Annual Chairperson’s Report 21-Nov-2017

Presented at the Annual General Meeting

It is my pleasure to present the Chairperson’s report for the Queensland Faith Communities Council (QFCC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) of November, 2017.

Since the formal launch of the QFCC on the 23rd May, 2017, the Executive has met 3 times.

At each meeting we have worked diligently to establish the QFCC with the proper legal requirements of an organisation and to also ensure that Membership procedures are in place. We have also devised some events for our established and prospective members to attend.

I am pleased to report that all banking procedures are now in place and we have an account.

Two sub-committees were formed at the first Executive meeting held on the 27th July and I sincerely thank those who volunteered their time and skills for these very important sub-committees:
The Communications sub-committee; and
Membership sub-committee.

Communications Sub-Committee

This sub-committee was set up to look at developing the QFCC website and other forms of communication, and to establish policy around the promotion of events not organised by the QFCC. The communications sub-committee decided that there is a need for two formal disclaimers on the website – one stating that such event information is provided as a service to members, and the other relating to intellectual property and copyright.

Both of these would be included at the bottom of each page on the QFCC website. The sub-committee referred to the QCT website as the basis of their document and also asked for legal clarification from one of our members.

The communications sub-committee also decided to post a Calendar of Events on the website, with events colour-coded according to who is organising them. Only the QFCC webmaster will be able to add data to the calendar, and the communications sub-committee will decide which events will be advertised. The QFCC will only advertise events that are open to the public.

Membership Sub-Committee

The membership sub-committee was charged with devising a suitable Membership Application Form and a Statement about QFCC membership, which could be posted on the QFCC website once approved by the Executive as a whole.

The sub-committee used several references from local and overseas interfaith groups as a basis for their documents and this required much research.

The finalised Membership Application form and details of QFCC membership have now been on the website since mid to late October 2017 and we have received several applications. These applications will be reviewed by the Membership sub-committee and will then be presented to the Executive for final confirmation. If face-to-face meetings are required, these will be arranged.

The Queensland Plan

The Secretary and I met with the Chair of the Queensland Plan Ambassador’s Council in Q1 on the 13th September, 2017.

The Chair wanted to discuss the role faith groups have played in the past and can play in the future of Queensland.

It was significant that the QFCC was promoted to the Chair internally from another government department as the group he should consult on this topic.

This meeting with the Chair and his team highlighted potential avenues for the QFCC to progress its Vision.

The Executive will devote a special meeting to this so that we can stay in touch with this government initiative.

Women of Faith Dinner

This dinner was held on the 6th of September, with the aim of bringing together women from a diverse range of faiths, who had little experience of interfaith events, with female members of the QFCC.

This dinner provided the opportunity for a relaxed discussion about faith and community and highlighted the similarities we share, plus opened our eyes to the different challenges some faiths experience on a daily basis.

It was a very successful function with very positive feedback about the genuine communication between attendees. No-one was in a hurry to leave.

All food provided by the members of the QFCC was vegetarian/vegan which is now an initiative that the Executive as a whole has decided to implement for all QFCC events.
Special thanks to to members who provided short talks about their respective faiths (Sikhism and Baha’i).

Food Lover’s Guide

The QFCC website will eventually contain a full guide to the food requirements and dietary laws of our member organisations. This will be provided as a service to all our members and as a reference for government bodies, hospital boards etc.

It is a work in progress and hopefully will be updated as new groups join.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to thank the executive as a whole, for their willingness to give so freely of their time and expertise to help this wonderful and essential organisation function.

A very special thanks to our Secretary, Vice-Chair and Treasurer, for all the extra hours they have taken away from their family life and have given to the founding of the QFCC.

As a group of busy volunteers, we have always been very aware of the great responsibility to launch this organisation correctly and sensitively. We are very cognisant of the trust that you all have placed in us to create an organisation that can grow from strength to strength in representing a diverse group of people of faith.

Our aim has always been to bring people together who are genuine in their desire to make the Queensland community richer because of its diversity of beliefs.

In an age where belief systems are often ridiculed and their value minimised, it is essential that we as a body grow in strength as an example of true community, in all its various forms and traditions.

We as a faith group are living proof that we can all be strong in our individual faiths while uniting under a banner of mutual harmony, respect, support and dialogue. In these modern times, as in every time, hatred, fear and ignorance can conspire to separate people, and alienate them from one another. We must all work hard to care for one another and to respect one another, and though young, the QFCC is already establishing itself as a powerful vehicle for this message.

Chairperson
Queensland Faith Communities Council