from the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of
Brisbane, Campbell Newman
Ramadan is observed by
Muslim people around the world. It is a time to
strengthen the bonds of family and community.
proud to be Lord Mayor of an inclusive city of many
cultures and faiths, where diversity and difference
best wishes to Crescents of Brisbane and the
Brisbane Muslim community at this special time.
We wish all our family and
friends Ramzaan Mubarak. May Allmighty Allah bless your
homes and yourselves during this beautiful month of
Ramzaan. Let us not forget the needy, distraught ,
powerless and above all the hungry.
May your duas be answered. Ameen
With fondest salaams
Abdulla, Aisha and Naz
is with humility that we extend to one and all a very
sincerely hope and pray that
The Almighty Allah
accept our humble efforts, supplications, and Ibaadaat
in this Holy Month.
will also remember our forefathers who embraced the
Deen of Allah
and also our forefathers who sacrificed so much to make
our lives easier.
make special dua for the Ummah in general and for those
that have left this world - May
forgive them and grant them Maghfirat and elevate them
should also remember those who are ill - we again make
to grant them Shifa.
us take time to Reflect in ths Holy Month of Ramadhaan
when we will do some soul searching - Insha
Finally, let us remember each other with sincerety
Insha Allah, Aameen.
Aboobaker Khatree and family
As salaam alaikum wrwb
May Almighty Allah SWT shower His choicest of blessing,
Barakah, and Rahmah on you and your family and may all
your duas be fulfilled in this Blessed month of Ramadhan
Have a blessed Ramadhan and please remember us in your
Habib Jamal & Family
Today we see the start of
Ramadan, an important time in the calendar for a great
number of Australian citizens.
I would like to extend to
the Muslims of Australia best wishes for this month of
fasting, a ritual that many of the 340,000 Muslims
around this country will undertake over the next 30
During Ramadan Muslims
will not partake of food or drink from sunrise to sunset
and they will engage in extra prayers. The month of
Ramadan marks the revelation of the Koran, the holy book
of Islam, about 1,400 years ago.
Ramadan Mubarak to all. Please remember us in your pious
duas in this blessed month.
Yahya and Zaida Hasham and Family
Our dua for each and everyone of you is that the
Almighty fill your homes with blessings, abundant
sustenance and lots of love and laughter .
Imrana Noormahomed & Family
I would like to take this
opportunity to welcome Ramadan and wish you all a
successful and fruitful Ramadan. I pray that you get all
that you ask for and more. May Ramadan bring along with
it happiness and may it cure you and your family from
any illness and may it bring with it unity amongst you,
your family and friends.
Please forgive me for my short comings and if I have I
offended you in anyway.
Muslim Employment Worker
Acces Services Inc.
May this blessed month
bring you and your family lots of Baraqah. Insha-Allah
May the Angels descend and make themselves comfortable
in your home.
May all your sorrows be lifted and replaced with
May Allah give us the
contentment and sabr we need for this month and always
May all Dua's made by you and for you be granted Insha-Allah
I ask maaf for anything that I may have done or said
that may have hurt or offended you in any way.
May this be a month of new beginnings INSHA-ALLAH.
With LOVE and the best of DUA'S always
Noor Osman & Family
Ramadan Mubarak to you and
your family. The blessed month is once gain at our door
to remind us the generosity of Allah and his special
favours for all of us. May Allah keep us well and enable
us to fast and pray the way His messenger, peace be upon
him, and his companions had done. We ask Allah for His
forgiveness and favours for successes in both worlds.
May Allah accept your fasting, charity and prayers and
guide us to Jannat.
Dr Shahjahan Khan
The heavens have
been flung open, the gates of Hell shut tight, the rains
pouring down upon our hearts and our souls.
It is indeed, the month of
ibadah, divine bounty and blessing in which the
reward of good deeds are
May Allah weigh your Ibadaat in gold, count your
blessings with stars,
entire soul in the barakat of dua’s,
Sabr, Health and Guidance, Inshallah.
May all your Good Deeds, Heart's Desire's & Dua's be
month of Ramadaan,
May all your
wishes be fulfilled and all your sins forgiven, Aameen...
in your duas.
Ramadaan is a
month of generosity. Ibn “Abbas said “ The Prophet (SAW)
was the most generous
of people but
he would be his most generous during Ramadaan.”
