On June 3rd 2012, faith traditions came together in the spirit of peace to celebrate at the Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Festival. This year's theme was 'The Wisdom of Indigenous Faiths' and focused on how indigenous cultures can teach us about sharing, sustainability, and our spiritual relationship to Mother Earth.
Held during reconciliation week, and marking the 20th anniversary of the Mabo Native Title High Court Decision, the festival was well attended with over 500 people coming together to celebrate this wonderful occassion.
The festival commenced with an opening ceremony which included a smoking ceremony and a welcome to country. This was followed by a multifaith blessing performed by representatives from a number of indigenous faith traditions including Aboriginal, Maori, West Papuan, Native American, Anatolian, Nagaland and Alaskan.
Upon completion of the opening ceremony, a number of workshops commenced including 'Whale Dreaming Story Telling', 'Conversations on Dreaming', 'Boomerang Painting', 'Semah Spiritual Dancing', 'African Drumming and Dancing' and 'Laughter Yoga'. These workshops were instrumental in getting the various faith communities to interact in a fun, enjoyable manner.
Indigenous Art & Film Exhibitions were on display during the entire day, as well as table-stands from various faith traditions who shared knowledge about their respective practises and beliefs. The Hare Krishnas provided beautiful food for all.
The festival concluded with a multifaith indigenous concert which included outstanding musical and dance performances.
The organisers would like to thank the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Mornington Peninsula Shire for their continual support of the Interfaith Festival, and in particular VMC Commissioner Yasser Soliman and Mornington Peninsula Shire Councillor Antonella Celli for their attendance.