Youth, Interfaith and Non-violent Leadership

Youth, Interfaith and Non-violent Leadership

Pace e bene

Earlier this year, Pace e Bene, Australia, had the opportunity to offer a major program focused on nonviolent leadership. The Program offered 21 Young People, from different faith traditions to gather in Melbourne for 2 residential retreats across 8 days.

Nonviolent Leadership for Interfaith Peacebuilders

On the 29th January this year, 21 young adults from different faith/cultural backgrounds gathered for the first module of the National Nonviolent Leadership training program for Interfaith Peacebuilders. This inaugural program, run by Pace e Bene Australia invited participants to learn how to address violence and promote interfaith/intercultural understanding within their communities across Australia.

Second Module Speakers

Rabbi Chaim Cowen was born and bred in Melbourne. He attended a Jewish school in Caulfield, after which he travelled overseas to countries such as the USA, Israel and South Africa to complete his Rabbinic studies. Currently he practices as Rabbi of the Elsternwick Jewish Community whilst completing a post-graduate degree in Law. He is passionate about Judaism and wishes to promote peaceful and meaningful encounters among all human beings. In his capacity as member of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria he has been entrusted with the portfolio of ‘Engagement with Other Faiths’.

Jill Jameson has worked with people from Burma since the early 1990’s, from managing projects for International Women’s Development Agency on the Thai-Burma border to more recently, offering training in peace building both on the border and in Burma/ Myanmar. She also works with refugees from Burma, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in Australia, at the Foundation for Survivors of Torture, facilitating peace building training and skills to strengthen communities. Jill has been in Burma three times over the last year – firstly, at the invitation of Asia Peace and Education Foundation to conduct training in peace-building for teachers at the large monastic school, Phaung Daw Oo, and also for communities in Shan State . At that time, she had the honour of meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She offered peace- building training for recently released political prisoners, students and activists last November and just recently, where the emphasis was on working with and across difference and on healing and reconciliation. Jill is on the Advisory Committee of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, and coordinated the Melbourne chapter of Buddhist Peace Fellowship for 18 years until recently.

Sherene Hassan is the secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria. She has served on the board of the Islamic Council of Victoria as a fulltime volunteer since 2004. To date she has conducted over 700 information sessions on Islam to diverse audiences ranging from the Flying Fruit Fly Circus School to the Australian Federal Police. She is heavily involved in interfaith dialogue and is one of the media spokespeople for the Islamic Council of Victoria. In 2005 she was elected chairperson of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association Conference Committee. In December 2007, Sherene was selected by the Age newspaper as one of Melbourne’s 100 Most Influential people. Sherene serves on the board of the Islamic Museum of Australia due to open doors in 2013. Formerly a chemistry and physics teacher, Sherene is married with four children.

Read Participant Reflections on Module 1

Read Participant Community Projects

Source: Non Violent Interfaith Leadership