17 June 2024

Reconciliation event highlights the responsibility of faith communities

Picture: iStock

Hannah Felsbourg

26 May 2024

An interfaith network in Melbourne aims to be a positive force in the reconciliation conversation through bringing together voices from diverse faiths and cultures. 

The Interfaith Connections and Reconciliation Leadership event will explore the responsibilities of faith communities during National Reconciliation Week. 

In doing so, it will provide a platform for minority voices to be heard, which they say is crucial as they are at the heart of the conversation. 

One of the organisers, The Reverend Elizabeth Murray, said the event was important because Jesus provided the example of supporting marginalised people. Ms Murray is vicar of Holy Trinity Williamstown. 

Read more: Indigenous spirituality gathering aims to help Christians echo truth and love

Ms Murray noted that following the result of the Voice referendum, the theme of this year’s NRW, “Reconciliation – Now More Than Ever,” was especially timely.  

She said faith communities were uniquely positioned to be leaders in the reconciliation conversation by providing a platform for open dialogue with love, peace, and honesty. 

There will be a panel discussion featuring Muslim author Amal Abou-Eid, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman Aunty Pauline, and The Reverend Canon Glenn Loughrey. 

“The focus is on how each of these speakers see the role of faith communities in the ongoing discussion of reconciliation,” Ms Murray said. 

She said that the primary invitation for the event was to faith communities, but it was open for the broader community to attend, and she hopes people will come with curiosity. 

Read more: Canon Glenn Loughrey hopes to make Indigenous Anglicans safer in Church in new role

This event is an initiative of the Hobsons Bay Interfaith Network which includes Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Bahá’í members. 

Ms Murray noted that reaching out to leaders in relevant communities and consulting with them was an important part of organising the reconciliation event. 

She said that the event was part of having an ongoing conversation and hearing the stories of First Nations people from a place of openness, interest, and learning. 

The event is free to attend and will be hosted on 30 May from 11am to 1pm at the Holy Trinity Community Centre on the corner of Pascoe Street and Nelson Place in Williamstown. 

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