Thursday, 3rd December
7.30 pm – 9.00 pm
Welcome to the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions!
The 2009 Parliament opens with a ‘Welcome to Country’ from Joy Murphy Wandin, senior elder of the Wurundjeri people, traditional owners of the land on which Melbourne resides. Through a series of blessings and performances, the world’s diverse religious and spiritual traditions will be acknowledged and honoured. Hear the urgent call to people and communities of faith, spirit and good will to ‘Make a World of Difference’ in the midst of the pressing challenges facing the global community.
Aunty Joy will offer a traditional Welcome to the Land, as is her right and traditional role as senior woman of the Wurundjeri People. She will also offer her perspectives on current concerns for Aboriginal Australians.
Dr. Sakena Yacoobi founded the Afghan Institute of Learning, a groundbreaking women-led grassroots NGO that supported 80 underground home schools for girls in the 1990s and continues to work to empower girls, women and the disenfranchised across Afghanistan.
Born in Japan in 1951, Dr Handa operates more than a dozen companies in Japan and abroad, ranging from management consulting to publishing. He is heavily involved with social causes; currently serving as the vice-president of the UK’s Royal National Institute for the Blind; director of World Faiths Development Dialogue; founder and chairman of Asia Faiths Development Dialogue; president of the International Shinto Foundation; advisor to the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions; and chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture.
Designated in Newsweek’s 2009 list as the most infl uential rabbi in the country, David Saperstein represents the national Reform Jewish Movement to the US Congress and Administration as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a renowned spiritual leader and multi-faceted humanitarian whose mission of uniting the world into a violence-free family has inspired millions of people worldwide. His Holiness is the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, an international non-profi t educational and humanitarian organisation, now active in more than 140 countries.
The Opening Plenary will take place in Plenary Hall, which is located on the ground level of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
The registration desk and the group registration and tours desk will be located in the concourse of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and will operate from 11:00am-8:00pm.