June & July 2015 -- This year, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins in mid-June and ends in mid-July. We are organising both large-scale and home iftar dinners as part of our intercultural and interfaith initiatives.
BBQs and Brekkies
Autumn 2015 -- Join us for a weekend breakfast or barbecue in a relaxed, small-group setting.
Language & Culture Festival
Sunday, 7 June 2015 -- The International Festival of Language and Culture (IFLC) is an annual celebration showcasing the linguistic talents of students from around the world. Join AIS as we support this free event here in Melbourne.
1 November 2014 - We now have a new address: Ground floor, Suite 2, 441 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004. It is just across the street from our old address.
More information and photos...
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.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 -- The Australian Intercultural Society (AIS) and the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission (EIC) co-hosted the Muslim and Catholic Maryam Meal for approximately 100 guests at the Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne. The dinner focused on two topics: Mary as a common figure to both Catholicism and Islam, and the contributions of Islam and Catholicism to society and culture.
The choice of date was especially meaningful as 25 March marks the Feast of the Annunciation for Catholics, and 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the 1965 Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.
Welcoming remarks were given by the Very Rev Fr Denis Stanley, EIC chair and Episcopal Vicar of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, and Ahmet Keskin, executive director of AIS.
Keynote speakers included Sr Dr Mary Reaburn, NDS, lecturer in Biblical Studies at Yarra Theological Union and member of EIC, as well as Dr Zuleyha Keskin, course coordinator and lecturer at Charles Sturt University.
Other speakers included Bishop Mark Edwards OMI, auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, who led the prayer for God's blessing on the meal; Sheikh Riad Galil, imam of West Heidelberg Mosque, who recited from the chapter of the Qur'an titled Maryam (19:16-22); and Martin Chatfield, member of the Catholic Interfaith Committee, who recited from the second chapter of the Holy Gospel: the Gospel according to St Luke.
These discussions highlighted how both the Islamic and Catholic traditions honour Mary as an excellent role model for men and women alike.
To complement the talks, two videos were shown. The first video, produced by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and titled Contributions of the Catholic Church to Society and Culture, demonstrated Catholicism's impact on multiple aspects of society, such as family structure, music, art and architecture. The second video, 1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets, considered the scientific heritage of Muslim civilisation from the perspective of several schoolchildren.
The meal concluded with a discussion of the evening's themes.
AIS would especially like to thank EIC Executive Officer David Schütz for all his efforts in organising this event.
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...
Iftar dinner programs will commence with the beginning of Ramadan. Read more...
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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