25 Years of Interfaith Cooperation Celebrated: The Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong

October 22, 2014

CELEBRATION was the theme for the Interfaith Network Annual Gathering held on 22 October 2014, as the Interfaith Network, the oldest Network in Australia, celebrated its 25th anniversary.

At the Annual Gathering, faith and spiritual leaders (Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Sikh faiths and the spiritual organisations of Sathya Sai and Brahma Kumaris) gathered to renew their commitment to work together in promoting peace and harmony in the City of Greater Dandenong. In a unique ceremony where the faith and spiritual diversity of the City of Greater Dandenong is celebrated, the leaders signed the Common Statement and presented it to the Mayor - a sacred ritual that has taken place for 25 years.

2014-annual-gathering11Faith Leaders Group – photo by Lesley Delcourt

2014-annual-gathering44Margaret Coffey from ABC Radio National’s Encounter Program was a wonderful Emcee with performances provided by all faiths and spiritual traditions in the Interfaith Network (Photo Right by Brandsten Media) .

Following a Welcome to Country from Michelle Mills, drama, dance, singing and a reflective meditation were thoroughly enjoyed by all present.

This night of CELEBRATION included many special guests: the Sri Sathya Sai organisation; “Nadanalaya Indian Classical Dance School”; Temple Beth Israel Choirs led by Cantor and Conductor, Michel Laloum; the “Dhamma Sarana Temple Sinhala Language School”; Brahma Kumaris’ Carmen Warrington and David Jones; “The Perfect Chord Baha’i Choir” led by Conductor Lorraine Manifold; the Sikh community; “The Brothahood”, Muslim Hip Hop group and the “St Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral Choir” led by Artistic Director and Conductor, Professor Volodymyr Holovko.

2014-annual-gathering55Drum Theatre Audience – photo by Brandsten Media

The Interfaith Network was delighted to also have as special guests, the local Heatherhill Primary School singing their own composition “Possum Skin Cloak”.

The grand finale was performed by the ‘world-renowned’ Interfaith Bell Choir ringing out a requested favourite “Twinkle Twinkle” and a new performance of “Let There Be Peace on Earth” bringing the night to a joyous end.

2014-annual-gatheringIFN Bell Choir – photo by Lesley Delcourt

Afterwards a delicious supper was enjoyed by all which included a beautiful 25th Anniversary Cake.

Birthday Cake - 25 Year Celebration (Dandenong Interfaith)Anniversary Cake – photo by Lesley Delcourt


By Helen Heath
President, The Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong