SGI-Australia Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary of Earth Charter
In August, 2010, SGI-Australia participated in celebrating 10 years since the launch of the Earth Charter, a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century.
Spanning three days, the Australia Pacific Earth Charter+10 Festival, with the theme "It Starts With One: Dialogue and Action for a Sustainable Future," was held in Brisbane from September 16-18. SGI-Australia, one of the Festival's Foundation Partners along with the Queensland Government, Griffith University and other faith-based groups, organized the "Seeds of Hope: Visions of sustainability, steps toward change" exhibition, a joint initiative of SGI and the Earth Charter International, and SGI-Australia's "Dark to Dawn: Being Creative about Depression" exhibition along with a panel discussion.
The first day of the event, designated "Day of Inspiration," was held at St. John's Cathedral in Brisbane where the "Seeds of Hope" exhibition was displayed. The opening included Aboriginal ceremonies of blessing and purification known as the "Welcome to Country" (blessing) and "Smoking Ceremony" (purification). This was followed by a report on the progress of the Earth Charter since 2000, by Mirian Vilela, Executive Director of Earth Charter International.
On the second day, called "Day of Action," a conference was held to discuss the application of the Earth Charter principles within businesses, the community and education.
The third day, "Day of Celebration," which took place at Musgrave Park, included a forum and panel discussion on depression and a showing of the "Dark to Dawn" exhibition organized by SGI-Australia. Assistant Queensland State Leader Samantha Liedtke, one of the panelists, said that the event offered her "an incredible opportunity to speak to strangers about issues that were so personal to them. I was honored that such an open channel of communication and trust was established so quickly."
[Adapted from a report from SGI-Australia; photo courtesy of SGI-Australia]