The Hindu Community Council of Victoria (HCCV) has made the following achievements in serving the Hindu Community of Victoria:
- Utilizing the government grant given to HCCV for “Presenting Hindu Culture to Multi-faith groups”, HCCV held a Sanatana Dharma Banquet on Friday 1st July 2011. This very successful event held at the St. Kilda Town Hall saw 300+ guests from various faiths attending.
- Utilizing the government grant given to HCCV for “Multi-faith Groups to present their faiths and cultures to Hindu groups”, HCCV hosted 3 Vedic Forum Question and Answer sessions. Session 1 was held on Sunday 23rd Jan 2011 at the ISKCON temple in Albert Park and was entitled: “How can I love my fellow human beings, when they do not believe the same things I do?” Session 2 was held on Sunday 3rd April 2011 at the Shiva Ashram in Mt. Eliza and was entitled: “How I found my path to God – reflections, experiences and issues.” Session 3 was held at the Shiva Vishnu temple in Carrum Downs and was entitled: “Youth to Youth – an explanation of Hindu and Vedic Culture.”
- A HCCV member was appointed as a board member of the pre-eminent Health Care and Chaplaincy Council of Victoria Incorporated (H.C.C.V.I.).
- As a result of this the Hindu Chaplaincy Program was started with funds received quarterly from H.C.C.V.I. and this has enabled us to allow one of our HCCV members to be trained up in a Clinical Pastoral Education course (CPE) at the Alfred Hospital and on completion of that course, that member is now the honorary Hindu Chaplain of the Alfred Hospital and attends to Hindu patients at that and other hospitals on a regular basis
- Some publications have now been written, clearly outlining the needs, customs, religious rituals, etc. required to affectively look after the welfare of the individual Hindu person when in the hospital system.
- A spring board from this involvement with the H.C.C.V.I. and chaplaincy in the various hospitals, is the recruitment and training of members of the Hindu community in our Vedic Hindu Volunteer Chaplaincy Course now being taught at various outlets around Melbourne the first one being the course organized by the Hindu Foundation in the Bayswater area and run by Pandit Abhay Awasthi, the second one which is currently nearing completion is taking place at the Hare Krishna Temple in Albert Park is being run by Bhakta dasa and has approximately 40 candidates willing to take subsequent training courses around Melbourne over the next few months. Some course participants are Hindu medical doctors who express an interest in also learning more about how to service their own community better. With these volunteers coming into the Hindu pastoral care environment it ensures much greater attention and care for the Hindu community.
- Being part of the august body that H.C.C.V.I. is, has opened other opportunities for HCCV to be influential in. One such opportunity is the role of lay representative on the Ethical Committee of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Clinic in Melbourne.
- Prison Chaplaincy has also been an area that HCCV has become involved in, offering caring counsel to Hindu inmates of both the Melbourne Remand Centre and the Barwon Prison Geelong. Regular visits to these establishments have assisted members of the Hindu community that have little contact with their religion and society. We are able to give them spiritual advice and upliftment through prayer and literature provided. Similar programs have also been carried out in various refugee centres around Australia who house Hindu asylum seekers.
- Hindu Education is yet another area that HCCV has been actively engaged in. With the controversy over public school religious instruction classes for students of differing ethnic origins and multiple religious beliefs, we have assisted various educational bodies such as Access Ministry to present the Hindu or Vedic Santana Dharma faith correctly in the classrooms around the state. HCCV has sponsored several well attended Hindu Sunday school programs around Melbourne and is currently supporting ISKCON in its Expression of Interest Survey to establish the first Vedic Hindu School in Melbourne. HCCV also has dynamic plans to support and facilitate a local business organization to establish a Vedic University here in Melbourne with the assistance of a major Indian industrialist and philanthropist.
- HCCV represents the Hindu community in Inter-faith affairs through the Faith Community Council of Victoria, FCCV, which is the preeminent Inter-faith body in Melbourne and has all the major religious organizations as members. At the last AGM a HCCV member was elected as the Vice-Chair of FCCV. That HCCV member is also actively encouraging other members of the Hindu community to partake in Inter-faith Committees which have sprung up around Melbourne some of these being the Port Phillip, Dandenong, Ringwood, Glen Eira, Werribee and Kingston committees. Our involvement with these organizations is of great benefit in numerous ways.
- Working with these various faith organizations has enabled HCCV to support community programs such as the Inter-Action Youth group’s “Fast Supper Campaign” which distributed free meals to the needy in the South Melbourne region, for the pas. This program works in conjunction with Father Bob Maguire and the delicious vegetarian meals distributed each week is provided by the Hare Krishna Temple. Similarly, HCCV sponsors a Free Food Voucher program operational for Hindu and international students studying in Melbourne, where they have the opportunity to take a hearty vegetarian meal at Crossways Restaurant in the City six days a week. HCCV relies on contributions from the Hindu community to support this project.
- Utilizing the government grant for "expansion of facilities", HCCV has opened another HCCV office located in Cheltenham, Victoria.
As you can see, HCCV has been actively engaged in supporting and servicing the Hindu Community as well as presenting Vedic Culture to the broader community of Victoria. Your Hindu organization’s participation is vitally important to the continuing good work of HCCV.
HCCV is paving the way for Hindu groups to benefit by opening up new areas of community support, advice and education as well as government funding for the Hindu Community of Victoria.