Australia’s political and religious leaders have broken bread inside Parliament House for the seventh ACU Interfaith Parliamentary Breakfast. Source: Australian Catholic University.
The Interfaith Breakfast was co-hosted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Milton Dick. Cabinet Minister Chris Bowen, representing Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and Shadow Defence Minister Andrew Hastie, representing Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, also addressed more than 200 guests, including parliamentarians and faith community leaders, in the Great Hall at Parliament House.
In welcoming guests to Parliament House, Mr Dick said Australia’s national identity was tied closely with the country’s diverse religious and faith communities sitting in the room.
“If we can hold this event every day of a sitting week, I think our nation would be a lot stronger,” he said.
“When we all serve together, we can build stronger and resilient communities of mutual trust and, most importantly, respect.”
Mr Bowen acknowledged the Interfaith Breakfast was being held at a difficult time for many Australians, who clung on to their faith to cope with the devastations.
“I know for so many Australians with ties of faith and family in the Middle East that every day since we’ve been confronted by terrible scenes of death and devastation,” Mr Bowen said.
“These are times that try our soul, these are moments that can test our faith in God, our faith in each other, or our faith in humanity.
“These are moments when we’re asked to trust in a substance of things hoped for, in evidence of things not seen, to believe, when things are the darkest, that a new day will come.”
Initiated in 2014, ACU’s Parliamentary Interfaith Breakfast celebrates the diverse contribution faith communities have made on Australia’s national fabric. It has become a popular forum for interfaith dialogue and fosters positive engagement between the country’s political and religious leaders.