July 2011

Workshops, conferences and penguins: A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the Asia-Pacific Youth Conference (APYC) on Philip Island.   I was especially excited for the opportunity to see the little penguins! 130 participants from all across the Asia-Pacific gathered for 6 days jam packed full of inspiring speeches, workshops & story sharing.   Lisa Tribuzio and myself had been invited to run several of the InterAction workshops with the participants. We got a great response and many people were excited by what InterAction was doing to promote interfaith cooperation.   The feedback was extremely valuable and we have already started revising and improving our workshops. I came away from the retreat feeling like I had received as much as I'd given, and the connections made with many amazing young people will remain into the InterAction volunteers amongst the gathering of young guests at the Shiva Vishnu temple future.

Sri Shiva Vishu Temple Visit On Sunday 17th July, the Sri Shiva Vishnu temple in Carrum Downs hosted the Temple's first ever youth interfaith tour. The Temple, which is one of only a handful of its kind around the world, has been a centre of Hindu worship and cultural festivals for many years for Victoria's disparate Hindu community. This event was also one of InterAction's first (of hopefully many!) interfaith places of worship tours. Upon arrival we joined a group of young people from many backgrounds, including Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and Hare Krishnas.  We were then met by youth members of the Hindu Community Council of Victoria (HCCVs), who gave a talk as to what their faith means to them and the central role the Temple has played in their lives. We then split up into smaller groups to take a tour of the Temple, as the many stories and traditions regarding various Hindu deities were narrated to us by our guides. After the tour, we were treated to a beautiful Classical Indian (Carnatic) music performance by a group of talented young people, followed by a sumptuous South Indian vegetarian feast. - Nivy Balachandran, Campaigns Coordinator

Upcoming events for August: iAct - ‘train the trainer’ 9.30AM-5.30PM, Sunday 28th August, InterAction HQ, 217-239 Montague St, Sth Melb For anyone with skills in group facilitation who is interested in taking the InterAction model out into the world, email: freeman@interaction.org.au Dinner with a show 6.00-9.30PM, Friday August 26th, InterAction HQ, 217-239 Montague St, Sth Melb Bring a dish, and recommend an episode from a TV show; visit InterAction’s Facebook or email: daniel@interaction.org.au

- Freeman Tebilcock, Architect of Togetherness A Faster Future: The Fast Supper, Melbourne's newest and only interfaith youth food van is now into its 8th week. Every  Wednesday night, The Fast Supper volunteers take out Father Bob's Hope Mobile and serve up great food, prepared by the Hare Krishna community, to people living in the housing block of South Melbourne. Despite the cold winter nights, keeping the numbers down, there has been great feedback and regular faces.   However, this is just the beginning. The next steps include bringing in more volunteers and training new coordinators. This will allow us to expand out and deliver food two nights a week; to diversify the menu, by linking in with local businesses and other community groups; and most importantly, to explore creative ways to engage with and learn from the people we are serving.  If this sounds interesting, then now is a great time to come on board. Please register interest with Christina Ghobadi, christina@interaction.org  - Eban Pollard, Stomach Savior

217-239 Montague Street, South Melbourne, VIC, 3205, T: 0431034254, info@interaction.org.au, http://interaction.org.au