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Highlights of Melbourne DDM Interfaith Activities

Highlights of Melbourne DDM Interfaith Activities

Following the interfaith dialogue chaired by Sheng Yen Shifu in 2004 whilst Shifu was here in Melbourne to deliver a keynote speech to the Psychologist Society of Australia. Since then, DDM Melbourne has been actively participating and promoting the concepts of peaceful coexistence and harmony amongst the various religious faiths in Australia.

Upon my election to the Chair of the Buddhist Council of Victoria, our commitment to this worthwhile cause has taken a more prominent role.

In April, I was invited by the Victorian Government to witness the inauguration of the 28th Governor of Victoria in Government House. The Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser, AC in his inauguration speech promises to approach his task with humility, honesty and integrity in serving the people of Victoria within the bounds of our constitution. He pledge that, during his term as Governor, he will approach his job not only with humility, honesty and integrity, but also with compassion, courage and careful attention to communication.

In October, I was invited by the Interfaith Centre of Melbourne to attend the second Annual Interfaith Prayer Ceremony for the work of the United Nations. Religious and Spiritual Leaders assembled to offer blessings and prayers for the United Nations community, who share the high principles of the Preamble to the Charter of the UN with the world's religious and spiritual traditions. The newly elected President of the 61st Session of the General Assembly addressed the ceremony and her Excellency is the third woman and the first Muslim in the history of the UN to be elected to this post. Representing the Victoria Buddhist communities I delivered a prayer and offered the message of peace and compassion on behalf of the Buddhist communities.

And on the 16 December, the Secretary of BCV and I were invited by the Anglican diocese to witness the enthronement of Dr Philip Freier as the 10th Archbishop of Melbourne at St. Paul's Cathedral. Representatives of the Melbourne's Chinese, Sudanese and Tamil communities welcomed him on behalf of multicultural Melbourne. Representatives of 38 denominations and faiths were also present at the service, including the Most Reverend Denis Hart, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Dr Philip Aspinall. John Tye of the Yorta Yorta People welcomed him with dance and didgeridoo playing on behalf of the Wurunjeri and ancient people of this land.

I feel privilege and honour to bring to fruition Shifu spiritual ideal and inspiration to create a peaceful world through dialogue and acts of compassion.


Mrs Laura Chan

Chair, Buddhist Council of Victoria

20 December 2006

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