This vignette offers a brief account of a multi-faith ceremony at the Parklands at South Bank, Brisbane. Thanks to the Queensland Commemorative Events and Celebrations Committee in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
Celebrating the rich diversity of Queensland- an inclusive event
Each year, the Queensland Government holds a multi-faith ceremony on the eve of Australia Day to celebrate the rich diversity of Queensland. Spiritual leaders from across Queensland come together at the Parklands at South Bank for the multi-faith ceremony, highlighting the importance of multiculturalism and unity in Queensland.
The ceremony is a vibrant and diverse gathering of religious groups from across the state, with religious leaders conducting prayers and messages based on the theme 'respecting cultures'.
In 2007 the ceremony was attended by faith representatives from the Foguangshan Chung Tian Temple, Temple Shalom, Queensland Churches Together, the Brisbane Sikh Temple, the Regional Baha'i Council of Queensland, the Hindu Community, Imam Darra Mosque and the Evergreen Taoist Church.
Unity, harmony, respect and hope
In 2009 the invitation to attend contains the words 'Queensland celebrates unity, harmony, respect and hope'.
The event uses symbols to celebrate unity within Australia's diverse community. In 2007 guests were invited to write a prayer or message on a card which was displayed on a pine tree at the Nepalese Peace Pagoda for the ceremony. In 2008 messages, sayings and prayers of hope were written on multicoloured pin-wheels. The idea was that the messages of hope were dispersed in the wind via the pinwheel.
In 2007, Brisbane Birrallee Voices serenaded the 130 guests with the song Adimus and entertainment after the ceremony included the talented Carl Rathus playing the Shakuhatchi with Takako Nishibori on the Koto instruments from Japan.
Members of the general public are invited to join in these celebrations, which involve a vibrant and diverse gathering of religious groups from across Queensland.