DVD and Website Launch Event: Casey Multi-Faith Network
On Wednesday 14 October, the official launch of the website and promotional DVD was launched by the Casey Multi-Faith Network at the City of Casey Council Chambers.
Over 100 guests participated in the event, including children, from various faith and ethnic backgrounds. Representatives were present from the Jewish, Christian (various denominations including Catholics, Uniting Church, Mormons), Muslims (Sunni and Ahmadiyya Muslims), Hindus and Buddhist traditions. Also present were representatives of several organizations, including the Interfaith Network of City of Greater Dandenong, Federation of Indian Origin Multi-Faith Organizations (FIMO), Turkish Seniors Group, St Paul Apostle Catholic Community, Cultural Historical Association of Rodriguans & Mauritians in Victoria Inc. (CHARM), the Berwick Spiritualists, Church of Scientology, Al Emaan Women's group, Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA), Gippsland Ethnic Communities Council (GECC) and more.
Cr Damien Rosario representing the Mayor of the City of Casey, Mr Sandy Kouroupidis launched the Casey Multi-Faith Network Website and Mr Richard Leigh launched the promotional video
The event began with a welcome to all guests by the Vice President of the Network, Jim Reiher. Councillor Damien Rosario presented the Welcome to Country and spoke on behalf of the Mayor of the City of Casey. Cr Rosario stated that the message that the network brings to our community through education and learning about other faiths is a powerful message indeed.
The children dressed in beautifully adorned traditional costumes from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Victoria presented the National Anthem of Australia in their passionate and melodious voices (for video, click here).
The first formal presentation of the night was by Mr Sandy Kouroupidis, Multifaith Officer at Faith Communities Council of Victoria who officially launched the beautiful website of the Casey Multi-Faith Network (designed by Mr Kouroupidis). He spoke about the history and role of the Faith Communities Council of Victoria which was established in 2010 and is Victoria's umbrella multifaith body. He also navigated through the webpages of the site to familiarize the guests with the content and layout of the website.
Performances by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Victoria, Vaishnav Sangh of Melbourne and Andrew Williams
The Vaishnav Sangh of Melbourne presented the next two dance performances, the first by the young girls in their colourful traditional attire. The next performance was a mixed traditional dance, also perfectly executed and enjoyed by all.
The second formal presentation was by Mr Richard Leigh Managing Director of Campfire Film Foundation, who is the producer of the short promotional video for the Casey Multi-Faith Network. Mr Leigh explained that the journey the network embarked upon a few months ago had gone through a process of evolution, and after a massive collaborative effort, the fruits of labour are ready to be harvested and ready for all to see. Mr Leigh also highlighted the importance and sginificance of interfaith dialogue in our society today.
Andrew Williams, a Buddhist teacher and music producer, presented a series of songs with a harmonious message in his melodious voice. He sang We Are Australians as the concluding theme, and everyone joined in.
The Vaishnav Sangh of Melbourne chanted Hindu hymns as the grand finale, which was a wonderful way to bring the proceedings to an end.
Guests enjoyed the evening
Supper was served to all guests present. Judy Wardale from Sunshine Australia raised funds for her charity by selling beautiful Christmas cakes. This was an opportunity for all to mingle and make new acquaintances.
The Casey Multi-Faith Network would like to express its deepest gratitude to the City of Casey Council for providing the venue, support staff and assistance throughout the life of the project. This project was realized due to funding received from the State Government of Victoria in 2014.
The event was a memorable evening to mark a significant milestone in the life of the Casey Multi-Faith Network.
Report by: Naureen Choudhry, Secretary Casey Multi-Faith Network