• Joseph F. Kolapudi

Collaborating in Community

Oftentimes within our wider community, we stick with what we know. Whether it is our friends, our favourite restaurants, even familiar places where we sense that we are “at home”; these are spaces which we feel are our comfort zones.

However, what happens when we are forced out of these familiar bubbles and into the “unknown” - the areas in our lives where we aren’t familiar with people who we may not see as our friends?

It was this very space where we were able to start our conversation with people in our recent online Cross-Cultural Day, which we co-hosted this year in collaboration with Scripture Union Queensland (SU QLD), a Christian chaplaincy service who we have been partnering with over the past year. Due to COVID-19, this year we had to adapt the training day to an online format, where we were able to engage, interact and discuss the spaces and places in our community in which we could learn from others and hear new perspectives on how to get to know our neighbours, especially those from different backgrounds.

One of the highlights of the day was our live Q&A discussion forum, where we had a dialogue with a local imam, a Sikh leader, and which was also hosted by Tim Fawssett, the Director of Cross-Cultural Innovation for SU QLD. The forum provided an opportunity to hear about the worldviews and faith perspectives from both a Muslim and Sikh, as well as to introduce an awareness surrounding cultural understanding within our own neighbourhoods and communities. We also had an option where participants could provide questions and discussion points, and also engage in virtual tours of a local mosque and Sikh gurudwara as well.

At ReachAcross Brisbane, it was an opportunity to engage with local leaders and community workers and chaplains from across Australia, in different states and cities, as well as to provide a way for people to hear more about the work of our mission and how we have been engaging within multicultural communities locally over the past year, especially with young people in our surroundings.

For more information about the day, please feel free to check out the cross-cultural day here!

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