Yusuf, Sabera & Basheera Khatree
Zubair, Raeesa, Sahal & Aaliyah Khatree
Nazeera & Altaf Rasool
Message from our Man-on-the-Mussallaah
CCN will continue to publish Ramadan messages as
Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum!
By CCN's Man-on-the-Mussallah
Despite Dr. Mohammed Abdalla's
impassioned appeal at the Kuraby Mosque during his
Friday sermon the previous
week exhorting the faithful to attend the
Muslim political forum there was a disappointingly low
turnout on the Sunday.
The prospect of a Hillsong style
extravaganza with Howard and Rudd momentarily sneaking
away from the APEC circus and ringmaster Bush to make a
satellite appearance at the forum was doomed from the
start and predictably failed to materialize.
The less than 100 people who did bother
to show up and spread themselves around the 400-seater
lecture theatre at the Griffith University were given a
well qualified rundown on the niceties of the electoral
process by Dr. Paul William who explained the
preferential system, the Senate quota, the voting cards
for the House of Representatives and the Senate, the
role of the Senate and much more on the subject.
Mr Suliman Sabdia, President of the
Islamic Council of Queensland, opened the forum and was followed by
Master Mohammed Peer (winner of the recent ICQ Quran
recitation competition) with a rendition of Quranic
verses that would have left even the uninitiated more
than just a little impressed. Dr. Sadeq Mustapha was
then called on to give a full translation of what had
just been recited.
Then came the Senators Ludwig and
to lay on the Muslim spread both thick and fast. Things
were going along rather hunky-dory until a certain
Independent candidate Mr. James Baker came in search
of the elephants in the room (as unlikely a euphemism for
as you are ever likely to find) and, in so doing,
almost, just almost spoilt
the party. He accused politicians of ignoring fears of
Islamic extremism to win votes. Brandishing copies of
newspaper articles on terrorist threats, Mr Baker
continued his crusade suggesting that terrorism
fears among non-Muslim communities were rising because
the Muslim community was not addressing extremism
Presenters were awarded a Mars bar
chocolate if, in the opinion of the the person who asked
the question, it was answered competently and to the
point, and a Freddo chocolate if the answer was deemed
wanting and weak. The fact that there were more Mars
bars being dispensed than Freddos reflected on the very
convivial atmosphere that prevailed through most of the
day. Even James Baker conceded a Mars bar for the
response he got over his hitherto elusive elephants.
The afternoon stage was now set for the
showdown between the Moreton candidates, Hardgrave,
Perrett and Soliman. With Hardgrave deciding not to make
an appearance at the eleventh hour, it became a
two-horse contest that, as one cynic argued, should have
also been subjected to the same restrictions as were
imposed by the equine flu epidemic.
Arch Bevis referred to the speech of a
colleague (Tony Burke) to explain the difference between
the concepts of integration and assimilation:
Assimilation meant a melting pot. Ingredients from all
over the world would produce soup and that soup was
going to be one flavour. Integration, on the other hand,
was the concept of the salad bowl. There would be a
flavour, but each ingredient would continue to retain
its identity. And we all know that salad's good for you,
The Coalition was not very liberal with
its candidates with virtually no one of note from either
House turning up.
With opinion polls going the way they are
Liberal politicians might have been, in all likelihood,
spending every available moment regrouping and
repositioning themselves for the upcoming elections.
And the one person they would have been
more than pleased to have avoided was lawyer for Dr.
Haneef, Peter Russo, who graced the occasion with his
presence and cleared up a few issues in the process.
The presentation by the Greens candidate
for Griffith, Willy Bach, was followed by a
lecture on Islam and democracy by Dr. Abdalla.
While the programme was intended to (and
in fact did) give all parties an equal opportunity to
present their cases and answer questions one could not
avoid walking away with the feeling that the dominant
hue on the day was a distinct shade of orange.
gets Up Close and Personal with..........
[CCN] Assalaamuilaikum and thank you Rashida for taking time out of your busy
day to allow us to talk
with you. Let’s start by asking you what your role in
the Muslim Community Reference Group (MCRG) is.
