Two minute statement

23 March 2023

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Vedanta Centre in Melbourne in Ringwood East in the electorate of Deakin. They were recipients of a $100,000 grant through the Community Development Grants Program. It was used for important renovations that enable them to support more members of their community.

The Vedanta Centre in Melbourne plays an essential role in bringing people together to practise their religion and other practices in the community. The Australian government is committed to ensuring that all Australians are supported in their personal, spiritual and ethical development, and that means ensuring that organisations, like the Vedanta Centre, have the facilities required for their growing membership.

Everyone who comes to our great country should feel welcome and able to practise their faith, regardless of their background. I was particularly pleased to hear how the monks from the centre engage in interfaith dialogues and meetings. This is an important way to demonstrate to the broader community in Ringwood and the Deakin electorate how they can all live in peace and harmony while still practising the different faiths that exist.

The Vedanta centre in Melbourne is a fantastic example of the positive role that faith organisations play in Australia, by creating a sense of community and promoting service to others. This was particularly important throughout the COVID pandemic when we were forced to isolate from friends and loved ones. It was inspiring to hear about the work by the monks at the centre to connect with people online and deliver food and other essentials to those in need.

It was a pleasure to meet so many wonderful members of the Vedanta community. I thank them again for having me at their Centre.