Event Schedule: Wednesday, December 9th

Programming for Wednesday, 9th December included:

Courage to Care: Listening to the Messages of the Holocaust Survivors


Dr Anthony Weldon, Chairman of Courage to Care (Vic.) and Holocaust Survivors

Melbourne has one of the highest numbers of Holocaust survivors in the world. Drawing on their experience and the example of non-Jews who stood up against the Nazi genocide, this session challenged participants to reflect on their own stance in extreme situations and how they might deal with the dangers caused by ideologies of hate. The workshop was enriched by the perceptions of a second-generation survivor.



The Stolen Generation and The Apology


Melissa Brickell and Representatives of Stolen Generation Victoria (SGV)

This presentation focused on the ways in which people and organisations can support and address the needs of those people affected by practices and policies of removing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from family, community, country and culture. It also highlighted a personal journey that contributed to The Apology by the Prime Minister of Australia to the Stolen Generation.



Health and Healing: Indigenous Healing in Modern Allopathic Medical World


Mandaza Kandemwa (Shona/Ndebele:Zimbabwe), Dr. Jennie R. Joe (Navajo:USA), Constantino Pinto (Timorese:East Timor)

The health status of many indigenous communities is substandard. Frequently these communities are faced with escalating health challenges or diseases that are not easily cured with modern medicine. In addressing these problems, indigenous communities are utilizing many resources including that of traditional healers. This panel discussed some of these culturally-based medical interventions.


The Hazards of Writing about Religion


Prof James Jupp, Australian National University; Barney Zwartz, Religious Journalist; Hanifa Deen, Writer

How does one report and write about religion? At the 2009 Parliament, this panel of writers from three different genres -- narrative non-fiction, journalism and academia -- focused on potentially hazardous writing about sensitive themes such as religious vilification, conversion, persecuted religious minorities, conflicting beliefs, claims of supremacy and the interface between religion and politics. This Australian group of top-flight writers reflected on how they deal with difference without falling into a crusading spirit or becoming a bland harmonist, papering over conflict.


Health and Healing: Healing the Person, Healing the Family


Omie Baldwin (Dine’:USA) and others

Health and healing have a mental and a spiritual side. Such challenges as substance abuse, the destruction of families, child abuse and neglect call in particular for this dimension of healing. At the 2009 Parliament, this panel discussed the forced adoption of indigenous children, the problems experienced by the lost generation, and provided examples of the use of spiritual methods of healing such wounds.


The Black GST – Genocide Sovereignty Treaty


Robert Thorpe, Aboriginal activist and founder of The Black GST; Dennis Walker, Treaties activist

Robert Thorpe, Aboriginal Activist and founder of The Black GST - Genocide, Sovereignty, Treaty, presented an honest thought provoking presentation on the Truth of how Australia was established. "The Government would have you think that they are trying to do the right thing by Aboriginal people. A conversation with Aboriginal people almost anywhere in Australia will reveal that the [Government’s] divide and conquer policy - and its outcome of despair - are familiar to people almost everywhere in Australia" This was followed by a presentation by Dennis Walker, Aboriginal activist on Treaties with Aboriginal people in Australia.



Evening Plenary:


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Closing Plenary


At the 2009 Parliament, the official closing plenary included highlights from participants' commitments, presentation of awards for contribution to the International Interreligious Movement, and major speakers and artistic performances.






Observances included:

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Rabbi Or Rose

Contemplative Shacharit (Jewish Morning) Service


Rabbi Or Rose

Rabbi Or Rose, an associate dean of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Boston, MA, used the traditional rubrics of the Jewish Morning service to explore several key prayers through song, chant, and silent meditation. Rabbi Rose, an authority on Jewish spirituality, interfaith cooperation, and social justice, led this contemplative practice aimed at furthering personal and communal transformation.




Films included:


The Soul of Kalaupapa



Fred E. Woods

From 1866 to 1969 the Kalaupapa peninsula on the Hawaiian island of Molokai was home to over 8,000 patients isolated there due to the fear of spreading Hansen’s disease. From a mixture of cultures and religions, the patients at Kalaupapa enjoyed a degree of cooperation touching not only the residents but also those who visited and served at the settlement. The Soul of Kalaupapa is a film that captures the powerful spirit of intercultural collaboration at this unusual settlement.