COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 15 October 2021, 8am (AEST)

Media @JCU newsletter Notices 2021 Blessing of the Academic Year

2021 Blessing of the Academic Year

The 2021 Blessing of the Academic Year was held at the JCU Bebegu Yumba campus with a live stream to the Nguma-bada campus.

looking down at a hand holding open the event program

JCU Interfaith Commitment:

We commit ourselves as people of many faiths to work together for the common good, uniting to build a better society, grounded in values and ideals we share: community, personal integrity, a sense of right and wrong, learning, wisdom and love of truth, care and compassion, justice and peace, respect for one another, for the earth and its creatures. 

We commit ourselves in a spirit of friendship and cooperation to work together alongside all who share our values and ideals, to bring about a better world now and for generations to come.


JCU Multifaith Chaplain Crystal Greive welcomed people to the event.

a woman at a lectern with her head up as she speaks

The opening prayer from Peter Hanley, Chair of the JCU Multifaith Chaplaincy Committee.

a man stands at a lectern with his head down as he talks

Address by Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding.

a woman stands at a lectern, The Australian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander flags behind her

A Buddhist prayer of blessing from Phil Heang.

a man stands a lectern looking up to talk

Fr Joshy John with a Catholic blessing.

a man stands at a lectern, The Australian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander flags behind, looking down at his notes

A Hindu blessing from Prof Shashidhar Venkatesh.A man stands at a lectern, The Australian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander flags behind, his eyes closed as he says a prayer

Dr Omer Shareef gave an Islamic blessing.

a man at a lectern looking out to the crowd as he talks

Prof Zoltan Sarnyai offered a Jewish blessing.

a man leans against the lectern as he talks

A Uniting Church blessing by Rev Lorne Anderson.

a man at a lectern, looking down at his open hands in prayer

The address was given by the Right Reverend Dr Keith Joseph, Bishop of North Queensland Anglican Diocese.

a man at a lectern in white religious robes


Attendees were asked to light a candle as a symbol of unity and togetherness: Think about the things you have been holding onto from the past year. Then when you are ready, light your candle using the switch underneath to symbolise letting these things go. Afterwards consider the things you are grateful for as you bring your candle up to the table. Putting your candle down next to others’ candles signifies a willingness to move forward together as a community.

Larissa Siliezar, Manager of Student Equity and Wellbeing.

a woman places an electric candle on a table with other candles

Chancellor Bill Tweddell.

a man reaches down to place an electric candle with other candles on a table

Prof Stephen Naylor, Chair of the Academic Board.

a man reaches across to place an electric candle on a table with other candles

Vice Chancellor Prof Sandra Harding.

a woman reaches to place an electric candle on a table among others

Reflective music from Alex Salvador.

a man sits at an upright piano playing