- The Baha’i Faith
- Australian Baha’i Community
- What Baha’is Do
- Building vibrant communities
- Engaging in social action
- Participating in public discourse
- Spiritual life
Baha’is in Victoria reside in communities throughout metropolitan Melbourne, in regional cities including Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, and in a number of country localities. Victorian Baha’is come from all ethnic backgrounds and all walks of life, and actively work for the recognition of humanity as one family.
The Baha’i Faith was introduced to Australia in 1920 by Hyde and Clara Dunn, an English and Irish couple who came via the United States. The first Victorian Baha’i was Effie Baker, a pioneering female photographer and model-maker, who joined the Faith in Melbourne in 1922. The following year, 17 Baha’is gathered in South Yarra to form Australia’s first Baha’i institution, the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Melbourne. Today there are Spiritual Assemblies in 34 local government areas across the state.
Victorian Baha’is strive to contribute to the communities in which they live by offering activities, open to all, that include devotional gatherings drawing on Baha’i and other writings, study classes on spiritual themes, children’s spiritual education classes and an empowerment program for junior youth aged 11-14.
We contribute actively to social harmony through participation in interfaith activities in many localities. The Victorian Baha’i community is a founding member of the Faith Communities Council of Victoria.
A popular public activity offered by the Baha’is of Melbourne is the monthly “Soul Food” gathering at the National Gallery of Victoria. This free community event, which has been running since 2004, is held on the first Sunday of the month from 11 am to 12 noon between June and December. It is an opportunity for Melbournians of all beliefs to reflect on inspiring spiritual themes in a tranquil environment. The program features live music by prominent musicians, audio-visual presentations and readings drawn from the world’s great faiths and philosophies.
Victoria is also home to the “Perfect Chord” choir. Formed in April 2013, the Baha’i-inspired choir is composed of a diverse group of singers, drawn together by their common love for music and dedication to promoting the concept of unity. They sing pieces in different languages and in various musical styles. The choir welcomes new singers from all walks of life and faith traditions. Choir members have the opportunity to participate in the Australian Baha’i Choral Festival held at the Baha’i House of Worship, Sydney, in September each year.
For enquiries or requests concerning Baha’i participation or contributions to state-level events or endeavours, please contact:
Australian Baha’i Community – Victoria
Tel: (03) 9497 5984
Tel: (03) 9415 6007
Perfect Chord Choir