On 5 February, Brimbank Council, My Community Voice network, and MiCare hosted the Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network (BMIN) in recognising World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), an Annual UN Observance Week.
In celebration of WIHW MiCare and our partners held a networking event at Samaritan Foundation in Sunshine, Melbourne.
WIHW aims to bring people of different cultural and religious backgrounds together as a way to promote understanding and peace between all people regardless of their beliefs.
The Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network (BMIN) is a network open to all religious groups to promote interfaith and intercultural initiatives between different faith and cultural groups in neighbouring multiplicities of Brimbank and Maribyrnong. This network is open to all individuals and groups who are interested in, and support, the aims and principles of the network.
Officially launched on December 2010, the BMIN is a joint initiative between Brimbank and Maribyrnong Councils and Faith Community Leaders, with the support of the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Victoria Police.
James (above), MiCare’s Youth and Communities Program Co-ordinator, welcomes our attendees and thanks them for coming to the event. The event involves a discussion between the networks about their activities, presentations from the BMIN and a cultural dinner funded by Brimbank council.
The My Community Voice network has membership of new and emerging group leaders from a multiplicity of backgrounds such as Iraq Syriac, Persian, Hazara, Sayed, Chin, Ethopian, Liberian, Sierra Leonean, Pashtun, Tibetan and Somalian.
Ray (above) is one of the members of BMIN. Ray tells us about his life as he was growing up and how he came to join BMIN. Ray tells us he grew up in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs. As a child he remembers being told to stay away from the city’s western suburbs because it was regarded as “the rough side of town”. However, in later years his work brought him to the other side of Melbourne. Ray instantly felt the community friendliness and fell in love with the multicultural diversity of the people who lived in these areas. Ray eventually based himself in Sunshine for work and now lives in Footscray.
Nayran (above, right) is one of the members of BMIN. Despite cultural and religious differences she and other attendees connected through their stories as refugees coming to Australia and the hardships and difficulties they faced. They also shared their experience of war and its devastating effect on their people in their home countries.
Nearing the end of the event was the cultural dinner. Our amazing staff member, Sanaz, put together an absolutely fragrant and delicious shared meal that was both Halal and vegetarian friendly. As our attendees mingled and chatted many also went for second helpings and some even went for thirds in between conversations. Thank you, Sanaz for the yummy spread!
MiCare would like to formally acknowledge our partners Brimbank Council and the My Community Voice network in hosting the Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network (BMIN) in recognising World Interfaith Harmony Week, an Annual UN Observance Week.
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