Sharing the Stories of Australian Muslims

Sharing Muslim StoriesThe Race Discrimination Commissioner is undertaking a project to listen to and share the stories of Australian Muslims. He is holding national consultations with members of the Australian Muslim community about their needs and experiences of discrimination, Islamophobia and hate speech and their right to safely practice their religion.

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A Buddhist Perspective on Women’s Liberation

Buddhist NunsIn January, Buddhist Global Relief chair Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi gave the keynote address at a conference on “Buddhism and Women’s Liberation” in Bodhgaya, India. What follows is a lightly edited version of his address. The liberation of women in all spheres — secular and spiritual — requires above all a deep recognition of their inherent dignity, an honouring of their full humanity.

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Bendigo Mosque: Far-right extremist and convicted racist Blair Cottrell fails in Supreme Court appeal bid

Blair CottrellFar-right extremist Blair Cottrell has been knocked back in his bid to contest his racial vilification conviction in Victoria’s supreme court. The United Patriots Front leader, along with two of his supporters, were convicted of inciting hatred, contempt and ridicule of Muslims after making a video beheading a dummy in protest of a Bendigo mosque.
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South Sudan National Day of Prayer



The South Sudanese Community of the Goulburn Valley in collaboration with the Shepparton Interfaith Network will join National Day of Prayer for South Sudan on the evening of Monday 29 July commencing at 6PM, in the hall behind St Brendan’s Church, 121 Knight St, Shepparton.

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The Bridge Youth Service: Screening Life after the Oasis



Coinciding with Homelessness Week 2019, The Bridge Youth Service will be hosting a special screening of Life After the Oasis: a follow up to the 2008 documentary THE OASIS. Shark Island Productions revisit the original participants whose chaotic lives shocked the nation! 10 years on we see what journey these young people have been on.  

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Islamic Leaders Calling for Tolerance

Charter of Makkah

As tensions mount in the Middle East, it might be easy from the West to imagine the Islamic world locked in an internecine political struggle, with each side wielding threats of open conflict and the violent rhetoric of exclusion.

Beyond the testy politics, however, Islamic religious leaders are speaking in greater unison than ever before. The message we are advancing is one of moderate Islam, and the promotion of peace, tolerance and love.

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Why Guru Pournima is unique to Hindu Dharma

four gurus of IndiaMany religions honour their founder or great teacher in various ways. Hindu dharma is perhaps unique in honouring the guru or spiritual master as a principle in itself beyond any particular personality, philosophy or revelation.The true guru is a position of spiritual guidance, the illuminating presence of a higher awareness. The guru is not limited to any physical person, however exalted he or she may be.

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In Conversation: Draft Greater Shepparton Affordable Housing Policy

Neighbourhood planning

The Victorian Government has amended the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to define affordable housing. This is to encourage an increase in affordable housing through local councils seeking a voluntary affordable housing contribution, as part of planning approval processes.

The City of Greater Shepparton has taken action to lay the foundations for a Draft Greater Shepparton Affordable Housing Policy. This policy will look at how issues around social housing, affordability and homelessness can be addressed at a local level.

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UN International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief

United Nations General Assembly logoThe U.N. General Assembly has adopted a resolution designating August 22 as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. The resolution expresses concern at “continuing acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief against individuals, including against persons belonging to religious communities and minorities”.
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Homelessness on agenda at morning tea

homeless cup

Homelessness is on the agenda at a networking event in Shepparton next month.

The morning tea, hosted by Hume Region Homelessness Network, is at Friars Cafe on August 6.

The network is made up of 14 homelessness funded agencies across the region which raise awareness for homelessness in communities and collaborate on relevant issues.

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The Dalai Lama and the Rabbi’s

Jewish Youth at the KotelRecently, some Reform Jewish teens spent Shabbat in Krakow, Poland; others experienced morning prayer in the Negev desert. Still other teens recited Kiddush surrounded by the rolling hills of the Galilee, and those teens who were visiting Israel’s Mediterranean coast said HaMotzi, the prayer over the challah, there. In so doing, our participants truly represent the breadth and depth of the Jewish experience, connecting ancient prayers, texts, and stories with the eternal Jewish reality.
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Homelessness and Housing Stress Forum – Shepparton

Homelessness forum in SheppartonOn Saturday, 6 July, people from the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst (Bendigo) attended a homelessness forum at St Brendan’s Church to consider the Catholic Bishops Social Justice Statement 2018-2019 on Homelessness, and to seek ways for Parishes to respond to this issue. This was a well attended event with some 70 people attending.
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NAIDOC Week 2019 – Greater Shepparton

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. In 2019, Naidoc Week is celebrated from 7-14 July, with the theme, Voice, Treaty, Truth: Lets walk together for a shared future. In Greater Shepparton, NAIDOC Week commences with a Flag Raising ceremony at Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative on the morning of Monday, 7 July.

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Protecting the Integrity of the Aboriginal Flag

Abriginal Flag

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt AM has met with the designer of the Aboriginal flag, Harold Thomas, following various concerns around its reproduction and use.

Both agreed the meeting was warm and friendly, with the Minister gaining a deeper understanding of Mr Thomas’s views on the matter. In short, Mr Thomas wants this national flag flown proudly and respectfully by all Australians.

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Language and culture go hand in hand for Yorta Yorta woman Ebony Joachim

Ebony Joachim

My language is Yorta Yorta which was and is spoken by the majority of the clan groups within the Yorta Yorta Nation.

It was in 2013 that I was first really exposed to Yorta Yorta language. I was 24 at the time.

I had only grown up with a few Yorta Yorta words until I started working as a language support worker in a local primary school that had just introduced a Yorta Yorta language program.

I had no teaching experience before I started teaching. I was only a few steps in front of the kids with my own language learning.

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Into the Dreaming: Palliative Care for the Indigenous

Indigenous Palliative Care Booklet logo
An innovative new resource kit has been developed in NSW to help local Aboriginal communities feel more welcome in palliative care settings and start inclusive and culturally appropriate conversations about end of life planning. “Into the Dreaming” is A Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through “Sorry Business”.

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NAIDOC Week – Bura Fera

In observance of NAIDOC Week, we bring you the story of a Yorta Yorta nation song, Bura Fera, sometimes called Ngarra Burra Ferra; an earlier hymn was translated into the Yorta Yorta language, which expressed their identification with the Jews as the dispossessed of the Book of Exodus.

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Border Politics Film Night

Border Politics ScreenshotBorder Politics – an Australian documentary which follows Human Rights lawyer Julian Burnside as he examines attitudes to refugees and human migration patterns worldwide – will be screened in Shepparton on evening of Thursday 18 July. Julian Burnside will be present for a Q and A session.
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Coming of the Light (Torres Strait Islanders)

Australia has two distinct Indigenous peoples: Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Spirituality is expressed differently between Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders. Torres Strait Islanders’ spirituality comes from stories of the ‘Tagai’. Torres Strait Islander communities celebrate the Coming of the Light Festival – a religious celebration on the 1st of July each year.
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