Australian Prime Minister and MPs mark community’s centenary at Parliament
The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, and other national leaders have expressed their warm appreciation to the Australian Bahá’í community on the occasion of the centenary of its establishment in the country.
“The Bahá’í Faith is one of inclusion and respect,” the Prime Minister said. “People of the Bahá’í Faith contribute to our social good through the values of equality, truth, and respect. These values mirror our national commitment to a rich and diverse multicultural, multi-faith society. … For the past 100 years the Bahá’í Community have been a generous and valued faith group in our Australian community. Faith is as much about connectedness as it is about belief. It’s about community. It brings us together in so many ways.”
Noting the challenging circumstances that have marked this centenary year, the Prime Minister continues, “I want to thank the Bahá’í community for finding ways to continue celebrating your faith and connecting your community while honoring the commitment to keeping our community as a whole safe in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. … may the hope we all share and the importance of faith guide us through these challenges that we face together.”
The Prime Minister’s recorded remarks were conveyed at a parliamentary reception for the anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh held Tuesday at Parliament House in Canberra. Guests from government—including 14 members of parliament—as well as faith communities, diplomats, and other organizations joined, with a limited number in person and others online.
The Prime Minister was joined in his sentiments by other national leaders. Anthony Albanese, the leader of the opposition, said in his message, “The Bahá’í Faith teaches that we are all equal members of a single human family who share this planet as our common bond. … There is so much for you to celebrate, not least the spirit of your community and your principles of unity and social cohesion through love, and, of course, respect for all of humanity.”
After these events, the Australian Senate unanimously passed a motion on Thursday, expressing that it is “delighted to celebrate the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, and to commemorate 100 years of the Bahá’í community in Australia.”
The history of the Bahá’í Faith in Australia began in 1920 with the arrival of two Bahá’ís from the United States, John Henry Hyde Dunn and Clara Dunn. From their early efforts, this community has grown to include a great diversity of people contributing to the material and spiritual progress of their society.
During a visit to the Bahá’í House of Worship in Sydney last week to mark the centenary, Member of Parliament Jason Falinski said, “The fact that the Bahá’ís have chosen to spend their centenary, celebrating it by bringing people together speaks immensely about their contribution to Australia and indeed the world itself.
“Your contribution to our community is only growing. … Your message and your beliefs of unity, of harmony, and of wisdom are things that all of us, especially those of us who represent communities across Australia, should not only take to heart but should seek to practice on a daily basis.”