ARRCC National Conference
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The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) warmly invites you to participate in our inaugural national Conference. The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture is an official sponsor.
ARRCC has a unique role in Australia in bringing together diverse people of faith as witnesses to both our common humanity and respect for the earth. In the past two years, our capacity has grown and our voice has strengthened in the public debate. Local faith groups in many different parts of the country have supported the School Strikers for Climate, held Carols Against Coal, Funerals for Coal, put up “No New Coal” signs outside of places of worship and held workshops on climate-friendly lifestyles.
Come along and meet other people of faith who have been taking action on the climate crisis. The Conference will be an opportunity to hone our skills and capacity to do this more effectively. It will serve to:
- Build knowledge, skills and confidence to organise at a local level, especially politically (nonpartisan)
- Inspire people to act on the climate emergency
- Empower people of diverse faiths to take ARRCC-inspired action together
- Help form and strengthen active local groups
We will share and learn with the help of inspirational campaigners, skilled community organisers, Aboriginal activists, faith leaders and experts in their fields.
Time and place
Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall St, Barton. 2600.
Program starts 6.30 pm Friday, November 8th - participants may arrive after 4 pm, and dinner will be served before the conference formally begins.
to 3.30 pm Sunday, November 10th
A Prayer and Meditation Room will be available on site. Conference participants are very welcome to take time out for prayer or meditation at any time, in accordance with their religious observances.
Conference participants are encouraged to take low-carbon options in travelling to the conference or offset their emissions from travel with Greenfleet.
All meals and morning and afternoon teas will be provided, except breakfasts. Food will be vegetarian or vegan (to simplify matters). Strictly kosher or halal food can be arranged if requested. Participants are advised that no alcohol will be served at the Conference venue.
If you have further dietary requirements for either medical or religious reasons, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org when you register, or by October 25th.
The conference does not have any hotel accommodation deal, so please arrange your own accommodation. If cost is a consideration, we recommend that you explore Airbnb or Stayz as options.
We are arranging stays in local people’s homes, but cannot guarantee availability. Please let us know when you register, if you’d either like a bed or can offer one.
Conference participants are welcome to arrive after 4 pm and mingle. Before dinner, there will be a brief ceremony called “Kiddush” to welcome the Jewish Shabbat.
Each morning and afternoon of the conference will begin with prayer or meditation in one of the great religious traditions.
Friday night – Starting 6.30 pm Welcome, including Welcome to Country, introductions, Multi-Faith Prayer and Reflection, Aboriginal struggles to defend country today (especially in relation to mining)
Saturday morning – Academic speakers are Prof Lesley Hughes covering climate science today; Assoc Prof Mehmet Ozalp and Dr Miriam Pepper on religious responses in the Islamic and Christian traditions, and Dr James Whelan facilitating discussion on the special role people of faith can play in addressing the climate emergency.
Saturday evening – Informal conference dinner at the venue
Saturday afternoon and Sunday – A mix of presentations, skills workshops and discussion, and some time spent celebrating and analysis of positive local ARRCC stories. Finishes 3.30 pm.
Josh Creaser from Tipping Point, Tejopala Rawls, Dr James Whelan and Thea Ormerod will facilitate workshops in community organising skills.
There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and contribute, with breaks in which people can network with each other. When you leave, you will be clearer on where you might best contribute in your own contexts.
Academic speakers at the conference
Professor Lesley Hughes is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University. Professor Hughes is a Councilor with the Climate Council of Australia. Her research has mainly focused on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems.
Associate Professor Mehmet Ozalp is a theologian, author and academic and the founding director of the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation at Charles Sturt University (CSU). He is the executive director of Islamic Sciences and Research Academy of Australia (ISRA) and a Research Fellow of the Centre at the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre, Charles Sturt University.
Dr Miriam Pepper has been working with churches, other faith groups and community groups on climate change and the environment for 15 years. She is a member of the Uniting Church’s Uniting Eco Group and Uniting Earth Ministry Support Group. She is a founder of ARRCC and part of the Faith Ecology Network. Miriam is a researcher at National Christian Life Survey (NCLS) Research and she is also a Research Fellow at the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre, Charles Sturt University.
Dr James Whelan works as a community educator and campaigner with nongovernment and grassroots community and environment groups on campaigns for social and environmental justice. As a researcher and lecturer, he has been engaged by several Australian universities and has published widely on participatory democracy, environmental politics, popular education and social movements.
Workshop sessions will be facilitated by James Whelan (mentioned above), Josh Creaser from Tipping Point, Tejopala Rawls who is ARRCC’s community organiser, Thea Ormerod who is ARRCC’s President, and a number of talented community leaders from within the ARRCC network.
Alternative ways to register
There are a few ways to register. If you prefer not to register online, you could use the registration form on this brochure. Print it off, complete it, and post it with a cheque to: ARRCC, c/o Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000.
Alternatively, you could send the completed form and arrange a direct bank transfer. As “Description” please put your surname and “conference”. Our account details are:
Account name: ARRCC, Incorporated
BSB: 313 140
Account number: 12038597
Closing date for registrations is 25 October 2019. Contact email@example.com if you want to register after this date.