Snapshots of one humanity

Greater Dandenong IFN members Agnes Kean of the Baha''i faith, Venerable Ol San (Cambodian Buddhist), Captain Claire Emerton (The Salvation Army) and Helen Heath with the new book. 199479_01 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A lavish coffee-table book captures the spectacular assortment of faiths and places of worship in Greater Dandenong.

Many Faiths, One People was a “living history” project dreamed about for more than a decade.

Photographer Hilton Stone and Greater Dandenong IFN’s Helen Heath conceived the book which collects photos of IFN faith leaders and community members.

It was originally to be launched in 2014 to mark the IFN’s 25th anniversary.

But it was deferred to produce the high-quality book launched for what is the oldest Australian IFN’s 30-year birthday, Ms Heath said.

“As Mr Chin Tan states in his foreword, this book is the culmination of over a quarter century of good will and devotion to diversity.

“It is a tribute to all those faith and spiritual communities whose presence has greatly enriched the City of Greater Dandenong.”

To Ms Heath, the visual feast sparks questions such as what does a place of worship mean to people and a community.

And what is its special meaning for a community when so many risk religious persecution all around the world, she ponders.

“We hope the thoughts expressed by the faith leaders about the importance of understanding each other as we come from different faiths, will be a model and education for people to think about in their relationships with others who believe differently to them.”

Many Faiths, One People will be launched at a free event at Dandenong Library on Wednesday 30 November, 7pm-8.30pm. Books are available for $30.


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