This year’s Abraham Conference is on this Sunday 15 November.

13 November 2020
Image: Ashkan Forouzani/Unsplash.


There’s still time to register for this year’s Abraham Conference, ‘Interfaith on the Frontlines’.

The much talked about ‘silver lining’ of the pandemic is not ‘front of mind’ to the people at the frontline in the healthcare industry. That’s mostly for people with a lot of time on their hands.

Doctors, nurses and social workers are in a daily race to respond to the fear, sickness and loss, as well as the isolation and economic hardship that the pandemic has wrought in the lives of countless Australians. As professionals, they require acute sensitivity and well-honed expertise in performing their duties, without losing hope that we will beat this virus.

For hospitalist, Haroon Kasim, the lesson of empathy and compassion was learned the hard way, but he never forgot its impact, not only on him but on the young patient whose life was slipping away. As a Muslim who knows that his faith is often viewed harshly, with hijabed women often taking the brunt of bigotry, he learned first hand the power of compassion to heal desperation and despair.

For social worker, Renata leremias, the often hidden work of Jewish Care’s more than 300 workers, is bringing support to many people affected by COVID-19 in their homes. Age and various kinds of infirmity have intensified the impact of the virus, and social workers are called upon to provide a quick and discreet reading of their needs and the means to nurture their natural strengths in a range of settings, from complex family situations to profound isolation.

For ethicist, Daniel Fleming, who leads ethics formation for staff at St Vincent’s Health Australia, the supportive Catholic-Christian environment ensures a profound commitment to providing the most human-centred approach to care. Yet, the largest not-for-profit health care system in the country was faced with the ethical challenge, in the early stages of the pandemic, of how to allocate limited resources.

Haroon, Renata and Daniel bring a wealth of experience and insight into how the Coronavirus pandemic challenged them, their organisations and most of all the people they served and brought to the fore their foundational values, derived from their faiths.

And yes, it seems there is a ‘silver lining’ to this pandemic, which is in the realisation that whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, as individuals and a society, we have the same fundamental needs of compassion and understanding and oftentimes the comfort of the faith traditions and communities we hold dear.

Join them and me for a unique opportunity to hear the best practice from three distinguished professionals who are at the front lines–or just behind them!

The 2020 Abraham Conference will be livestreamed free on Sunday 15 November at 2pm.

The Diocese of Parramatta is an official supporter of the event.

To find out more go to

You can register for the conference on



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