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May 2023 ENewsletter

Greetings from FEN, the Faith Ecology Network, an Australian hub for strengthening an interfaith dialogue between science and religion.

Home of the Ten Ways Faith Groups Care for Biodiversity Resource.

Please help fund our FEN coordinator, so we can expand our work



I was standing at the graveside in the small rural Australian town where I had spent some of my younger years. My mother was being buried, my siblings all around me. In my deep grief I had an illuminating moment, what I call an epiphany. The overwhelming vision I had was that my mother, whose womb had given birth to us, was returning to the womb of the Earth. I felt a strong physical connection to all of the place where we were. She had lived her life and was returning to Earth from whence we all came. We were all connected in some way through what I call (because of my Catholic worldview), the Holy Spirit. The Spirit shouted out to me that we, the humans gathered around there on that day at that time and at all times, are integrally connected parts of all the life on, in and around us. Life and death continue and are part of the same thing and essential to the flourishing of planet Earth.
You, dear reader, may relate to something similar from the perspective of your own faith tradition or set of beliefs. We all depend on that life in all its diversity and wonder. This is the diversity that is the Faith Ecology Network. We bring the expertise of the sciences and the wisdom of faith traditions together in our efforts to care for Earth our common home.

Read on about some of the many, many activities faith and other groups are doing. For World Environment Day on June 5th, try practising one of the Ten Ways Faith Groups Care for Biodiversity.
Thanks for your interest and support. We welcome your feedback and involvement. [email protected]
Anne Lanyon, FEN Co-ordinator

FEN News and Events

“Biodiversity in Crisis: Ask the Earth, it will speak to you.”  Sunday June 18th, Randwick Sustainability Hub, 27 Munda St, Randwick, NSW
Funds from this Public Forum will help with our goal. Book Now
Please share with anyone you think may be interested and able to attend. Though this may not be possible for you because of geography, we plan on having a second version of it later in the year in Western Sydney. As we share the outcomes and media from these two events, we encourage you in our network in various places to put on something similar in your own area. Just email us for a chat about it. [email protected]


Other Australian News and Events

The Gaia Forest project in Northern New South Wales is guided by Buddhist principles combining compassion and wisdom, and especially inspired by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village tradition. Its practitioners practice mindfulness in daily life as a path of transformation and healing.

“What we most need to do is to hear within us the sound of the earth crying.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
Located in the cool uplands of the mid-north coast of NSW, in a region that has been home for rainforest since the age of Gondwana, Gaia Forest focuses on protecting, restoring and reconnecting remnant rainforest habitat, even as we restore and reconnect ourselves to Mother Earth. Our region is home to
Antarctic Beech forest, and many unique species including the endangered Rufous Scrub Bird, Spotted Tailed Quoll, and Greater Glider, and the Vulnerable Glossy Black Cockatoo and Pouched Frog, to name a few.
Submitted by Gawaine Powell-Davies, Chair Buddhist Council.

Laudato Si' Week is leading to an ecological change of heart in Catholic communities

Across Australia Laudato SI' Week was held from May 16th to May 24th.
1.The Office for Ecology, Justice and Peace released a resource for use entitled
It included a Reflection: "Do you value the plants and animals around you, great and small, in themselves? How is your love of God connected to your care for the rich diversity of plants and animals around you?"  PLUS a suggested Action: Sign the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Save Our Big Backyard petition calling for protection of the forests, reefs and rivers which are the homes of Australia’s threatened plants and animals.
2. Canberra- Goulburn Archdiocese launched a draft Laudato Si' action plan for Catholic agencies across the region to embark on consultation about implementing care for Creation.
3. Catholic Earthcare Australia ran an online event for
ecological practice
4. Many communities showed the highly recommended film, The Letter, followed by personal reflections.

5. Jesuit and Ignatian Spirituality Australia held an online event called I am a Tree of Life for people seeking the wisdom of trees to go easy, be filled with light, and shine in their spiritual lives.

