News & Events Update


BWCP Planning

At its first meeting for 2011, the Coordinating Committee did some very productive planning for the coming year.  Some of the outcomes are close to implementation and appear in the events section below.  Others are still in the development phase.  We look forward to a very exciting and inspirational year.  In order to support our work, we are planning to hold a film fund-raising event on Sunday 20 March.  See details below.

New BWCP contact details

From now on, the postal address for BWCP will be 84 Park Road, Woolloongabba 4102, instead of the Coordinator’s home address, which will be changing in the next month or so.  This is the address for Justice Place, a regular meeting place for BWCP.  The email address will remain A new phone contact number is still to be decided.   We expect our redesigned website to be up and running very soon (replacing the old one, with the same web address).  For those with an interest in social networking, Nora Amath, our Chairperson, has already created a Facebook page for BWCP.

Karen Armstrong’s 12 steps

Some of those among us who participated in the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne at the end of 2009 will have witnessed the launch of the Charter for Compassion. It developed as an international inspirational manifesto, under the leadership of Karen Armstrong, who has been campaigning to place compassion at the heart of religion.  Ms Armstrong has now published a book, 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life, in which she tries to translate the very compact vision presented in the Charter into a practical guide.

International Women’s Day

As 8th March approaches, we are reminded that 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of when the first International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated in 4 European countries.  Many events are being held on and around the day.   The Queensland government has announced Celebrating 100 years of women’s achievements as its theme for 2011, encouraging us reflect on women’s achievements and the key milestones for Queensland women in overcoming discrimination and advancing equality during the past 100 years.

The Minister for Women, Karen Struthers MP, has launched an online tribute gallery.  Titled Everyday women, extraordinary lives, it provides an opportunity to acknowledge women making a difference in the lives of the people they know and the communities they live in.  Any of us can visit the tribute gallery and nominate a woman we know who has made a difference – a friend, a relative, a woman we know in our local community.  Nominations remain open until 8 March.  Go to or phone 1800 177 577.

BWCP will be holding its IWD commemoration on Sunday 27th March.  Below are details of this and other IWD events of interest.

UN Women

This year also marks the start of the new high-level United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, known in short as UN Women, led by Michelle Bachelet, a former president of Chile.  Ms Bachelet has laid out five thematic priorities for work at country level:

  • expanding women’s voice, leadership and participation;
  • ending violence against women;
  • ensuring women’s full participation in conflict resolution;
  • enhancing women’s economic empowerment;
  • gender equality priorities central to planning and budgeting at all levels and in every sector.

For more information go to

WILPF Peace Women Awards

For the second year running, the Queensland branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the first international peace women’s organisation, will be holding its Peace Women Awards, in the lead up to its centenary in 2016.   The awards are open to any woman who has lived in Queensland for a significant part of her life and who has made a lasting contribution to peace in one or more of the following ways:

  • Working towards disarmament and non-violent solutions to international conflicts.
  • Promoting women’s and girls’ human rights
  • Confronting any form of discrimination whether it be on the basis of race, gender or  religious affiliation
  • Helping to build peaceful communities
  • Promoting economic justice
  • Sustainable living and the environment

Closing date for nominations: 31 MARCH 2011. To obtain a nomination form:  email or call Vikki Henry 3369-4004 or Norma Forrest on 3207-7929.


Sunday 20 March

The French Film Festival this year will include “Of Gods and Men” (in French with English subtitles), an amazing and provocative story about a group of Catholic monks in Algeria in the 1990’s, which got an award at Cannes last year.  BWCP is arranging to use this opportunity as a fund-raiser for its activities.  The ABC Radio National website has this resume:  “Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery perched in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize that they have no choice but to stay, come what may. This film is loosely based on the life of the Cistercian monks of Tibhirine in Algeria, from 1993 until their kidnapping in 1996.”  BWCP has 100 tickets to sell at $20 each for the screening on Sunday 20th March.  Contact Nora, 0422 349 786; or Wendy 3350 5802 to place orders and make arrangements for purchase and issuing of tickets.

Venue & time: Palace Centro cinema, James St, Fortitude Valley, 6.00pm.

