Australia: UN International Day of Families 2016

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By UPF/WFWP Australia: UPF and WFWP Queensland had a beautiful celebration for UN International Day of Families attended by 30 Ambassadors for Peace (AFPs) and members of UPF and WFWP.

The program began with Indigenous elder Aunty Peggy Tidyman’s Acknowledgement of Country. Then MC, Mamiko Rattley, chair of UPF Queensland, welcomed all participants and emphasised the importance of this UN day to recognise the value of healthy families for peace in our community, nation and the world.

Words of greeting were given by AFPs Cr Kim Marx (recently re-elected local councillor) and Ms Freya Ostapovitch (former state MP and LNP Federal candidate for Rankin). They congratulated UPF for organising this special event for families. Representing AFPs in Queensland, Mr Surendra Prasad OAM welcomed all AFPs and guests and shared his commitment for the work of UPF for peace.

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Guest speaker for this special occasion was Mr Greg Stone, president of UPF Australia, who had just flown in from Sydney to present UPF’s Vision & Peace Principles. He passionately explained UPF’s key principles for peace (The Family: The School of Love and Living for Others) and highlighted the innovative work of UPF founder Rev Dr SM Moon to bring about lasting peace in the world.

We then appointed new Ambassadors for Peace by presenting certificates to three very worthy community leaders who have been an inspiration to many people. Those new three new AFPs are:

Ms. Gail K Ker OAM, CEO of Access Community Service Ltd, one of Queensland’s largest multicultural organisations which provides employment and training services for vast numbers of migrants and refugees. Gail received the Medal of the Order of Australia for her valuable work.

Pastor Constantin (Costa) B Mukendi, who after settling in Australia from the Congo founded two not-for-profit groups, the New Life Community Baptist Church and AusCongo Network Inc, through which he creates community development projects designed to alleviate poverty among Congolese people.

Dr, Arsalan M Falarti, originally from Iran, a well-respected Sufi Master in his community (besides his profession in the wool industry) who guides his people spiritually through Sufi teaching.

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After a supper break, the second half of the program saw the launching of Religious Youth Service (RYS). First the background of this new initiative was explained.

RYS Queensland is planning to organise projects with youth leaders of faith groups. Particularly faith communities of AFPs are encouraged to involve their youth, so that they can have a unique opportunity to engage in service projects with many youth from other faith groups. The projects will focus on the environment under the slogan “Youth for Environment & Peace”. Cr Kim Marx will help us to decide on possible environmental projects in her local council area.

Mr. Paul Saver (AFP and a health & physical education teacher at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre) gave an energetic presentation on the history and mission of RYS, based on his own experience attending eight RYS projects in several nations.

Everyone was excited to hear about this new innovation in Queensland.

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