World Interfaith Harmony Week: Members Statement

Ms ADDISON (Wendouree) (13:54): It was a great privilege to celebrate the start of World Interfaith Harmony Week with the flag raising at St Peter’s Anglican Church yesterday. Thank you to Margaret Lenan Ellis, the Ballarat Interfaith Network chairperson, and Lokan Ravi, the deputy chair, for their organisation of the event and to Fr Constantine Osuchukwu for welcoming us to the event.

In our local community we proudly welcome people from 69 different nations. Members of our community speak 42 different languages and follow more than 20 different faiths.

World Interfaith Harmony Week is about spreading the message of harmony and tolerance between all people regardless of their faith. It is about focusing on the values we share, not out differences. Its message encourages inclusion, not exclusion. It promotes understanding, goodwill and unity. The diversity in experiences, cultures and traditions enriches our community and makes Ballarat a richer and better place for us all to live.

Thank you to Peter Lovett for his acknowledgment of country and to Anglican Bishop Garry Weatherall for his wise words about listening more and speaking less. It was a very special event, and I was pleased to be there with the mayor of Ballarat, Cr Daniel Moloney, as well as representatives from the Ballarat Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, the Catholic Church, the Baha’i Local Spiritual Assembly, the Uniting Church, the Islamic Society of Ballarat, the local Sikh community, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and— (Time expired)


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