Highlighting Australia

Want to explore Australian-focused content relating to the Baha’i Faith? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a list of content and resources that relate to the Baha’i Faith and Australia: some are created by the Baha’i Blog team of collaborators, some are from Baha’i institutions, and some are individual initiatives that we’ve showcased and curated on Baha’i Blog. This list isn’t exhaustive and doesn’t include, for example, the many articles featured on Baha’i Blog by Australian authors which we hope you’ll come across as you peruse our site.

Whether you’re Australian or not, we hope you find this list helpful and inspiring!

For our Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends: before you scroll any further, please know that some of the resources listed below feature photographs of people who have passed away.

Official Website of the Baha’is of Australia

The first thing you should definitely check out is the official website for the Baha’i community of Australia. You can find the website here: www.bahai.org.au

 

 


41 Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions Filmed in Australia 

This year marks the centenary of the Baha’i Faith in Australia, and seeing as Baha’i Blog is based in Australia, coupled with the fact that we also just celebrated five years of our YouTube channel, we thought it was the perfect time to showcase all of the Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions we’ve filmed in Australia so far! Continue reading…


Gold Coast Youth Share their Experiences of the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program

Baha’i Blog asked some participants of the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program on the Gold Coast, Australia, to share their experiences. The Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program [JYSEP] is a global movement inspiring young people, parents and communities to work together to support youth in neighbourhoods around the world. Continue reading…


“Mother and Father Dunn” A Poem by Aaron Blomeley

“Mother and Father Dunn” is a poem written by Aaron Blomeley in honour of 100th anniversary of the Baha’i Faith in Australia. Baha’i Blog made a video of the poem, read by Aaron Blomeley’s son, Bilyana, and we added imagery and music. Continue reading…

 


A DEEPER CALLING: Reflections on the Transformative Power of Prayer

“A Deeper Calling” is a short film which shares the stories of five youth from Inala, a small neighbourhood in Brisbane, Australia. It explores what each of these young people have learnt about the power of prayer through their involvement in the Ruhi Institute Process and Baha’i community life. This film was created for the 2022 World Conference in Brisbane, Australia (8-10 April, 2022), and was one of hundreds of global conferences taking place after being called for by the Universal House of Justice. Continue reading…


What Does Service Mean To You?

Baha’i Blog attended the 2022 World Conference in the Gold Coast, Australia, and we asked some of the participants the question: “What Does Service Mean To You?” The World Conference held in the Gold Coast (1-3 April, 2022), was one of hundreds of global conferences taking place after being called for by the Universal House of Justice. Continue reading…


What Have You Been Reflecting On Recently?

Baha’i Blog attended the 2022 World Conference in Brisbane, Australia, and we asked some of the participants the question: “What have you been reflecting on recently?” The World Conference held in Brisbane, Australia (8-10 April, 2022), was one of hundreds of global conferences taking place after being called for by the Universal House of Justice. Continue reading…


My Reflections on the Global Conference in Geelong: Empowering Our Youngest Treasures

As our family made the one hour journey to the world conference in the city of Geelong, Australia, my seven year old son made quite the soul-stirring remark from the rear seat of our car, his high-pitched, raspy voice tugging at our heartstrings.

“Mum, I invited my friend to come along this weekend.” Continue reading…


What is Community?

Baha’i Blog attended the 2022 World Conference in the Gold Coast, Australia, and we asked some of the participants the question: “What is Community?” The World Conference held in the Gold Coast (1-3 April, 2022), was one of hundreds of global conferences taking place after being called for by the Universal House of Justice. Continue reading…


Life’s Springtime – A short film inspired by the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program

“Life’s Springtime” is a short film made by a group of friends involved with the Junior Youth activities in the Gold Coast, Australia. The film was premiered at the World Conference Gold Coast (1-3 April, 2022), one of hundreds of global conferences called upon by the Universal House of Justice. Continue reading…


Stirrings of Baha’i Social and Economic Developments Efforts in Australia

This short video, produced by the Australian Baha’i Community, shares how efforts in the field of social and economic development comprise a spectrum of activities, and to a large extent, reflect the degree to which the process of community building set in motion by the Australian Baha’i community has taken root in various localities. Continue reading…


