Archived events

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 29 May-5 June 2022
(the week between Ascension and Pentecost)

27th May – 3 June Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week commences on the anniversary of the 1967 referendum and ends on Mabo Day.

27th May – anniversary of the 1967 Referendum
On 27 May 1967, an overwhelming majority of Australian citizens voted “yes” in a national referendum to amend clauses of the Australian Constitution concerning First Nations people. Campaigners for the “yes” vote successfully argued that those references were discriminatory and excluded First Nations people from citizenship. Learn more about the 1967 Referendum.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart was delivered on the 50th anniversary of the 1976 referendum (27 May 2017). The statement calls for structural reform, including (but not only) changing the constitution. Learn more about the Uluru Statement.

Friday 27 MayTalanoa with Rev James Bhagwan
General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC)
The National Council of Churches is hosting a gathering (‘talanoa’) in person and online with Rev James Bhagwan. James is an ordained minister of the Methodist Church in Fiji. He is a graduate of the Pacific Theological College (Suva) and Methodist Theological University (Seoul). His areas of advocacy are climate justice – with particular emphasis on the ocean – gender equality, self-determination ecumenism and interreligious dialogue.
Time: 11am to 1pm, Friday 27th May.
Register online at Trybooking  https://www.trybooking.com/BYKRP to receive the Zoom link

Thursday 26th May Ascension Day

The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, also called Ascension Day, Ascension Thursday, or sometimes Holy Thursday, commemorates the Christian belief of the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is one of the ecumenical feasts of Christian churches, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter, and Pentecost. Following the account of Acts 1:3 that the risen Jesus appeared for 40 days prior to his Ascension, Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter; although some Christian denominations have moved the observance to the following Sunday.

Thursday 26th May Sorry Day

National Sorry Day is a day to remember and acknowledge the mistreatment of First Nations people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities – the Stolen Generations. 
It’s a day to pay tribute to their remarkable strength and resilience, and to reflect on how we can contribute to the healing process of our communities. Because sorry means you don’t do it again.
Learn more about forced removal of First Nations children
Check out events and activities in your area, or simply intentionally spend time reflecting on the experience of the Stolen Generations.

Thursday 19th May, 6.30-7.30pm Abbas Nazari
(author of After the Tampa

Venue: Sunshine Library, 301 Hampshire Road, Sunshine
Hear Abbas speak about his journey, his experiences of thriving in a foreign country, and lessons learned along the way. Abbas fled the Taliban in Afghanistan as a child and was resettled in New Zealand after his family were rescued by the Tampa containership in 2001, an international story known as the Tampa Affair. Abbas and his family have thrived since being resettled in New Zealand. In 2019, Abbas was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the United States, where he graduated with a Master’s in Security Studies from Georgetown University, Washington DC. His memoir, After the Tampa: From Afghanistan to New Zealand (Allen & Unwin, 2021), is a #1 bestseller. Abbas is a prominent advocate for refugees and has recently been named a finalist for the 2022 Young New Zealander of the Year Award. Book now to hear his powerful and inspiring story. Light refreshments provided.

Orthodox Easter Day (Pascha)
Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter Day/Sunday of the Resurrection according to the Easter date in the Julian calendar, which is different from the Easter dates in the Gregorian calendar.

ANZAC long weekendRaising Peace event
As we face an increasingly complex and worrying world, the Australian Government is putting most of its resources into a militarised approach to assuring our security. But there are other ways to do this. Over the ANZAC Day long weekend Raising Peace presents a series of discussion about how we can assure a secure and peaceful Australia – and region – for all.
Saturday 23 April, 2-5pm: First Nations experience and perspectives on peace and conflict in Australia
Sunday 24 April, 2-5pm: Alternative approaches to Australia’s security narrative
Monday 25 April, 2-5pm: Exploring ways forward: diplomacy, the Gandhi Project, Quaker United Nations Office
Bookings are essential. Register via Eventbrite for the Zoom links for each session.

Ecumenical ANZAC Day Service
11am, 25th March 2022, St Paul’s Cathedral
206 Flinders St, Melbourne
Since 2014, every ANZAC Day service at the Cathedral has voiced many different stories about those who went to war, about conscientious objectors, and about those who remained at home. We have always included stories from the frontier wars, where the First Nations resisted the invasion and theft of their sovereign lands. This is a special focus in this Anzac Day service. The service is sponsored by St Paul’s Cathedral and Pax Christi Australia.
Preacher: The Rev Dr Garry Deverell
Dr Deverell is a Trawloolway man from Northern Lutrawita (Tasmanian) and a Lecturer and Research Fellow in the new School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Divinity
(click on link for more information)

Wednesday April 27th 2022 (Yom Hashoah) – online (Zoom)
Many Australians with Jewish ties or heritage observe Yom Hashoah, which is also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day. It commemorates the lives and heroism of Jewish people who died in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945.
More information and registration details here.