Sunday 27 March

As a combined commemoration and celebration of International Women’s Day and Harmony Day, in collaboration with a group of Indonesian women, BWCP will host an event focusing on Women’s Emancipation Day, recognised each year in Indonesia on 21st April.  The keynote speaker will be Alimatul Qibtiyah, a PhD student at Griffith University.  After short responses by Indonesian men of two different generations, there will be a panel discussion with other contributors and audience participation.  The event will conclude with a fashion parade, a dance performance and a luncheon of Indonesian cuisine.  The event is free and open to the public, women and men.  Donations towards the cost of the venue will be appreciated.  RSVPs essential for catering purposes:  Fenti, 0407 632 492, 3711-2434; or Wendy, 3350 5802.

Venue & time:  Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University Nathan Campus, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Saturday 30 April

A BWCP social evening, to celebrate Mother’s Day.  A women’s only event, it will include henna painting, music and dancing.  All members, contacts and women friends welcome.  Bring a small plate of finger food or snacks to share.  Drinks will be provided.  More details will be provided later.

Venue & time:  Justice Place, 5 Abingdon St, Woolloongabba, starting approx. 6.00pm.


Sunday 27 February (rescheduled)

Invitation to an event in honour of World Religion Day, observed on the third Sunday of January in many localities throughout the globe. Its purpose is to call attention to the harmony of the various religions’ spiritual principles and to emphasize the healing role that religion can play as a motivating force for world peace.  The celebration will include readings by devout followers of a number of different faiths as well as music and video presentations.

The program will be followed by refreshments.  All welcome.

Venue & time:  Baha’i Centre of Learning, 26 Mayneview Street, Milton, 1:45pm for a 2:00pm start

Tuesday 8 March

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Amnesty International and the International Women’s Development Agency present ‘Stitch by Stitch’, a textile exhibition which tells many stories and demonstrates solidarity between women in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.  The exhibition will be open 8 – 12 March.  The opening night will include guest speakers and entertainment.  RSVP required by 4 March: or 3136-6400

Venue & time:  Jugglers Art Space, 103 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, 6 – 9pm.

Friday 11 March

The International Women’s Day celebration of the Women’s Ethnic Network (WEN).  The guest speakers will be inspirational and interesting Queensland women, details still to be confirmed.  All welcome.  Afternoon tea will be provided.  RSVP required for catering.  Phone 3844-9166 or email

Venue & time: Kurilpa Hall, 174 Boundary St, West End (next to library), 1 – 3pm.

Tuesday 15 March

The Multi-Faith Centre is hosting a public lecture on ‘Indigenous Women and Place: Aboriginal and Cherokee wisdom of building a relationship with Place’ on Tuesday 15 March. The presenters are two well-known Aboriginal leaders and activists, Mary Graham and Lilla Watson, and Cherokee Dr Polly Walker.  RSVP to 3735-7052 or

Venue & time:  Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University Nathan Campus, 7.15 – 8.45pm.

Saturday 21 May

White Ribbon Day Every Day Conference: ‘Professional learning for the prevention of gendered bullying and violence.’  This national conference, hosted by the Association of Women Educators, is open to everybody interested or involved in the primary prevention of violence and includes presentations and workshops by leading Australian experts. The program is about teaching boys from a young age that bullying and violence are completely unacceptable. See the AWE website for further details, or contact Wendy for a detailed program and registration form.

Venue: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Southbank.

Wendy Flannery
3350 5802

Notice of BWCP AGM

Margot Salom’s Jewish ancestry

Sunday 31 October

BWCP Annual General Meeting (AGM). 

After a short business meeting, the special guest speaker will be Margot Salom, who will talk about her journey tracing her Jewish ancestry back to 15th Spain.  Margot will also provide some insight into her ancestor, Emanuel Solomon, who gave refuge to Mary McKillop, the Adelaide founder of the Australian Sisters of St Joseph, when Mary was temporarily excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church.  All members, contacts and other interested women welcome.

Venue & time:  Justice Place, 5 Abingdon St, Woolloongabba, 1.30 – 4.00pm

Eid al-Fitr 2010

Margot Salom reflects on BWCP’s Eid al-Fitr celebration 2010.