A Tribute to Fred Murray: Retracing the Story of Uncle Fred

In honour of the centenary of the Baha’i Faith in Australia, I wanted to share a tribute to one of Australia’s first Aboriginal Baha’is: Fred Murray (1884-1963), who was also known by his tribal name, Birria, and who is warmly remembered by Baha’is around the world as Uncle Fred. He was a stockman, fruit picker, and riverboat man of the Murray River best known for his acceptance of the Baha’i Faith in 1961 and for travelling to the first Baha’i World Congress in London in 1963. Continue reading…


Remembering ‘Uncle’ Fred Murray

This is a short video tribute to ‘Uncle’ Fred Murray, an Aboriginal Australian Baha’i of the Mirning Yirkala. Continue reading…

 

 


Music Inspired by the Heroes Teaching Conference in Brisbane, Australia

In April this year, some 1,000 Baha’is and like-minded friends from all over Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, Australia, gathered together in the city of Brisbane to attend a historic conference aimed to help its participants find their place in service to Baha’u’llah and humanity. Continue reading…


Talks from the Heroes Teaching Conference

The Heroes Teaching Conference was an historic gathering of over 1,000 Baha’i adults, youth, junior youth and children, as well as some of their like-minded friends from all over Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, Australia. Organised by the Regional Baha’i Council and Board of Counsellors, the program aimed to help its participants find their place in service to Baha’u’llah and humanity, by drawing on the heroism of the past, inspiring them to arise, through humble service, and become heroes of the Faith for this age. Continue reading…


12 Years of Providing Food For Those in Need on the Gold Coast, Australia

It’s a Wednesday afternoon in the Australian city of the Gold Coast, and Cyrus Mollaian opens the door of his car and starts carrying large containers of food to a nearby table that he and some friends have just set up in a park near a City Council building. He starts lining up takeaway containers of food along the table, while someone else starts stacking secondhand clothing and other goods at the far end of the same large table. A crowd of people start to gather around the table, and Cyrus and his friends greet some of them as if they hadn’t seen each other for a while. Continue reading…


Music from the 5 Year Plan Festival, Brisbane Australia

Baha’i Blog is excited to share songs in both videos and audio, from the ‘5 Year Plan Festival’ held in Brisbane, Australia!

In May 2021, Baha’is and like-minded friends from across the Brisbane Bayside area in Australia, gathered together to take part in a festival to celebrate the Five Year Plan. It was an opportunity to wholeheartedly celebrate the achievements of the cluster over the past five years, and to also help shape a unified vision of the One Year Plan ahead. Continue reading…


Ink of Light – Baha’i Writers’ Festival

‘Ink of Light’ is a festival held in Australia, that explores and celebrates the work of Baha’i writers and creatives, who all come together to share ideas, learn from one another, and celebrate creative expression. Continue reading…


NAIDOC Week: Baha’i Blog Interviews Marjorie Reid

In this Baha’i Blog interview in honour of NAIDOC Week, Naysan speaks with Marjorie Reid, an Aboriginal Australian of the Wulli Wulli people who come from the Auburn Hawkwood area of Queensland.

NAIDOC Week is a national week of celebrations held across Australia every year, in order to honour the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Continue reading…


Guiding Compass – A Collaborative Album from Box Hill in Melbourne, Australia

Guiding Compass is a new album of songs based on the Baha’i Writings and it comes from a group of friends based in the Box Hill suburb of Melbourne, Australia. The album is the result of an organic process of community service projects and activities over the span of more than 10 years in the neighborhood, and the friends involved have called themselves “1ness” (oneness). I got in touch with 1ness, namely Farzam Shabani, Louisa Kwan, Zheng Chen, Davis Takagi, Kenneth Kuo, and William, Mellisa and Charissa Soh, to find out more about the album. They decided to answer my questions collectively and here’s what they shared. Continue reading…


Mind & Soul Matters: A Podcast about Mental Health and Spirituality

Mind & Soul Matters is a new podcast from a group of Baha’i friends in Perth, Australia. Through conversations with everyday people, the podcast aims to broaden our understanding of mental health and spirituality, and to deepen our insights into the challenges and meaning of our lives. Continue reading…


Light & Mercy – A New Compilation on Mental Health and Tests & Difficulties

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Australia has just released a new publication called Light & Mercy.

