Media Centre


01 June 2015

On Sunday, nearly 100 people attended the Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA) community forum on Social Cohesion at the Cardinal Knox Centre in East Melbourne.  The forum celebrated the success of multiculturalism in Victoria, discussed the issues and challenges confronting our social cohesion and workshopped actions to safeguard the community from those challenges.

The event was co-hosted by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) with Hon Robin Scott, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Bishop Philip Huggins, JCMA President, Sir James Gobbo, JCMA Patron, and Prof Gary Bouma as keynote speaker.

Minister Scott said that social cohesion had been integral to our success as a community.  He said, “multiculturalism is not bipartisan, but non-partisan in Victoria.  It is above Labor or Liberal.”

Sir James Gobbo said that the Australian approach to social cohesion was different to other countries, because we did not let overseas events interfere with our multicultural scene.  “We must understand our strengths which come from multiculturalism, and confront the challenges which face us from overseas.”

Prof Bouma highlighted that Victoria benefited from the best community policing in the world.  “We have trust built up, unlike anywhere else in the world.”

Cr Phillip Vlahogiannis, Mayor of the City of Yarra said, “the great thing about being a human being, is our ability to show empathy.”

Frances Prince, JCCV Executive Member for Multifaith and Multiculturalism and David Marlow, JCCV Executive Director represented the JCCV while the Jewish community was also represented by Rabbi Shamir Caplan, Miriam Bass, Vice President of NJCWA (Vic), Dr Helen Light, former JCCV Vice President and various other interested community members.

Participants came from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities, including local Government, AFL Ambassadors, clergy, police, youth leaders and grassroots supporters of social cohesion and community harmony.

Photographer: Paul Topol


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