Some of WA’s most gifted Year 12 students gathered at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus in January for its annual Cultural DeCoding program.
Over four days, students explored the disciplines of archaeology, iconography, philosophy, theology, theatre, forensic law, Middle East politics and Australian cinema. A highlight was a panel discussion focusing on issues arising from differences and similarities between faiths.
Dr Angela McCarthy, program coordinator, said the panel session was an important addition to the Cultural DeCoding program.
“Contentious religious issues are often discussed through a veil of ignorance. Having representatives comment from their religion’s perspective provided a valuable insight for students,” she explained.
“Our panelists included Rabbi Dovid Freilich (Judaism), Ajhan Bramali (Buddhism), Sheik Muhammad Agherdein (Islam) and Dr Michelle Jones (Christianity).
“A central theme that emerged from discussion was that education and communication about different faiths should be encouraged at a high school level which panelists believed would help promote a better understanding of different religions.”
Sheik Agherdein said the program provided an ideal opportunity to address youth, the leaders of tomorrow.
“It is important they have an understanding of cultural diversities, particularly as they go from high school into university. I believe this will help them to deal with challenges through their life,” he said.
“For more information about the program, please contact Dr McCarthy on firstname.lastname@example.org.