Light & Mercy is a compilation of extracts about mental health and tests and difficulties from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, and letters of Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice. The physical and mental impact of the continuing pandemic is evident around us, and the members of the Baha’i community are not immune. The National Assembly of the Baha’is of Australia wrote that it hopes this publication will be of assistance and support to the friends both individually and collectively, and trusts it will be a source of wisdom and comfort for Baha’is and those whom we come into contact with. Continue reading…


Making Vaiola

“Making Vaiola” is a short film produced by the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia). It depicts the creation of a work of art titled Vaiola: in February 2020, with the guidance and blessing of grandmother ‘Akesa Fifita, family and friends in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, and from across the Pacific came together to support artist Robin White in the making of a ngatu for the Matisse Alive exhibit at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Continue reading…


Reflections on the Life of Abdu’l-Baha – Vahid Saberi Online Presentation (Shelter for All Mankind Conference)

This is an online presentation given by Dr. Vahid Saberi at the Shelter for all Mankind Conference, held across Queensland and Northern New South Wales, Australia, over the weekend of 11-12 of September, 2021.

Held in honour of Abdu’l-Baha, the Shelter for all Mankind Conference was aimed at helping its participants draw closer to the Beloved Master, to walk in His footsteps, and to consider the impact He had on those privileged to cross His path and the world at large. Participants were then encouraged to reflect on their own reality, and then draw up systematic plans of action relating to things like fostering the devotional character of their community, and opportunities to serve the neighbourhoods and communities we live in. Continue reading…


Some Personal Reflections on 100 Years of the Baha’i Faith in Australia

While reading the Tablets of the Divine Plan, American Baha’i Clara Dunn looked up from her page and voiced a sincere plea to her husband Hyde Dunn: “Let us go where Abdu’l-Baha wished to go.” Continue reading…


Personal Memories of Clara Dunn – An Online Presentation by Mariette Leong

As Baha’is in Australia celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Baha’i Faith in Australia, in this special online presentation, we are fortunate to have Mariette Leong, daughter of Hand of the Cause of God Collis Featherstone, shares her personal memories of Clara Dunn (often referred to as ‘Mother Dunn’), who together with her husband Hyde Dunn, were the first Baha’is to come to Australia in 1920. Continue reading…


ABC Soul Search: 100 Years of the Baha’i Faith in Australia and Buddhist Mindfulness for Couples

ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) podcast called “Soul Search” explores contemporary religion and spirituality from the inside out — what we believe, how we express it, and the difference it makes in our lives. It is hosted by Dr. Meredith Lake, a historian of religion, society and culture with a PhD from the University of Sydney, and in this episode she interviews Yvonne Perkins and Michael Day about the 100th anniversary of the Baha’i Faith in Australia. Continue reading…


Shadow Puppet – Celebrating Australia’s Baha’i Centenary

This short shadow puppet show tells the story of Clara and John Henry Hyde Dunn. It briefly tells their journey from accepting the Baha’i Faith in America to selflessly arising to travel to the far-off continent of Australia, 100 years ago. Continue reading…


The Life of Effie Baker

As most of the world celebrates the new year, January 1st also commemorates the passing of someone special: Effie Baker. In fact, if you visit ‘bahaullah.org’ (a wonderful photographic narrative of the life of Baha’u’llah), you’ll notice that many of the photographs of 1930’s Iran are credited to Effie Baker. A western Baha’i woman photographer in Iran in those days? I was a fish on a hook and needed to know more. Continue reading…


The Life of Effie Baker [Audio Version]

Baha’i Blog is delighted to share an audio recording of one of our articles titled “The Life of Effie Baker” in which we hear a tribute to the first Australian Baha’i woman. This article was written and read by Sonjel Vreeland. Continue reading…


Song of Celebration – Virtual Soul Choir

The Baha’is of Ballarat have commissioned a special virtual musical project. This song puts these words of Baha’u’llah to a stirring choral melody: “Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face…Be an ornament to the countenance of truth…a breath of life to the body of mankind.” This melody was originally composed for the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah but was produced as a virtual choral project to celebrate the centenary of the Baha’i Faith in Australia. Continue reading…


