2017: Celebrating Tolerance

Julian Burnside QC AO

Guest Speaker Julian Burnside QC AO

69th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

22nd December 2017

The Shirley Burke Theatre in Parkdale was packed to capacity with young and old from all walks of life. Everyone was eager to hear the guest speaker Julian Burnside QC AO, a famous Australian barrister who campaigns relentlessly as an advocate for refugees and asylum seekers. It was Kingston for Human Right’s Annual Event and the theme was Celebrating Tolerance.

The President of Kingston for Human Rights, Mr Ted Gibbs, paid tribute to the Kulin Nation and welcomed everyone. The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Shadow Attorney-General, Shadow Minister for National Security, Federal Labor Member for Isaacs opened the evening followed by the Westall College Singers with a delightful rendition of the song titled “Man in the Mirror” that set the tone for an evening to remember.  This song was made famous by Michael Jackson in the 80’s and is about the idea that social change begins with the individual.

With cheers from the audience Julian Burnside was welcomed and introduced by his university colleague Mark Dreyfus. Julian had flown in from a court case in Western Australia, battled with the peak hour traffic and managed to get to the podium on time.

Because of being an advocate for refugees and asylum seekers Julian had many stories to tell which engaged and inspired children and adults alike to hold out the hand of friendship to help others. He also was given the important task of presenting the prizes for the Children’s Art Competition that is held every year in conjunction with the annual event.

The Children’s Art Competition prizes were kindly donated by Mordialloc-Mentone Lions Club, Dingley Rotary and Westpac Braeside. The Year 9/10 Prize went to a group entry of 20 Kilbreda Year 10 Art students. They had spent 3 months preparing and creating an amazing project with 3D hand sculptures representing various forms of human nature such as individuality, culture and human nature and connecting to nature.

Year 10 Project "Hands"

They then adapted them into 2D paintings to incorporate TOLERANCE, which showed the hands in different ways to represent friendship and understanding towards each other. This came together as an exceptional project of which the school should be very proud!

The girls who represented the Year 10 Group at the awards night were so inspired after hearing Julian Burnside’s talk that they organised to donate the prize money to go to the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project http://basp.org.au

Also on display in the gallery was a collaborative project – an exceptionally beautiful hand stitched quilt created by Kilbreda Year 12 students. The quilt was on loan from Kilbreda College for the duration of the Children’s Art Exhibition in the Shirley Burke Gallery. The idea for making a quilt came about with the Year 12 students’ Central Australia trip when fabrics by aboriginal women artists were collected and sewn together as individual squares to make a quilt. Students then selected quotes reflecting courage and wrote them onto each square.

Every successful art competition requires an exceptional judge. This came in 2017 in the form of Tiffaney Bishop a leader in promoting youth in art. When she walked into the gallery she was astounded at the level of understanding by such young children. Art Teacher Cathy Maloney said, “In the context of this exhibition the diversity of ideas and individuality of styles may suggest why tolerance is so important for a thriving community.”

The evening finished on a high note with everyone mingling and chatting over a delicious supper.

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2016: Seeking Safe Haven: The Refugee’s Plight

William Kelly

The 68th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

10th December 2016

The 68th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was celebrated at the Shirley Burke theatre in Parkdale on Saturday December 10th 2016. The theme for the evening was Seeking Safe Haven: Plight of the World’s Refugees 2016 which was based around Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

Guest Speaker

Guest speaker was William Kelly OAM. Mr Kelly is an International Artist, Humanist and Human Rights activist internationally renowned for his peace activities. His work strongly addresses the ideas and ideals of community and the power of art to contribute to cultural change Mr Kelly is a former dean of the Victorian College of Arts and a guest lecturer at Yale, Oxford and Cambridge universities, as well as other institutions in Europe, South Africa, US, Eastern Europe and Australia. Kelly is a recipient of the Coat of Arms of the City of Guernica, Spain, and he is the only visual artist to be given the prestigious Courage of Conscience Award (Boston, US). Other recipients include Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Muhammad Ali and John Lennon. Mr Kelly has exhibited in Sydney, Cologne, New York City, Melbourne and in over 20 countries including Japan, England, Sweden and is in public collections including National Gallery of Australia, United Nations Collection (Geneva, Switzerland), New South Wales State Library, Museum (Spain), Museum of Modern Art at Heide (Melbourne), Durban Art Gallery (South Africa), Victorian Art Centre (Melbourne), Queensland Art Gallery and others.

