Immigration: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

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Australia sometimes seems to suffer a mysterious case of multiple-amnesia over immigration. We are a nation built on migrants, but we have forgotten that almost every new wave of immigrants has been resented and resisted by those already here, especially those who were migrants themselves. There is no expression of fear, bigotry, suspicion and hate now directed indiscriminately against Muslims that was not used passionately with malice aforethought and intent to harm and hurt against the Irish, the Chinese and the Jews.

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Navratri 2016: When Does The Hindu ‘Nine Nights’ Festival Begin?

skandamata“Navratri” — the 9-day long festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga — begins Saturday, Oct. 1, this year. According to Hindu mythology, goddess Durga, a symbol of motherhood, power and courage, defeated the demon Mahishasura in a battle that lasted nine nights.
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Labyrinths and the Labyrinth at Picnic for Peace – Shepparton


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Dr Lisa Shortridge of Things of Spirit will be providing a temporary labyrinth and singing bowls experience at Picnic 4 Peace on Sunday 25 September at Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton, 11am-3pm. In this article we look to different kinds of labyrinths around the world.

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Indigenous stories, songs and dance protected under new Victorian law

danceUnder new Aboriginal heritage laws that came into force on 1 August, ‘intangible’ assets can now be added to the Aboriginal heritage register. This can include any cultural knowledge that is not widely known to the public, including oral traditions, performing arts, stories, rituals, festivals, social practices, craft, visual arts and environmental and ecological knowledge.

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Hazara Film, Nazaneen

ninaNazaneen, a coming-of-age film about Nina, a 16-year-old Hazara Muslim refugee, who has resettled in outer Melbourne after a traumatic journey to Australia by boat. The filmmakers are casting authentically and working with the Hazara community to find the right actor, trained or untrained. This role is an opportunity for a young Hazara womanto tell a story that reflects a collective refugee experience.

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Updated: Shepparton Asylum Seeker Workshop

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The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Community Engagement Team is working with communities across Victoria to share tools that re-frame the national conversation and shift attitudes about the rights of people seeking asylum. The workshop is offered to all, and will take place at the Mgr Peter Jeffrey Hall behind St Brendan’s Church, Shepparton, on Saturday 8 October 2016.

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Indigenous spirituality: can it transform injustice into justice?

indigenous“We worship in different languages and cultures, yet all one in Christ. This is an immensely enriching experience,” said Dr Jude Long, principal of Nungalinya College, in Darwin (Northern Territory), Australia, as she explored spirituality with indigenous people from across the world this week. Long helped lead prayers and biblical reflections along with Australian indigenous staff and students at the college as part of a World Council of Churches (WCC) Indigenous Spirituality and Theology Consultation on 27-31 August.
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UPDATED: Bendigo: War, Faith and Peace

fromellesUnited Religions Initiative, in collaboration with Bendigo Interfaith Council, Bendigo TAFE and Cultural Infusion will deliver a Public Forum on War, Faith and Peace at the Bendigo College of TAFE on Friday, August 26. The Forum will be followed by free conflict resolution training for young people (open for those aged 18-30).
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‘Spiritual but not religious’: What the census won’t say about Australians’ beliefs

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Over the last few decades, the number of people who answer the census question about religion with ‘no religion’ or ‘not specified’ has been on the rise. But just because someone doesn’t subscribe to organised religion doesn’t mean they’re not spiritual. Unlike in France and the United States, the Australian census contains a question about religion. This year, for the first time, ‘no religion’ will be the first option.

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Bendigo: War, Faith and Peace

fromellesUnited Religions Initiative, in collaboration with Bendigo Interfaith Council, Bendigo TAFE and Cultural Infusion will deliver a Public Forum on War, Faith and Peace at the Bendigo College of TAFE on Friday, August 12. The Forum will be followed by free conflict resolution training for young people (open for those aged 18-30).
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Out of the Blue ~ Mooroopna and Numurkah

oobsParticipant Faith Communities in the Shepparton Interfaith Network are significantly aware of the current milk price farmgate crisis and involved in community care. “Out of the Blue” is set in a hotel bar, where locals are gathered to pay tribute to one of their mates that they have lost to suicide. The play is both funny and sad but very relevant today, especially in regional and rural areas where the threat of suicide is a concern to many communities. This play will be presented in Mooroopna on Wednesday 3 August, and Numurkah on Friday, 5 August.

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The Parable of the Good Muslim: Feeling Safe in Australia

goodmuslimThe parable of the Good Samaritan is a sobering challenge to people who should know better … Some right leaning Christian politicians and commentators were not satisfied when a wise man told them you should love your neighbour as yourself. “And who is my neighbour,” they asked. The wise man replied: A conservative Member of Parliament was walking back home from church …
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Beyond Belief: Hugh Mackay to speak in Shepparton

beyondbeliefSocial researcher, author and commentator, Hugh Mackay, will present a challenging, sometimes confronting, but most of all enlightening account of the messages in his two latest books Beyond Belief (2016) and The Art of Belonging (2014) at Harder Auditorium on Friday, August 12, 2016 at 7 pm.
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