Sounding a note of goodwill at a conference in Australia on cultures and religions

In 2008, co-workers from a Unit of Service in Australia were invited to participate in a conference entitled: From the Middle East to Asia Pacific: Arc of Conflict or Dialogue of Cultures and Religions?, sponsored by the group Globalisation for the Common Good. Their talk was entitled: The use of crossglobal meditation and subjective visualisation for the promotion of peaceful resolution, and included reference to Triangles and to World Goodwill’s Cycle of Conferences initiative.

A co-worker reports:

The Conference was held over a period of four days, with the first day, 30th June, being registration and the official launch. The Conference was opened by Professor Joseph Camilleri, Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University, Melbourne.

Keynote speakers at the launch were Justice Michael Kirby, High Court of Australia; Professor Muddathir Abdel-Rahim, International Institute of Islamic Thought, Malaysia; and Dr Kamran Mofid, Founder, Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative, UK.

On the ensuing three days, from 11am onwards, concurrent sessions of three, each offering three papers in response to call for papers, were presented. Prior to that each morning, a plenary session with two to three keynote speakers was conducted.

In all over 200 delegates attended the Conference. Over the three days a total of seven keynote speakers headed the Conference, and a total of 41, 20 minute papers, were presented during that time. At the conclusion of the first day a reception at Government House, followed by a multicultural evening was organised.

Many subjects dealt with the conflict between western and eastern modalities, much of them highlighting the areas where differences had eroded resolution, and where responsibility and compromise was to be found. Other areas considered inter-racial cultural differences, some on religious themes, and a few on subject-matter relating to the Asia/Pacific region. The major emphasis was more informative/educational rather than religious.

The paper I presented seemed to be received in good tone. World Goodwill/Triangles pamphlets and the Triangles postcard were made available at that time, and I noticed people picking them up at the conclusion of the talk. The adapted version of the Great Invocation postcard was made available also on the “general” table, and on checking each day I saw that some of these had been taken.

It was pleasing that the focus of the Conference seemed to be more geared towards academic/educational rather than religous. A CD of the papers is to be made, and selected papers will be published in a book through an international publishing house. I have submitted modified papers to suit both of these opportunities.