Tribute to the Founder of Landcare
Horrie Poussard 1940-2023 RIP (from tribute by Rob Youl, Global Landcare, 16 January 2023).
Horrie first worked with the Soil Conservation Authority leading to a master’s degree and membership of Australasia-Pacific Extension Network. He established a sheep project in Sth Korea while wife Wendy did community development. She later worked with Mark Raper SJ at the Asia Bureau. John Cain’s Victorian government in early 1982 sought to reform the public service. A multi-disciplinary approach lead to founding Landcare. Horrie and Bob Edgar worked closely with Joan Kirner and Winjallok Landcare was launched near St Arnaud on 25 November 1986. Farmers in defined river catchments cooperated beyond fences in care for land. Rick Farley and Philip Toyne promoted Landcare, combining farm and conservation lobbyists. In 1991, Horrie and is wife Wendy did consultancy work in Fiji and later in Vietnam. Submitted by Fr Charles Rue, founding FEN member

The Multifaith Association of South Australia recently updated their Commitment to Interfaith Harmony to include ecological sustainability by:
1. Respecting traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodians of these islands now called Australia, by educating themselves and communities of all faith/background on the significance of the Referendum on a Voice to Parliament.
2. Respecting the integrity of each other's beliefs, cultures and traditions and seeking to live together in peace and goodwill.
3. Respecting the environment that sustains us all, and seeking to live in harmony and reduce the threat of climate change to our Earth and it precious biodiversity.
One of the key outcomes from our discussions was an interest in re-starting our visits not only to places of worship, but also to places of ecological sustainability where we can learn more about biodiversity, care for the earth.
Submitted by Philippa Rowland, Chair, Religions for Peace Australia / President, Multifaith Assoc. South Australia



More from FEN Partners Plus Global News

AELA (Australian Earth Laws Alliance)

On May 10th, AELA hosted the second webinar in the series by ORKA on whales. In Oceania, whales are ancestors and family, they are voyaging companions; their yearly migrations to Pacific Islands are indicators of upcoming flowering, planting and/or fishing events; they have traditionally provided cultural sustenance and have been a part of Oceanian knowledge that traverses the vast liquid continent, surpassing national borders and connecting islands and peoples. Keep an eye out for the third in this excellent series.

ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change)

Human Induced Climate Change is a symptom of the fractured relationship with the natural world. It is also a major cause of biodiversity loss. Supporting ARRCC's current campaign to Move Beyond Coal by highlighting the acc of banks and their financing of new coal projects is a valuable action to take. See

The Australian Marine Conservation Foundation runs the Protect Ningaloo campaign which works to protect Exmouth Gulf, the nursery for Ningaloo. We hope you have been watching Ningaloo on the ABC. It is a natural and cultural wonder of global importance, however, like so much of the planet, it face an uncertain fate. ..

International Day for Biological Diversity. Held annually on May 22nd, the aim of this day is to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity, how it is being affected and what actions we can take. The website has recommendations in their response to the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In Australia, consider using them to write to the Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek at [email protected], express your care for biodiversity and the connection with your faith, and ask her how she is ensuring the implementation of her commitments to the GBF. You might like to congratulate her on the good news that the Australian Government has announced plans to triple the size of the Marine Park around the World Heritage listed Macquarie Island in Australia’s Sub-Antarctic water! This will increase protection for one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet.

Nature For All Australia. Habitat Stepping Stones makes it easy for people to create effective habitat stepping stones in their urban backyards.Over half of Australia’s threatened species occur within the urban fringe. Habitat Stepping Stones makes it easy for people to turn their gardens into wildlife-friendly stopovers between existing wildlife corridors. Go to





You can help in many ways

FEN is run totally by volunteers. We seek your support with raising funds for a part-time Co-ordinator who will assist with growing our network, and help develop further our visual Ten Ways to Care resource. 

We need and appreciate any support, small or large, you can donate here.  
Thank You.

Anne Lanyon, Faith Ecology Network Co-ordinator




Ten Ways Faith Groups Care For Biodiversity

1. Listen to and Learn Wisdom from the Elders
2. Grow in your sense of Place
3. Learn from the ecological Sciences
4. Collaborate with and learn from local groups
5. Become eco-citizens
6. Bring nature into worship/gatherings
7. Develop and use green calendars
8. Be an active voice
9. Grow in the wonder of nature
10. Share successes

read more




Strengthening an interfaith dialogue between science and religion in the interests of advancing ecological consciousness and care for the Earth

The Faith Ecology network aims:

  • To share mutual appreciation of religious traditions regarding ecological insights
  • To discern and foster religious reasons for advocacy

Through the network we share the experience of religious and cultural diversity which enhances the depths of one’s own religious tradition. We grow in understanding of the connections between faith and ecology. We build up networks within and between faith traditions and environmentalists.

We would love your support to employ a P/T facilitator to help grow FEN. 






Learn more about FEN




Faith Ecology Network · Sisters of the Good Samaritan · 2 Avenue Rd · Glebe, NSW 2037 · Australia