Saturday, 26 September 2015

Remembering the #Tampa in #Ballarat :

Yesterday, Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children Ballarat accompanied by Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) remembered the Tampa.

Thx to Ian Hall (part of the community at St Paul's) for his contribution to the slideshow below. Ballarat Interfaith Networkers will notice some BIN members in the pix. And there was one behind the camera as well.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Eid is upon us.

Please note that the IMA will be closed on the 24th and 25th of September in view of Eid.
Posted by Islamic Museum of Australia on Monday, 21 September 2015

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Notes from a Crisis : a postscript to a forum held in #Ballarat on Homelessness

The above PowerPoint presentation
has been gathered and edited  from 
the feedback of participants at the Forum.
Not only can it be viewd on line -
it can be downloaded and screened.
Please give it wide coverage in your groups and associations/
Please encourage people to attend the next Forum on 9 October.
Details to be announced

On 21 August 2015, approximately 80 people gathered at the Eastwood Leisure Centre in Ballarat for a Forum on Homelessness. The place was packed. The place was lively. 

People working in organisations related to Homelessness were present. Some of these gave presentations of their work. Most of these were in government funded organisations but there were some present who received no government funding whatsoever and relied wholly on community support to fund their activities.  Prominent among the latter was The Soup Bus - a well known #Ballarat institution.  

A favourite of many people was Josh Wilkins, the founder of One Voice.  One Voice operates without government funding and provides free, clean shower facilities for homeless people.  Keep watch because there may be a #Ballarat version pop up thanks to the energies of local people.  A bus has already been given for the purpose but there is much more to be done before bus and showers can hit the road. Josh said that his ambition is to become like the community of Sant'Egidio in Italy who started small but now have moved on to providing health care and facilities.  

There were people from the general community who were concerned about Homelessness and who were seeking solutions to this grave problem. The forum was co-sponsored by Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council and Ballarat Interfaith Network. Many thanks to Father Constantine Osuchukwu (Treasurer, B.I.N. and Interfaith Officer, BRMC) and Margaret Lenan Ellis (Public Relations Officer, B.I.N.) who were at the forefront of organising the Forum and a special thanks for the great job that Father Constantine did in chairing proceedings.

If you attended, the Homelessness Forum or if you were prevented from attending, another gathering will be held on 9 October. Stay tuned for further details.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

City of #Ballarat's Draft Community Engagement

Residents are invited to have their say on the City of #Ballarat’s Draft Community Engagement Framework
Posted by Ballarat Council on Saturday, 19 September 2015

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

#HolyDays : Celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesh Chaturthi - Hinduism

Celebrated by Hindus around the world on 16 September 2015, read more about this Holy Day on the link below.#GaneshChaturthi #Hinduism
Posted by Faith Communities Council of Victoria on Monday, 14 September 2015

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Join the Grandmothers to-morrow night outside the #Ballarat Town Hall

From Hayley, BRASSN Volunteer Database Co-ordinator...

Here are three pieces of information for you being passed on from BRASSN (Ballarat Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Network). The first is a link to an ASRC Newsletter titled 'Are we doing enough'? The second is a Light the Dark vigil held in Ballarat this Monday at 6pm. The third is from BRASSN member David McPhail, who will be participating in the Run 4 Refugees with a Ballarat team.

1. Are we doing enough?

2. Subject:
 IMPORTANT Come and join us to Light the Dark for Aylun
  • Sorry for the late notice but this event has just been advertised by Get Up and so the
  • Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children Ballarat ( and their Friends invite you to join them outside the Ballarat Town Hall 6pm Monday 7th September at 6pm to Light the Dark. We will stand in solidarity with people throughout Australia who support refugees and asylum seekers. Please bring a candle or torch.

    The image of a Syrian child's lifeless body washed up on the shores of a Turkish beach this week brought the world to its knees. His name was Aylan Kurdi, and he was just three years old.

    The sad reality is that Aylan was one among millions of desperate people forced to flee from war and persecution. The world is facing a global refugee crisis on a scale we've not seen since WWII, but Australia - our lucky country of a fair go for all - is not doing enough. We can do better to help these people.
    We need to do better.

    That's why on Monday night, we will light a candle to remember Aylan Kurdi. We will stand together in solidarity with ...people across the world who are forced to ask for protection from countries like ours. We'll shine a light in the darkness, in protest of our country's abandonment of the world's most desperate people, who seek only safety and protection.

    We will send a message to the world that our government's inaction does not represent us, and that Australia says welcome.

    3. Ballarat Run 4 Refugees running the Melbourne Marathon. Sponsor David Mac Phail to raise funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
      Would you like to support the ASRC by sponsoring our marathon and by circulating this email through your networks.
    I am running Melbourne Marathon again this year with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre [ASRC]. We now have a Ballarat team which includes asylum seekers and refugees. Sophia, my daughter, is also running her first marathon with us. Ballarat Run 4 Refugees is raising much needed funds for Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

    ASRC gets no government funding and is completely dependent on fundraising. Last year Run 4 Refugees raised about $250,000 which was about the amount spent on accommodation.  In my role as volunteer Case Worker with ASRC I am able to say first hand how well this money is used for people who are otherwise homeless. 

    For 14 years the ASRC has been fighting for the human rights of asylum seekers. Over 10,000 people have been provided with sanctuary, support and hope by the ASRC in this time and thousands of people have won their freedom through this work. Your donation will help provide services to support people seeking asylum: legal appointments, housing, health care, employment services, English language classes, food and advocacy.

    You can make a donation by clicking on the link below to go to my fundraising page. There is also links to the ASRC web page for more information about the organisation.

    Hope you can sponsor me again this year.
    Thanks for your support,

    David Mac Phail,

Dating of an ancient Quranic manuscript raises dating questions

This article first appeared on HuffPost UK

In what could prove something of a pot hole for current readings of Islamic history, a carbon test carried out on a Quranic manuscript recently discovered in England reveals the book is likely older than Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic faith.

The test used a piece of the ancient parchment, which was discovered in Birmingham University Library in July, with scientists dating the tome from between 568 and 645AD.

Islamic scholars believe Muhammad lived between 570 and 632AD, meaning the text was compiled either before the Prophet’s birth or during his childhood.