New Executive to guide Hume Interfaith Network

The Hume Interfaith Network will be supported by a new and passionate Executive across the next two years, Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, has said.

Cr Atmaca today outlined details on who will comprise the new Executive of the network, which aims to improve understanding between people of different faiths in Hume.

“The Hume Interfaith Network helps to build social harmony across our diverse municipality,” Cr Atmaca said.

“It provides a forum in which leaders from different religious organisations can come together with other community leaders to share experiences and discuss challenges.

“The network represents the many different cultures and religions which shape Hume, and includes members of the Christian, Islamic, Sikh, Buddhist, and Hindu communities.

“Almost 80 per cent of Hume residents have indicated that they follow a religion, and we are proud to be one of Australia’s most faith-focused communities.”

The new chair of the Hume Interfaith Network is The Venerable Judi Pollard, Vicar and Archdeacon of Essendon, from The Anglican Parish of Westmeadows/Bulla.

The newly appointed deputy chair is Aynur Simsirel, a Turkish-Australian who is Principal at Ilim College, an Islamic school with campuses in Dallas and Glenroy.

Other new members of the Hume Interfaith Network’s Executive are:

• Reverend Anh Nguyen – Catholic Parish of The Good Shepherd – Gladstone Park;
• Erhan Balci – Australian Islamic Social Association, Meadow Heights Mosque;
• Reverend David Withers - Uniting Church in Australia; and
• Ven Kotte Santhindrina - North Victorian Buddhist Association, Daham Niketanaya Temple.

Community leaders who will also form part of the Executive include:

• Ahmet Mithat Demir – Turkish, Islamic Community;
• Ajit Singh – Indian, Sikh Community;
• Joseph Haweil – Christian, Assyrian Community;
• Nishamanie Y Karawita Wenaida Waduge – Sri Lankan, Buddhist Community; and
• Nayana Bhandari – Indian, Hindu Community.

Cr Atmaca said the Hume Interfaith Network would undertake a number of workshops in the coming months.

“The new Executive is keen to reach out to every faith community across Hume to help members of religious organisations to learn from each other, and cultivate deeper friendships,” he said.

“This outreach will build on the work of the network’s youth ambassadors, who have visited a number of temples and mosques in recent months to connect with others.

“I’m so proud of the young people in Hume who are committed to a set of enduring values, because they act as excellent role models to so many others.”

On 5 August 2015, Hume City Council and the Hume Interfaith Network hosted One Community Many Faiths, a forum which, in part, enabled the network’s youth ambassadors to discuss their faith and culture.

Some of the programs coordinated by the Hume Interfaith Network are supported by funding from the Victorian Government.

Further information is here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 29 September 2015

Updated : 9:30 AM, 29 September 2015

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