Unification News for June 2002

International Leadership Seminar in Sydney

by Greg Stone

Sydney Australia was the first port of call of the ILS program in Oceania. The seminar took place on Saturday 25th May 2002 and attracted participants from areas of politics, religion, media, education and civil society. Around sixty leaders attended. They represented a wide cross-section of the multicultural Australian community.

The keynote address from Rev. Kwak, presented by Rev Yong Cheol Song, set the tone and direction for the seminar. The presentations by Dr. Walsh introducing IIFWP, "The Significance of Eternal Life and the Spirit World" and the "The Significance of Marriage Family and the Blessing" inspired an enthusiastic response from participants. People could see that this offered deep and fundamental solutions to the problems of our nation and world.

Lord and Lady Murray came forward as representative couple to receive the International Peace Blessing and most of the attendees joined in.

In the last session, Rev Paul Saver, the National Coordinator of the International Education Foundation, gave an inspiring presentation on the "Need for Character Education in Schools". This was followed by a presentation on the Religious Youth Service by Mrs. Fazida Razak, Coordinator of RYS in the Asia Pacific Region, and Mr. Michael Jarrett Aboriginal Leader and Educator.

Six new Peace Ambassadors were awarded their certificates, adding to the diverse and growing team of Peace Ambassadors in Australia. The high spirit was reflected in the very encouraging written responses of the participants. Mr. Tianethone Chantharasy, Senior Advisor to the Lao Buddhist Association and former Lao Ambassador to India commented:

"Heartfelt congratulations to all the organizers of this wonderful seminar. I was impressed by the warm hospitality extended to us all. Old and young participants are practicing what they have learned through involvement in the activities of IIFWP. I noticed sparks in the eyes of participants (trust, honesty, purity). Moral character education is of utmost importance to bringing real peace in this world. May the Almighty bless all!"

At a follow up Peace Ambassadors luncheon on 6th June in Sydney, several Peace Ambassadors came forward and volunteered their enthusiastic suggestions, cooperation and help for future IIFWP projects over the remainder of the year. Two journalists from Chinese newspapers, one of which is distributed internationally, attended this meeting and produced positive stories which appeared the following day. We are building up a close knit working team of ambassadors and many doors and exciting opportunities are opening up.

Greg Stone is Secretary-General, IIFWP Oceania

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