Members and friends at the BWCP Eid Al-Fitr 2010

Margot Salom writes: “The celebration of Eid al-Fitr on Sunday 12th September, at the Griffith University Multi-Faith Centre was once again the gentle, pleasureable gathering that I remembered from the last few years.  Despite a technology glitch which meant no scheduled powerpoint presentation of Ramadhan and Eid around the world, Nora presented the information with her usual eloquence and charming manner. The sounds of Sufi music were a fitting background to the words from Nora and the other speakers.

 Best of all for me was the wonderful fellowship shared with the other attendees of many different faiths at the feast that followed.   I had been faced with an injured foot and had wondered whether I could/should attend this celebration as I had in previous years.  I had decided against going on the previous day to the annual Eidfest at Mt Gravatt Showgrounds.  But for this event at the Multi-Faith Centre I was spurred on by two strong motivations: firstly was the need to be present to give my support as a Jew, to this important Muslim celebration; secondly I have been angered and saddened at the ghastly anti-Muslim happenings in the USA at Ground Zero and all of the associated responses surrounding that.  Fortunately I did not have to crawl on my hands and knees as I had threatened to do to get to this gathering!! – the loan of a walking stick sufficed and I experienced once again the joy of being with many old friends, Muslim and those of other faiths.  ‘This is how it should be,’ I thought to myself.”

Nora has written an article on the event, complete with a lovely group photo, for Crescent Community News.  Here is the reference:

Believing Women

Believing Women for a Culture of Peace provides a social space for women of diverse faiths and cultures to create positive relationships and to develop a collective presence and voice in the wider community

Believing Women members and friend, Harmony Day
Believing Women members and friends, Harmony Day 2009

Believing Women’s activities reflect the diverse interests of our members. These include:

  • information and discussion sessions focusing on a particular faith or spiritual tradition
  • dialogue sessions on themes or topics of interest across faiths and spiritual traditions
  • an annual retreat to provide the opportunity for in-depth sharing and relationship building
  • workshops to address the challenges of conflict resolution and peace-building
  • celebrations to mark key annual commemorations of particular faith communities
  • interfaith activities related to public events and commemorations such as International Women’s Day and Harmony Day
  • informal social gatherings, including hospitality to a wider circle of women
  • participating in the events of other groups with whom we share a common interest
  • collaborating with such groups to organise joint activities

We welcome new members and anyone interested in receiving information about our activities.


Believing Women retreat
Believing Women members at a retreat


Believing Women for a Culture of Peace originated in Brisbane in the latter part of 2003.  A handful of women began meeting and decided to develop a vision for bringing together women in the greater Brisbane area interested in building understanding and relationships across faiths and cultures.

The membership grew initially by word of mouth and chance encounters, and all new members contributed to shaping what eventually emerged as the group’s vision, goals and scope of activities.  It draws predominantly on the resources within the membership, rather than relying on outside ‘experts’.  This has had a significant impact on the quality and depth of relationships that have developed among the members.


Living in a world where people of diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds mingle together as never before, believing women find themselves called to

  • cultivate deep mutual respect, understanding and appreciation across faiths and cultures
  • develop relationships based on what we have in common, and celebrate the bonding power of religious faith and Indigenous spiritualities
  • fashion the diversity of our spiritual and cultural resources into a power for the good of society as a whole
  • counteract the potential of religious and cultural differences for divisiveness and conflict, and contribute to a lasting culture of peace.

Believing Women for a Culture of Peace aims to

  • promote respectful relationships and mutual support among women of different faiths and spiritual paths
  • develop the capacity of members to engage confidently in sharing their faith and spirituality with others and in interfaith dialogue
  • provide opportunities for personal spiritual development and growth in intercultural awareness
  • serve as a resource for other community groups and organisations seeking the contribution of women from diverse faith and spiritual traditions
  • build partnerships with other local organisations or projects committed to addressing prejudice and intolerance and promoting peace
  • network with other local, national and international women’s interfaith and peace initiatives.
Living in harmony sculpture
Participants in the Asia-Pacific Interfaith Symposium: Women, Faith and a Culture of Peace (2008) gather around the ‘Living in Harmony Sculpture Project’


We welcome women of all faiths and spiritual paths. Members pay an annual fee according to ability. Believing Women also has a large group of informal contacts. Most activities are open to all of members and contacts, and some are open to a wider circle of friends and families of members.

If you are interested in becoming a member or being added to our information list, please contact us.