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AIS opens Ramadan with Parliament Iftar Dinner

Photo credit: Begum Yilmaz. Additional photos are available here.


This year's Victorian State Parliament Iftar Dinner took place in Sofitel Hotel's Latrobe Ballroom on Monday, 22 June 2015. Organised by the Australian Intercultural Society (AIS), the event was attended by 230 guests, including about 30 MPs and 20 representatives from the Melbourne Consular Corps.

Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright from Victoria Police introduced the program, which was emceed by Ms Toltu Tufa, director of Afaan Publications.

The dinner was co-hosted by two Parliamentarians: Deputy Premier the Hon James Merlino of the Labor Party and Mrs Inga Peulich MLC of the Liberal Party. The keynote speaker was Andrew Ingleton, Cricket Australia's Executive General Manager of Game and Market Development. Guests were later invited to take a photograph with the sizable World Cup cricket trophy on display for the evening.

Additional speakers included Mr Ahmet Keskin, executive director of AIS, and Mr Hakan Yucel, lecturer at Fatih University in Istanbul, who gave the call to prayer (adhan) and recited several verses from the Quran.

The dinner also featured a spiritual Whirling Dervishes performance from members of the Naqshbandi Nazimiyya Sufi Order.

The evening concluded with a vote of thanks by the Hon Robin Scott, Victoria's Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Finance. He noted that the Parliament of Victoria stands with the Muslim community in Victoria, alongside other communities. He captured the mood of the evening when he said, 'We respect, we honour and we fundamentally acknowledge not just the diversity, but underlying that diversity, the fundamental dignity of all people and celebrate the common humanity which lies at the heart of multiculturalism.'



Ombudsman Deborah Glass discusses plans for achieving fairness for all Victorians


Tuesday, 7 March 2015 -- The Australian Intercultural Society organised a luncheon for about 80 guests on 7 April 2015, featuring Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass OBE. The event was titled, "Seeking fairness for marginalised members of the community".

Welcoming remarks were given by Ahmet Keskin, executive director of AIS, followed by an introduction by facilitator Rev'd Dr Gordon Preece, director of the Ethos Centre for Christianity and Society.

During her talk, Deborah Glass outlined the history of the ombudsman role and emphasised its importance for all Victorians today. She also highlighted several of her long-term goals, including creating a single complaints portal that would help connect people with the appropriate ombudsman service.

"I'd like to make it easier for people to complain," Glass said. She reiterated that complaints are useful because they provide critical feedback on how an organisation can improve and maintain accountability for its actions.

To make her office more accessible, Glass said she would like to develop informational materials for third-party advocates who deal directly with marginalised groups. She would also like to change legislation to allow complaints to be submitted in a variety of ways, as currently they must be submitted in writing.

Glass explained, "It all heads in the general direction of ensuring that all Victorians have a voice, that we work to redress that imbalance of power between the individual and the state."

The event concluded with a Q&A session and the presentation of gifts of thanks.

This event was also covered by the Herald Sun's John Masanauskas here.

AIS would like to thank the event sponsor, Arzu Hair Design, for their generous support.




Keynote Speech


Archived News

Upcoming Events

Mon Jul 06, 2015 @12:00AM
Home iftar dinners
Tue Jul 07, 2015 @ 4:30PM - 07:45PM
Australian Catholic University Iftar Dinner
Tue Jul 14, 2015 @ 5:00PM - 07:30PM
Deakin University Iftar Dinner
Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
La Trobe University Iftar Dinner
Tue Aug 04, 2015 @12:00PM -
Remembering August 1915 Offensive: Questions and Commemoration
Tue Aug 18, 2015 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
Luncheon with Ged Kearney

Past Events, Photos and Videos

Mon Jul 06, 2015 @12:00AM
Home iftar dinners
Thu Jul 02, 2015 @ 5:00PM -
Rotary Club Iftar Dinner
Mon Jun 22, 2015 @ 4:30PM -
2015 Victorian State Parliament Iftar Dinner
Sun Jun 07, 2015 @ 7:00PM - 09:30PM
International Festival of Language and Culture
Sun May 24, 2015 @12:00AM
BBQs and Brekkies
Tue Apr 07, 2015 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
Luncheon with Deborah Glass
Wed Mar 25, 2015 @ 6:30PM - 09:30PM
Muslim and Catholic Maryam Meal
Wed Dec 17, 2014 @ 7:00PM -
Whirling Dervishes 2014
Tue Dec 09, 2014 @ 6:00PM - 08:30PM
"Love is a Verb" Documentary
Sat Dec 06, 2014 @ 5:00PM - 07:00PM
2014 Anatolian Culture and Arts Festival VIP Program
Tue Nov 25, 2014 @10:30AM - 11:45AM
Morning Tea with Greg Barton and Mehmet Ozalp

Intercultural Study Tours

The AIS is organising several projects for 2014 and 2015 which include a ANZAC Spirit Study Tour. For more information on Study Tour registration and itinerary, please contact the AIS. Read more...

Ramadan Iftars

Iftar dinner programs will commence with the beginning of Ramadan. Read more...

Luncheon Forums

Luncheon forums are designed to cultivate friendship, celebrate multiculturalism, promote dialogue, social harmony and social inclusiveness and deepen intercultural awareness among the many diverse cultures of Australia. Read more...


Australian Intercultural Society organises several intercultural conferences aimed to benefit relationships between different communities. Read more...

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