On Sunday June 8th 2014, around 800 people from the Mornington Peninsula community came together to celebrate at the Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Festival. This annual festival is a celebration of diversity through music, dance, art, workshops and food - a celebration of multifaith, a celebration of multiculturalism, and a celebration of community.
Dignitaries: Commissioner Grahame Leonard - Victorian Multicultural Commission (left), Faith leaders conducting Mulfaith blessing (centre), Mayor of Mornington Peninsula - Councillor Antonella Celli (right)
The opening ceremony began with a Smoking Ceremony and a Welcome to Country, followed by a Multifaith blessing from various faith traditions. The ceremony concluded with the Order of Australia Regional Group giving particular recognition to U3A (University of the Third Age) clubs for the contribution their members have made to the Mornington Peninsula community.
Community Workshops: Choir Singing (One Voice Choir) and African Drumming & Dancing
Upon the conclusion of the opening ceremony, a number of community building workshops commenced which included Laughter Yoga, Shake-Rattle-Roll, Choir Singing and African Drumming & Dancing. U3A members also ran a number of art and craft workshops and demonstrations including oil, pastel, watercolour paintings and drawings, embroidery and crochet.
Multifaith & Multicultural Stands
A number of colourful multifaith and multicultural stands were open during the day with delicious food provided by the Hare Krishnas. Special activities were provided for the kids, including face painting, indigenous jewellery making, australian animal clay sculpturing and boomerang painting and throwing.
Multicultural Concert: Burundi Drumming, Chinese Lion Dancing, Zimbabwean Choir Singing & Venezuelan ensemble.
The festival concluded with a Multicultural concert which included Aboriginal WhaleSinging, Chinese Lion Dancing, Burundi & Senegal Drumming, Ghanese Dancing, Zimbabwean Choir Singing, and a Venezuelan ensemble.
A great time was had by all. The Interfaith Festival is now in its sixth year and has become a prominent annual event on the Mornington Peninsula.