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.
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. Festival photos, video clips and more are now available on the IFLC website.
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...
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.'
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.
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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