A Tribute to Hyde & Clara Dunn – by Mariette Leong

In this online presentation, Mariette Leong, daughter of Hand of the Cause of God Collis Featherstone, pays tribute to Hyde and Clara Dunn (often referred to as ‘Father and Mother Dunn’) by telling us about their lives, and also sharing some of her own personal memories as well. Continue reading…


An Evening of Stories with Violette Haake

A few years ago, I was visiting Violette and Roderic Haake at their home in Melbourne, Australia, and I was filled with joy as we sat around their kitchen table, drinking tea and sharing stories. Continue reading…


Clara and Hyde Dunn – A Presentation by Graham Hassall

To mark the centenary of the arrival of Clara and Hyde Dunn in Australia on 10th April, 1920, historian Graham Hassall gives a special online presentation about their lives, accomplishments, and legacy. Continue reading…


A Tribute to Ethel Dawe

The first generation of Australian and New Zealand Baha’is included a number of extremely capable women, who excelled at sharing the teachings of the Baha’i Faith through public speaking and writing, and who also learnt about the administration of the Baha’i Faith by serving on and establishing Spiritual Assemblies and committees, from local to national levels. They included Hilda Brooks, Margaret Dixson, Emily Axford, Maysie Almond, Dulcie Dive, Thelma Perks, and Gretta Lamprill. In celebration of the centenary of the Baha’i Faith in Australia, this essay reviews the life of yet another of these early heroines, Ethel Dawe. Continue reading…


Recollections of Hands of the Cause of God Clara Dunn and Henry Hyde Dunn – Mariette Leong Interview

In this presentation hosted by the Wilmette Institute, Mariette Leong offers a history of the lives of Clara and Hyde Dunn, including sharing some personal stories and lasting impressions Clara made on her life. Continue reading…


Path of Thy Love (Virtual Choir) by Brisbane Baha’i Youth, Arranged & Conducted by Lorraine Manifold

The COVID-19 pandemic stopped a lot of things, but it can’t stop people from singing. The 2020 Australian Baha’i Choral Festival had to be cancelled, but the Festival has released a virtual choir video of Path of Thy Love, one of the songs originally selected to be part of the Festival program. Continue reading…


BWNS: Australian Prime Minister and MPs Mark Community’s Centenary at Parliament

This video from the Baha’i World News Service (BWNS) describes how the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, and other national leaders have expressed their warm appreciation to the Australian Baha’i community on the occasion of the centenary of its establishment in the country. Continue reading…


Remembering Clara Dunn

“Oh what an enormous duck! Oh what a wonderful duck! How splendid was this great big glorious duck!”

Clara Dunn was present on the occasion that Abdu’l-Baha recounted a story of a person who spoke in such a manner. Her humility and spiritual receptivity, combined with the fact that the Master was looking directly at her throughout the story, lead her to understand that the Master was counseling her to refrain from exaggeration and to speak with honesty and accuracy. Continue reading…


Remembering Clara Dunn [Audio Version] 

Baha’i Blog is delighted to share an audio recording of one of our articles titled “Remembering Clara Dunn” in which we hear a tribute to the woman whose efforts, alongside those of her husband Hyde Dunn, brought the teachings of the Baha’i Faith to Australia 100 years ago. The article is written by Melanie Lotfali and is read by Sana Jamali. Continue reading…


25th Anniversary of the passing of Hand of the Cause of God Collis Featherstone

The telephone rang. It was the Saturday morning of the long October Labor Day weekend in Australia. It was my mother ringing from Kathmandu, Nepal where she and my father, Collis Featherstone, were visiting the Baha’is before flying to Pakistan to attend a Youth Conference. I immediately suspected something was wrong. My father had just passed away following a heart attack. I was stunned, shocked, horrified, deeply deeply saddened and rocked to my very soul. How did this happen, how were we to go to Nepal for the funeral and how were we to arrange ticketing quickly with the Monday being a holiday and no travel agent open (no computer ticketing in those days)? Who was going to look after our four children? Continue reading…


That concludes our list of resources relating to the history of the Baha’i Faith in Australia! We hope you find this list useful and informative.

For more information about the Baha’is of Australia or to find Baha’is near you, please visit the official website for the Australian Baha’i Community: https://bahai.org.au/

 

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