An Early Bird offer closes on 17 June for the multi-faith ‘Exclusion and Embrace: Disability, Justice and Spirituality’ conference taking place 21-23 August at Jasper Hotel, Melbourne. 

The conference explores the relationship between spirituality and disability and has attracted excellent speakers presenting a range of thought-provoking topics and personal experiences.

Sheikh Isse Musse, Imam of the Virgin Mary Mosque in Hoppers Crossing will be providing the conference with Islamic insights about disability.  He is a member of the Dispute Settlement Centre in the Department of Justice.

The conference will also hear from Saara Sabbagh, founding director of Benevolence Australia, an organisation formed to meet the growing needs of Australian Muslims in Melbourne.  Saara is particularly interested in how we can change our condition through promoting spiritual excellence, revival of sacred knowledge and creating welcome community spaces.

The three day conference includes keynote speakers Prof Hans Reinders, Chair of Ethics at Holland’s VU University, David Tacey, Emeritus Professor Humanities at La Trobe University and Rev Bill Gaventa, an international expert in faith-based support. Rev Gaventa will focus on ways congregations can be supportive.

Dr Emmanuel Nathan and Dr Dermot Nestor from Australian Catholic University will explore the human body in relation to Hebrew and New Testament Bibles and Dr Lorna Hallahan from Flinders University will discuss the importance of spirituality within the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The ethical responses of the Good Samaritan story are the focus of Griffith University’s Dr Jayne Clapton’s presentation and disability inclusion/exclusion within John’s Gospel feature in a talk by Dr Louise Gosbell from Mary Andrews College, Sydney. The conference also features an art exhibition that reflects people’s experience of disability and spirituality.

The conference is endorsed by a wide number of organisations including the Jewish Christian Muslim Association, the Faith Communities Council of Victoria and the Victorian Council of Churches.

To learn more, go to http://exclusionandembrace.melbourne/ or phone Ann Byrne on 03 9251 5404.