Media Iftar Dinner with SBS (Special Broadcasting Service)



Queensland Intercultural Society (QIS) organized Media Iftar Dinner with Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) on Thursday 24th July at the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane. Many distinguished guests attended Iftar dinner such as Excellences, Ministers, Members of Federal and Queensland Parliament, Member for Government Department Agencies, Academia, Media, Multifaith and Community Leaders.

Program has presented by Gail Kerr, CEO at ACCESS Community Services Limited. Program has started by acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land.

The Call to Prayer and the Qur’anic recitation was read by Abu Ghazaleh with his beautiful voice.

Co-host Peter Khalil – SBS Director of Corporate Affairs gave his welcoming speech.

Co-host, Abdul Celil Gelim, Executive Director of Queensland Intercultural Society started to his speech to thank co-hosts Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). “I believe this is the first Media Iftar dinner with Muslim Community in Queensland. I would like to congratulate SBS which takes very important role to embrace Muslim community and to give richness for multiculturalism of Australia. By co-hosting and supporting such meaningful event at the Hilton Hotel has become a catalyst and plays an instrumental role towards breaking barriers, stereotypes, bigotry and towards our shared goal of building the ideal cohesive, inclusive and harmonious society as well as promoting community harmony, dialogue and friendship. This Iftar program would not have measured up to the symbolic objective of being inclusive of everyone if it wasn’t for their support.”

“Ramadan is a climate of compassion and mercy. In these blessed days when patience and tolerance prevail, we once more remember love, peace, modesty, cooperation and bridging dialogue gap among different cultures as well as the members of the society we live in. It is during this month Muslims observe fasting. These are very important themes for Muslims in the month of Ramadan from the personal spiritual development, to worship, to sacrifice, empathy, and charity. Outside the spirit of personal spirit, comes the social round and that is of course sharing of the meal, the breaking of the fast with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and the wider community. This is what we are doing this evening understanding and bringing people together in the spirit of Ramadan. By sharing an Iftar dinner together by love and opening our arms to each other we can have much greater opportunities to create better world for all. We feel honour and privilege to not only sharing the meal but to having shared over a decade of interaction with the group of people that stand as we do for love, justice, peace and harmony.”

The Hon John Mickel, retired Speaker of the QLD Parliament House addressed the keynote presentation about Media, Multiculturalism and Democracy.


Murat Coskun, Director of QIS has respondent Sustainable Multiculturalism: The Way Forward. He mentioned about Hizmet movement

Musical Performance came up to the stage that group was  Traditional Turkish Classic Music group Istanbul Grove by Seckin, Selim and Peter.

Reflection from the floor has been chosen amongst people who have dedicated their life to community work both in a professional and voluntary capacity. As these dinners are organized to share experiences we have invited a few of you to share your thoughts on how we could strive together towards social harmony through collaboration. Some professional guest shared their opinions with the guest such as

  • Mr Robert Cavallucci MP, Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs State Member for Brisbane Central
  • Ian Stewart, Queensland Police Commissioner
  • Dimitri Tsakas, Archiepiscopal Vicar for Queensland, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
  • Ariel C. Heber, Community Liaison Manager, Queensland Jewish Community Services Inc
  • Stefan Armbruster, SBS World News, Queensland Correspondent

Abdul Celil presented very special gift which was handmade Turkish ceramic to Co-host Peter Khalil, SBS Director of Corporate Affairs

Program concluded by Bill Lenehan, SBS Board Member by vote of thanks.

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Iftar Message from Hon Glen Elmes, Multicultural Minister

“I would like to extend, on this special special occasion, my greetings to all Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. I was honoured to have been invited by the Queensland Intercultural Society to sponsor the first Newman Government’s Iftar Dinner at Parliament House and grateful for the opportunity to participate in the breaking of the daily fast. Queensland […]