Darren Bark, CEO of the Council of Jewish Deputies of NSW (JBOD), opened the fifth celebration of special religious education (SRE) – held online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with more than 800 attendees logged in.
Traditionally held in person in Parliament, the celebration of SRE marks the collaboration of religious and communal leaders on an issue that unites them all: the importance and influence that religious education has on their lives and decisions.
Speakers at this year’s event included Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet, Opposition Leader Chris Minns, Education and Early Learning Minister Sarah Mitchell and Shadow Minister of Education Prue Car.
“We are so proud to be part of a coalition of faith, with our religious leaders here tonight in partnership with the government, the opposition and our parliamentary leaders to build cohesion and support each other,” Bark said in his speech.
“Our coalition of religious representatives works not only on religious education, but also on vital issues facing our communities.
“We have shown now, more than ever through the COVID-19 pandemic, that we are a force for positive change when we work together for the well-being of all communities, through the challenges we have faced for keep our communities safe and connected.
“An investment in faith is an investment in our entire community. “
Most Australians identify with a religion or spiritual belief – 60% – and religious diversity is only increasing in multicultural, multi-faith Australia.
Along with Bark, other leaders of religious organizations also had the opportunity to represent their religion, with speakers from the Anglican, Muslim, Hindu, Catholic and Buddhist communities at the event.
The celebration of special religious education was hosted by Murray Norman, CEO of Christian SRE.
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