May 2-3 Eid Ul Fitr
An important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that celebratesthe end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Also known as the festival of the ‘Breaking of the Fast’.

ABC’s Big Deal documentary, 3rd May 5.15pm-8.15pm
Oaktree and the Australian Democracy Network are hosting a screening and discussion of ABC’s Big Deal, a powerful documentary that encourages active participation in our democracy. Venue is Library at The Dock in Docklands. Hailed as a “gripping political analysis and a hopeful story of people power”, this feature documentary explores the frightening extent to which money has infiltrated politics and how we might work together to safeguard our democracy from being sold to the highest bidder. The film screening will be followed by a discussion with an amazing panel featuring:
Craig Reucassel, Film Director of Big Deal, Adam Bandt, Leader of the Australian Greens and Melbourne MP, and more!
Tickets here on Eventbrite

International Firefighters Day (IFFD) – May 4th
IFFD is a time where the world’s community can recognise and honour the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible. It was instituted after the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a wildfire at Linton in Victoria, Australia. It is also a day in which current and past firefighters can be thanked for their contributions, especially given the increasing risks of bushfires in Australia.
The date chosen for International Firefighters’ Day is linked to the feast day of St Florian (the patron saint of all firefighters). St Florian was the first known commander of one firefighting squad in the Roman Empire. He lost his life, as well as those of his colleagues, for protecting the same humane ideas which firefighters all over the world share even today.
=> Remember also the work of VCC Emergencies Ministry.

Candlelight Vigil – Wednesday 4th May 2022 6pm
Online OR Family Violence Memorial Garden, Cnr Lansdowne St & St Andrews Pl, East Melbourne
Across Australia, people will light a candle to remember those who have been killed by domestic and family violence. By joining this evening of reflection and remembrance, we honour their memories and help bring light to this national crisis. Over the past 10 years in Australia, one woman has been killed nearly every week and one child killed each fortnight in the context of domestic and family violence. The Candlelight Vigil provides a space for people to come together to grieve for them, share messages of hope, and ensure that we never forget the people behind the statistics. The Vigil is also a call to action to speak up, lifting the veil of silence that surrounds domestic and family violence, and reach out for support if experiencing, and/or perpetrating violence. The event is LGBTIQA+ friendly. Specialist counsellors will be available for support and debriefing. More information here.
#LightACandle2022, #Vigil2022#WeRememberYou, #NeverForgotten, #endDV  

Friday May 6th 2022
Julia Baird interviews Sr Joan Chittister on The Drum (ABC)

May 6th Together We Can solve the climate crisis (livestream on Youtube – free) 6-8.30pm. More information here.
https://www.acf.org.au/watch-the-livestream
Hear in-depth about the nature and climate solutions that here and ready to slash pollution this decade from our expert panel of speakers:

  • Tishiko King: Campaign Director at Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network 
  • Saul Griffith: Inventor, Founder and Author of The Big Switch 
  • Sarah Wilson: Author, Podcaster, Climate Engager 
  • Anthony Brose van Groenou: Founder at Good Car Company 
  • Kelly O’Shanassy: Australian Conservation Foundation, CEO 
  • Mike Rann: Former Politician & Premier of SA, Australian High Commissioner to UK
  • (MC) Jo Hildebrand, TV & Radio Presenter, Reporter and Columnist 

Sunday 8th May 2022
Asia Pacific Global Online Prayer Service for Myanmar
(4.30pm Melbourne)
Pax Christi and friends invite you to remember Myanmar in A Day of Prayer for Myanmar. The service will be led by the Deputy Chair of Pax Christi International who is a Catholic sister from Kenya.  Myanmar needs every form of support, including prayer support.   “We appeal to Australian people to pray for peace, and an end to violence and Myanmar’s humanitarian disaster.” (National Unity Government of Myanmar)
You need to register in advance for the Service. Please use this link. You will get a confirmation email when you register.   
Download flyer:    pdfGlobal Prayer Service for Myanmar (100 KB)
For further information: Caesar D’Mello, Pax Christi Victoria, caesarmdm@gmail.com  

8 hour day – second Monday in March
Rev Dr Stephen Ames, Stephen Jezreel Alla Ames sames@unimelb.edu.au
For the last few years I have visited the ‘8hours’ on the second Monday in March, the old 8hours day, to say Morning Prayer and give thanks for this part of our life and pray for a better deal for workers. I would like to be part of an interchurch or interfaith event on that morning this March or on evening of the Sunday as a lead in to the day. I would be happy to help organise the event. Would the VCC be up for leading such an event? I probably should have approached John Bottomley for help. Let me know what you think. People are working longer than they use to and indeed working too long. I think the 8hours day tradition is of great value especially today.