KASAMA Vol. 21 No. 1 / January-February-March 2007 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network

Upcoming Events

Living the Information Society:
The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on People, Work and Communities in Asia

23 & 24 April 2007 at the Renaissance Hotel, Makati City, Manila, Philippines
Registration Fees: US$150 (PhP 7,500) / concession US$100 (PhP 5,000)
Conference web site

SPAN member Dr. Nicki Saroca will be presenting her paper Engaging with Kasal: Ethnographic research in an online ‘Fil-West’ community

Women of Ideas: Feminist Thinking for a New Era
International Feminist Summit

17 to 20 July 2007 at the Southbank Convention Centre, Townsville, Qld, Australia.
for entire Summit Aus$420/concession Aus$290
Day rate Aus$150.00/concession Aus$100
Conference web site Summit/summitIndex.html

Living under Civil Laws and Religious Laws in Australia:
Conflict or Harmony?

Tuesday, 1st May 2007, 9am to 5pm at the Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Forum website

This one-day National Forum is jointly sponsored by the Griffith University Multi-Faith Centre, the Islamic Council of Queensland, and the Interfaith Multicultural Forum, with funding by the Queensland Government under the Multicultural Assistance Program. Solidarity Philippines Australia Network and more than 20 other organisations have endorsed this Forum.

In recent years, there has been considerable public debate in Australia on the topic of Sharia Law. Some political and civic commentators have argued that Sharia Law is “incompatible” with Australian “culture” and “values” and the system of civil law, and poses a threat to the Australian “way of life.” Is it the case that Australians from diverse faith and spirituality traditions cannot live simultaneously under both civil laws and religious or faith laws, doctrines, precepts or codes in a way that promotes Australian values, human rights and democracy? How do peoples of various faiths and spirituality traditions, live successfully as citizens abiding by both Australian civil and “secular” laws as well as by their religious or faith laws? Are civil laws and religious or faith laws, doctrines and codes always in conflict? Or can they can co-exist in harmony? How have tensions been overcome creatively and peacefully?

Session 1: Sharia Law and Living as Muslims in Australian Society v Dr. Mohamad Abdalla, Director, Griffith Islamic Research Unit, Griffith University v Jamila Hussain, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Technology, Sydney v Dr. Nadirsyah Hosen, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong.

Session 2: Respecting Faith “Laws” Codes and Doctrines and Australian Civil Law: Jewish and Christian Perspectives v Grahame Leonard, President, Executive Council of Australian Jewry v Madeline Brennan, Member, Bar Association of Queensland v Prof. Gary Bouma, UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations Asia Pacific, Monash University.

Session 3: Practicing Hinduism, Buddhism, & Sikhism under Australian Civil Law v Dr. A. Balasubramaniam, President, Hindu Council of Australia v Jim Ferguson, President, Buddhist Council of Queensland v Jessiee Kaur Singh, Executive Director, Multifaith Affairs, UNITEDSIKHS.

Session 4: Responses: Social, Cultural & Legal Perspectives v John Woodley, former Democrats Senator, Uniting Church Minister v Assoc. Prof. Julia Howell, Dept. of International Business and Asian Studies, Griffith University v Rev. Dr. Noel Preston, Adjunct Prof. Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice & Governance, Griffith University v Prof. Toh Swee-Hin, Director, Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University.

Registration Fee: Aus$25 (GST included)
Please fax registration to (0)7-3735-7131
The form can also be downloaded from

For parking on Nathan campus, see map at