ROTARY OF PERTH PAST PRESIDENT UPDATE - 12TH DECEMBER 2017
 
Rotary Club of Perth – Guest Speakers (Adam Levin and Fadzi Whande)
8th December 2017
I am not sure if it was planned that way but the subject matter presented by today’s speakers just seemed so appropriate with it being so close to Christmas and how closely aligned the story behind the birth of Christ and the message at that time which was about peace and tolerance etc., vs the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance WA which is about social change now and a need for a deeper understanding in our community and society generally to be free from and intolerant to racial and religious prejudice and discrimination.
 
I have to say that being a member of the Rotary Club of Perth is like being a kid in a free lolly supermarket. The speakers we attract to our Club are of the calibre that enable so much food for thought and which challenges the listener intellectually 100%.
 
Today’s talk about the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance was no exception, the presentation from Adam and Fadzi was excellent and they explained that the foundation for the museum revolves round the principle of our human rights which are about the basic freedoms and protections that belong to us all. Human rights are based on dignity, equality and mutual respect, regardless of our nationality, religion or beliefs. On the flip side of human rights, this is about ‘truth and compassion’, ‘fairness and tolerance’ and also personal safety.
 
For many of us it is agreed that the fundamentals of human rights are important but how do you characterise the issues round social cohesion and challenge racial and religious prejudice? The museum came up with the idea to run a number of temporary pilot programs, these being: -
 
• Difficult Stories Symposium 2019 – WA’s first major symposium on themes of racism and prejudice and acknowledging historical wrongdoing and past bad decisions plus hopefully a few good stories too?
• Together for Humanity 2017 – In school education programs round diversity and information about different religions and messages around mutual respect, cooperation and understanding.
• The Touchstone Art Prize – Using the creative community to focus on racism and prejudice both past and present.
• Food stories of the Silk Road – Involving the convening and facilitating of six events a year designed to allow participants to experience cuisines from different cultures within the community
 
This whole concept looks to be both intellectually exciting, stimulating and challenging. This is something that Tourism WA should keep connected with and so should Rotary. If you wish to know more just go and google the ‘Museum of Freedom and Tolerance’. When you have read about the ideas tell me where your imagination stops and the potential for good starts? Rotary should be connected to these ideas. Adam, Fadzi, tell me how can I persuade you to become members of the Rotary Club of Perth…………………. Hey!.......................... how about Corporate membership? Jackson McDonald…. UWA? Please give this idea some thought.
 
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE – See you at Breakfast on Friday
 
Yours in Rotary, Graham Peden - Past President - Rotary of Perth 2015/2016
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