Welcome to the WellSpring eNewsletter! Please read on for more information about current news and events.

Building Bridges: A WellSpring baby!


Reflection from Tim McCowan, OAM
Director of Building Bridges, Co-ordinator of Reconciliation Programs at WellSpring
 
"It is a precious thing to hear the deep longing of another’s soul.  It is even more precious to hear the longings of one from a different religious tradition and recognise they mirror one’s own deep desire."
 
This is the truth I learnt at WellSpring and is what so many young Australians are learning each year through the Building Bridges Program. The Presentation Night is a rare opportunity for us to hear these young people from diverse religious backgrounds share personal stories of how their attitudes have changed and their horizons have expanded, and why they are now committed to live for the dreams they desire: a world that is more compassionate, understanding and respectful for each of us. 
 
Come along and I guarantee you’ll be inspired, and leave with more hope in your heart.

"I thought I need to do this just so I can sort of get out of the little bubble that I'm in at the moment.  And I thought it was quite important for the society we live in at the moment, just because it's so multicultural and so important that we are connected." – Christian student



 

Building Bridges through Interfaith Dialogue

 
The Building Bridges through Interfaith Dialogue is an initiative of WellSpring, that has taught over two thousand of the next generation of future leaders the integral skill of interfaith dialogue over the last twelve years.
 
The Building Bridges project aims to help secondary students of different faiths, religions, cultures and values in Years Ten and Eleven to build bridges of trust and friendship through learning key skills of dialogue and sharing personal experiences of their lives that have shaped them, as a foundation to negotiate, respect and engage with each other’s differences and commonalities.
 
The underlying principle of the Building Bridges program is that we each have a story to share. WellSpring would like to invite you to the Building Bridges 2015 Presentation Night to hear the stories of the students who have been impacted by the program this year.

"The greatest benefit of participating would be all the friendships that I made because it kind of broke down all the stereotypes and I got to really like know the other people and know like whenever you see someone, there’s more to them than what it appears." – Jewish student



 

Building Bridges 2015 Presentation Night 

Please join us as we celebrate the students’ participation in the Building Bridges through Interfaith Dialogue Program. This evening will honour the students’ inter-faith and inter-cultural exchange, where they have sought to build trust, understanding and mutual respect across religious and cultural differences through dialogue and sharing life stories throughout this year.
 
Wednesday 9 September 2015
7.30 to 9.30pm
 
Wadhurst Hall
Melbourne Grammar School
Corner of St Kilda Road and Domain Road, Melbourne
 
Evening highlights:
  • Guest speakers, including Sherene Hassan (a director of the Islamic Museum of Australia), Joel McKerrow (Australian performance poet, educator, youth worker)
  • Hearing students share their experience of the Building Bridges program
  • Presentation of certificates
  • Graduation-style photo booth for students
  • Light refreshments following the event 
Please register your attendance here.
 
Enquiries:
Tim McCowan, Building Bridges Director
By email or phone: 0400 436 430
 
Building Bridges is run through the WellSpring Centre and is thankful for the support from the Victorian Multicultural Commission.



"I find that differences are what unite us to come together. I pray like this and you pray like that, so we all pray but we pray in different ways; we all express ourselves in different ways. So like learning all the details of the different religions was really because we could see how similar we are, but also how different we are at the same time." – Muslim student


 

Three Ways to Support Building Bridges

  1. Learn the Building Bridges story – attend the Building Bridges 2015 Presentation Night and hear the students’ experiences firsthand.
  2. Invest in training an emerging interfaith dialogue leader – donate $200 to support a Building Bridges Facilitator to lead young people in an intercultural exchange
  3. Sponsor a student – donate $100 to see a young person gain an understanding, become more accepting of and confident in engaging with people of other faiths
Donations can be made through the WellSpring website – please add ‘Building Bridges donation’ as the purpose of payment, as well as any other details which you may need us to include in your receipt.

"It [the program] renewed my hope for a future without prejudice." – Muslim student
 



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