NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Darren Bark opened the 5th Celebration of Special Religious Education (SRE) – held online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with over 800 participants logging in.

November 10, 2021

Traditionally held in-person at Parliament House, the Celebration of SRE marks the collaboration by religious and communal leaders on an issue that unites them all – the importance and influence that religious education has on their lives and decisions.

Speakers at this year’s event included the Premier of NSW Dominic Perrottet, Leader of the Opposition Chris Minns, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell MLC and Shadow Minister for Education, Prue Car.

“We are so proud to be part of a coalition of faith, with our religious leaders here tonight in partnership with Government, Opposition and our parliamentary leaders to enhance cohesion and support each other,” Bark said in his address.

“Our coalition of religious representatives works not only together on religious education, but for the vital issues our communities face. We have shown now, more than ever through the COVID-19 pandemic, that we are a force for positive change when working together for the betterment of all communities, through the challenges we have faced to keep our communities safe and connected.”

“An investment in faith is an investment in our whole community.”

Most Australians identify with a religion or spiritual belief – 60% – and religious diversity is only increasing in our multicultural and multi-faith Australia.

Alongside Bark, other leaders of religious organisations also had the opportunity to represent their faiths, with speakers from the Anglican, Muslim, Hindu, Catholic and Buddhist communities speaking at the event.

The Celebration of Special Religious Education was organised by Murray Norman, CEO of Christian SRE.