Interfaith Network receives $4000 grant
THE Gladstone Region Interfaith Network has welcomed a $4000 boost from the State Government's Celebrating Multicultural Queensland grants program.
GRIN was one of three organisations in the region to receive funding, with the Gladstone Multicultural Association gaining support for its Multicultural Week event and the Islamic Society of Gladstone also receiving funds for its Eid celebrations and Open Day.
GRIN president John Abood told The Observer the funding would go towards a series of events coinciding with Multicultural Week later in the year, such as stalls, soul cafes, educational talks and prayers for peace.
"Our underlying aim is to create harmony amongst religious groups,” he said.
The network was founded by Sister Beryl Amedee in 2013, and meets at the Star of the Sea Catholic parish.
"The Catholic Church has been very supportive,” said Mr Abood, a member of the Bahá'í community.
"The Islamic community has also been wonderful and we support them too as they go through difficulties.
"They're wonderful, hospitable, peaceful people.”
Mr Abood said he would like the group's events to be frequented by people from the wider community who may not belong to any particular faith.
"It's no good just a few people sitting down and talking about it - we want to encourage this harmony out in the wider Gladstone community,” he said.
"We've learnt there's really not too much difference between the religions.
"We agree on most things and we've become very, very good friends, actually.”