Healing Our Family - A UN International Women’s Day Event

28 April 2015

Last month in the City of Casey Council Chambers in Narre Warren, Victoria, Australia, WIN Foundation (Women’s Interfaith Network) CC held an event for UN International Women’s Day called “Healing Our Family.”

The event began with vegetarian finger food and drinks provided by Tandoori Junction. Pam Mamouney from The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints and Casey Interfaith Network, began proceedings with the housekeeping information.

Chairperson of WIN Foundation, Jessiee Kaur Singh addressed the gathering and invited each faith representative to say a short prayer. She read a message from the UN regarding International Women’s Day.

The prayers began with the Casey Council Prayer, which encompasses Multifaith elements and the Christian sentiments. It was read by Councilor Amanda Stapledon.

Each faith representative present then offered short prayers from their faiths.

  • Hindu (Saundaram)
  • Buddhist (Shirini)
  • Christian (Iland)
  • Jewish (Stephany)
  • Muslim (Zakia & Salina)
  • Zoroastrian (Dilnaz)
  • Sikh (Paramjeet)
  • Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints) (Pam)
  • Scientology (Jan)

Jessiee then called a minute of silence for all pain and anguish felt by all women globally, and for Aunty Walda who is terminally ill.

Welcome to Country was done by Luke Gardiner from the Wurrundjeri people of Kulin Nations. Djarrin Blow, grand nephew of Aunty Walda and the late Reg Blow played the yidaki (didgeridoo).

All the children were then asked to head downstairs for story telling, arts & crafts.

Dr. Nirmesh Jain, a specialist ‘health’ consultant, gave a power-point presentation about the growing need for greater vigilance about keeping good health, especially for women, due to the onslaught of pollutants globally.

Jamel Singh, project officer of WIN, then introduced the team of Dr. Jain and the steering work they are doing in health wellbeing. The gathering then took a brief break for Punjabi chai (spiced tea) while the forum was set up to discuss the important issue of violence within families.

What are the key elements needed to keep the family together and well?

The key elements were:

  • Communication / active listening
  • Sharing
  • Security & Safety
  • Trust
  • Tolerance?Culture/keeping traditions
  • Boundaries
  • Sense of belonging
  • Time together – home, holidays, Camping, cooking, playing
  • Active listening
  • Praying and eating together
  • Peace of mind
  • TV electronic ban during meals
  • Validation of feelings & accomplishments
  • Cooking together
  • Respecting each other
  • Goodwill
  • No self-centeredness
  • Affirmations
  • Pray together – stay together.
  • Gratitude for each other
  • Service (sewa)

If only ‘family’ can ‘do things’ together after switching off TV and technology.?Have special celebrations as a family – Christmas, each community’s special days, ANZAC Day, Australia Day, birthdays, etc.

The children then came in and made presentations to their mothers of cards they had constructed. They also shared what family was to them: "The family is our heartbeat. Mum is special.? We play together."

The gathering then accompanied them with a rendition about family.

Councilor Amanda did the closing address on behalf of Casey Council.

Acknowledgement of Djarin Blow and his family and Luke Gardiner.

Acknowledgement of WIN and International Women’s Day. Casey boasts four women councilors. Active in fostering inter-faith and inter-cultural harmony through various activities and gatherings.

The evening concluded with a Multi-chant rendition by Dya Singh and his family accompanied by Djarrin Blow on the yidaki.