Documentary screening:

Following the guest speaker was a screening of the Australian documentary “When Mary Meets Muhammad”. This film tells the story of a refugee who arrives into Australia’s first detention centre in Tasmania. It shows ordinary people meeting and getting to know each other as persons, and breaking through prejudices.

Guest musician:

Warren Wills entertained at the piano playing a repertoire from popular musicals and popular classics. Warren is a talented Australian composer and musician who also supports disadvantaged children in London and Australia with free musical theatre programs that are socially inclusive and find a common ground. He is presently collaborating with Les Twentyman in a program with physically and intellectually disadvantaged young Teens, from Melbourne’s Western Suburbs, which will culminate with a world premiere performance on 12 October 2017 at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College’s theatre.

Annual Children’s Art Competition:

The prizes for the Annual Children’s Art competition donated by Mordialloc-Mentone Lions Club were presented to the winners at the beginning of the evening. The Children’s Art competition is a vital component of the event, as KFHR believes that the best hope for a harmonious society is by ensuring the next generation is empowered to make the changes needed in the world. All entries were exhibited for two months in the Shirley Burke Gallery.

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2015: The Contribution of Refugees to Australian Society

The 67th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Dec 10, 2015


Kingston for Human Rights Inc. (KFHR) hosted the 2015 International Declaration of Human Rights celebration evening in Clarinda Community Centre. It was opened by Mr. Srini Srinivasan, the Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

“The Contribution of Refugees to Australian Society” was the topic for the guest speakers in the forum. This was based on Article 14 of the International Declaration of Human Rights : Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

The Speakers

Rev. Tim Costello, CEO World Vision Australia since 2004:
Tim Costello is one of Australia’s most recognised voices on social justice, leadership and ethics, having engaged in public debates on gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.

Tim is Chair of the Community Council of Australia, the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce and the National Australia Bank’s Social Responsibility Advisory Council. Has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Alcohol Education and Research Foundation, the Australian National Development Index, Business for Millennium Development, the Australian Council for International Development and as co-chair of Make Poverty History.

Click to see Rev. Tim Costello Interview https://youtu.be/O0BfJkv7L_M

Mr Fayia Isaiah Lahai (Isaiah), Graduate University of Tasmania in 2014:
BA in Social Work, Member of Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) A former refugee from the Republic of Sierra Leone. Arrived in Tasmania in November 2006 after fleeing Sierra Leone due to civil war and spending 14 years in many refugee camps in Guinea, West Africa. He is married with 5 children. Served as People of Australia Ambassador for Tasmania 2012-2014. Chair of Multicultural Policy Review Reference Group for the Tasmanian Government in 2013. Former Chair of the Sierra Leone/Liberia Union of Hobart. Founding member of the African Communities Council of Tasmania. Member the Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs advising the Premier of Tasmania.

Click to see Mr Fayia Isaiah Lahai Interview: https://youtu.be/IswHtx6xVB8

Joel Marlan-Tribe, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre:
Joel is an accomplished speaker and teacher having spent a significant part of his career abroad, working in Europe as a tour guide, and last year with the Japanese NGO ‘Peace Boat’ as an educator on topics as diverse as sustainable eating, global education issues, positive psychology and Australian Indigenous issues. Through his overseas experience, Joel brings a global perspective to the local debate around people seeking asylum.

Musical Entertainment
Talented violinist Lara Mladjen

Children’s Art Competition
The Children’s Art competition is a vital component of the event as KFHR believes that the best hope for a harmonious society is by ensuring the next generation is empowered to make the changes needed in the world. The winners were announced and received their prizes. All entries were exhibited for two months in the Clarinda Community Centre.

Click here to see KFHR Children’s Art Competition 2015 Video Clip https://youtu.be/BvrNGQREjFE


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