptami, the 7th day after the full moon day in the Hindu month of Paush. Therefore the date varies from year to year. According to the English calendar or the generally used Indian Calendar, Swami Vivekananda was born on January 12, 1863. In 2017, the date of the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda as per Hindu Lunar Calendar Tithi is on January 19. In 2017, it is the 154th birth anniversary.

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Letters to a Young Muslim

In a series of essays Omar Saif Ghobash (former UAE ambassador to Russia) offers a guide for young Muslims to navigate the complex 21st century. Although the book is written in the form of letters to his 15 year-old son Saif, the advice and counsel he offers is appropriate for Muslims of all ages. Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi read the book “Letters to a Young Muslim.”

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The Interfaith Legacy of Guru Nanak


An overwhelming sense of the Glory and Oneness of God made Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of Sikhism, impatient with religious divisions, doctrines, and rituals. This sense of the Oneness of God is for me at the very heart of the interfaith journey. There are many practical reasons why interfaith cooperation is vital and as many attempts to find a theological or philosophical justification for it. But to have experienced even a hint of Divine Love is sufficient warrant for Nanak’s claim that

The One God is Parent to all,
We are all God’s children.

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Sarmad the 17th-Century Jewish Mystic


Muhammad Sa’id, mostly known as Sarmad Kashani or simply as Sarmad (Persian: سرمد کاشانی‎‎) (ca 1590 – 1661) was a Persian mystic, poet and saint who travelled to and made the Indian subcontinent his permanent home during the 17th century. Originally Jewish, he may have renounced his religion to adopt Islam. Sarmad, in his poetry, states that he is neither Jewish, nor Muslim, nor Hindu.

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Very Buddhist Christmas

Many people – worldwide – who have the good of other people in their hearts affirm that Christmas is a time of peace, a time of giving and a time of taking care of the homeless and the poor. Buddhists also recognise that Christmas is a time when they may practice their dharma for the benefit of others. Lord Buddha – if he had any desires – desired that his bhikkus – and all sentient life – reach enlightenment. Joy, giving, family, and peace … people of all faiths can celebrate these values of the holiday season. Here, several Buddhists offer their take on yuletide dharma.

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Culture and Community: Interfaith Observances at Christmas



There are many images of Christmas, and it seems that Christmas means something different to everyone. Life is change, and so mundane perception of Christmas changes, also. Christmas is a a holy time for the devotees of Jesus Christ. At the time of the Christian observance of Christmas, Shepparton Interfaith Network brings attention to the festivals in other religions occurring at this time. There are also Jewish, Parsee and Sikh and African observances at this time. We also bring you an Australian Christmas Blessing.

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When Christmas is hard to bear …


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Christmas is a time when memories surface and some people may feel regret, pain or suffering the loss of company, loved ones, and perhaps, are alone. Christmas brings different responses from people, be they spiritual, agnostic, culturally diverse or even, alone. Seasonal and cultural events can evoke different, perhaps regretful responses in people, for we never know their journey until we have walked in their shoes. Here we tender for your consideration some perspectives on feeling blue at Christmas, and the grief evoked by Christmas when loved ones have passed over or are simply not there.

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Sri Lankan Musical and Cultural Evening

Goulburn Valley Sri Lankan Musical Night was held in the evening of Sunday 11th of December 2016 at the African House which was organised by the Ethnic Council of Shepparton & District. Approximately 80 people gathered at St Paul’s African house to experience the richness of Sri Lankan Culture.

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Vatican: Tolerance can’t be set against Religious Freedom

Vatican official Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, undersecretary for Relations With States, gave one talk at the opening of at the Conference on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, held Dec. 14 in Vienna. Mgr Camilleri concludes that the Church serves all, despite religious affiliation, and that religious freedom is an essential element of a thriving society and culture.

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Shepparton Carols By Candlelight 2016



Carols by Candlelight for 2016 will be take place on the evening of Sunday 18 December 2016 at 6:30pm in Queens Gardens, Shepparton. This is a free, family-friendly event. Goulburn Murray Credit Union are sponsoring the fireworks display at the conclusion of carols.

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Negotiating a Most Difficult Relationship: Christianity and Islam

Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District have conducted several observances of United Nations International Day of Tolerance. The same observance was conducted with an interfaith meeting on 17 November 2016 at Senior Citizens Centre, Welsford St, Shepparton. Noted religious commentator Paul Collins is well known to the Australian public via his work as a broadcaster, for a time as presenter of the Religion Report on Radio National as well as being a general commentator on religious affairs for radio and television and print media. Here, Paul Collins shares some reflections on Tolerance.

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Shepparton, Australia: UN World Day of Tolerance 2016



UN World Day of Tolerance is celebrated worldwide each year on 16 November. The Shepparton Interfaith Network, in collaboration with Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District conducted an observance of Tolerance Day at the Senior Citizens Centre, Welsford St, Shepparton.

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