Charter for Compassion recognised in Parliament

June 25, 2010 Agencies
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Jewish community social activist, Danielle Lauren, organised a historic recognition ceremony for the Charter for Compassion at Parliament House in Canberra yesterday.

Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Danielle Lauren and Senator Ursula Stephens

The ceremony was the first time that the Charter had been recognised in a Parliament anywhere in the world and included representatives from the Government and Opposition, Indigenous community, diplomats, NGOs, religious and youth leaders. The Canberra Jewish community was represented by Bill Arnold and Rabbi Dan Avital.

The Charter for Compassion is a document and worldwide movement that supports the golden rule “To treat others like you would wish to be treated.” Advocates of the Charter include HH The Dalai Lama and Richard Branson. The Charter is a TED.com initiative, inspired by world renowned religious historian, Karen Armstrong and the result of contributions from people from over 100 countries.

Danielle Lauren, the host of the ceremony and Australian Ambassador for the Charter, said “This event was a wonderful opportunity to spread the principle of compassion to our leaders and help make Australia a more compassionate society for all.” Danielle gave a call to action for her campaign to get 100,000 handwritten signatures in Australia to support the Charter.

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, said “For those of us who work in this place, the Charter reminds us that it is not just the legislated laws that shape a nation, but the way in which we behave to each other.” Senator Stephens also read out a letter from the Prime Minister congratulating Danielle on her work with the Charter and promoting compassion in Australia.

Shadow Minister for Ageing, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, addressed the crowd and sent support from the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.
The ceremony also included a special video message from Karen Armstrong, a Traditional Aboriginal Welcome to Country from Ngunnawal Elder, Agnes Shea and a meditation session with the Venerable Bhante Sujato from the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils.

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