Interfaith regional conference for Queensland


The Australian Council of Christians and Jews has announced the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane as the venue for the organisation’s 2013 regional conference. The Board of the ACU Faculty of Theology last week confirmed its approval for the conference to be held on the University’s Banyo campus.
Previously Australia has hosted delegates from the US, New Zealand, Asia and Europe at an International Conference held in Sydney in 2007.
“We are delighted to receive the ACU’s acceptance to hold next year’s conference in Brisbane”, said Australian Council president, William Szekely.
“This will be a unique opportunity to bring together members of the main faiths under the broad banner of ‘Engaging the Other: Christian-Jewish Perspectives” he pointed out.
Brisbane-based academic, Dr. Terry Veling, who is spearheading the organisation of the conference added that the 3-day event from September 30 to October 2 has the support of the Archdiocese of Brisbane’s Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue.
ACU Theology Faculty Executive Dean, Professor Anne Hunt indicated that the 2013 Conference has now been added to the Centre for Inter-Religious Dialogue’s agenda.
Dr. Veling, who is a member of the Catholic Theological Associations of Australia and America and of the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania explained that, increasingly the Christian community world-wide is entering into dialogue with people of other faiths. He reiterated a recent Queensland Churches Together statement which said that interfaith dialogue presents the challenge to be involved without confronting or showing disrespect for another person’s own tradition and faith.
“It is a challenge to stick with interfaith dialogue at times when we feel that for every three steps forward we are taking two backward,”.
The Australian Council of Christians and Jews ( and its associated bodies trace their origins to the late 1940s. The ACCJ is represented by State Councils in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and WA. Steps are afoot to enable the ACCJ to soon have a presence in Queensland.