[RJ] Currently I am one of the representatives in the Muslim
Community Reference Group. I am acting therefore, in an
advisory capacity to State Government, representing the
needs of the greater Queensland Muslim community. The
participation of the community in approaching us with
their advice is therefore, very important. I urge
members of the Muslim community to please be active, and
as I do not know everyone, I must rely on them to
approach me or other members of this vital group.
[CCN] Tell us a little about your family background
[RJ] I was born in Sydney to a Lebanese father and mother of
mixed European background. I grew up in a Catholic
family that sourced its spiritual impulses from the
radical Christian theologians who aligned themselves
with the poor of the world and not so much the
bureaucracy of the Church. I have thus grown up in a
left wing family, and to this day my activism is linked
to my spiritual beliefs. I am deeply indebted to my
parents who gave me a sense of human dignity and a
profound interest in those who suffer from existence at
the hard edges of this world, regardless of ethnicity or
[CCN] How did you come about discovering Islam?
[RJ] I became intensely interested in Islam when I was around 19
years of age, after having been horrified by the
Church’s support of the Vietnam war. I was a committed
Christian, so my conversion to Islam has been for me,
not a big change as much as a continuation and
intensification of my beliefs and practices. My main
inspiration has come from the great Sufi mystics who
responded to Allah ta’ala from the depths of their
[CCN] How has Islam influenced your life?
[RJ] Due to my Islamic faith, I have found myself opening pages
in my life, that I am sure would not have opened in
another life context. Having begun my interest in
Islamic culture and ‘exotic’ locations at an early age,
I was very lucky to become a student of a great Shaykh
in Morocco, who welcomed me into his home and taught me
an Islam that is rare to see in the Modern world. A
husband and wife whose religion was indelibly marked
into their soul, my faith was transmitted at a deep
level, experiencing the beauty of Islam, not through
books but through action and life, from moment to moment
and oral teachings.
[CCN] You have been a tireless worker for the underprivileged and
the disadvantaged over the years. What are some of the
projects you have worked on?
[RJ] I have travelled and worked overseas extensively in Aid and
Development, including delivery of internal hygiene
programmes in India, establishing support networks for
Indian women working in the sex trade in Bombay,
establishing universal education for Moroccan girls
under 12, post-prison rehabilitation programmes for
non-English speaking men and women in Sydney, various
women’s activities programmes and the major work of my
life working with refugee and displaced peoples in
various places in the world, including here in
Australia. I work now with refugee groups here in
Brisbane, and also do cross-cultural consultancy and
[CCN] In between all of this you also notched up a number of
qualifications and achievements.
[RG] I have formal qualifications in Sociology, Linguistics,
Counselling and Mediation, with an unfinished degree in
Mathematics. I also was awarded a Centenary medal for
Excellence in Service Provision to Migrants and Refugees
[CCN] This is a remarkable track record for any one person. What
does the future hold for Rashida Joseph?
[RJ] After 30 years of work, I would now like to mentor some
young people interested in this work, in order to pass
on some of the skills that I have learned in my large
experience of many cultural life discourses. I also care
for my mother who is my only living relative and she is
now 87 years of age.
[CCN] When you do get a spare moment or two how do you spend
[RJ] My hobbies are sports of many kinds (particularly rowing),
writing, interfaith and peace studies, dhikr and
meditation, Traditional Arts, cooking and eating and
spending time with friends.
[CCN] What would it take to make our world a better place?
[RJ] I am strongly concerned with the modern person’s inability
to concentrate, to keenly observe phenomena and their
lack of patience. Out of these weaknesses, come most of
our world problems.
[CCN] You not only work on the MCRG but with other communities as
[RJ] I have a strong connection with many Catholic,
Christian and Buddhist groups. I have also been
profoundly affected by a life long association with
Australian and American Indigenous communities, having
grown up in the inner Southside of Brisbane and been
intimately involved in the early Land Rights movement
here in Australia. I am currently a Board Member of the
Multicultural Development Association and an active
member of the international Anti-Slavery movement.
[CCN] You have done a fair bit of travel over the years.
[RJ] Yes, I have worked and lived in the Middle East,
North Africa and India. As a tourist I have visited
Italy, France, England and Malaysia. I am very
interested to travel to Northern Europe now, as I am
fascinated by cold climate cultures.
[CCN] What's your
[RJ] Although in my childhood home I ate mainly Lebanese
food, I now mainly like Asian food, although I like
European food as well, especially good English and
French cuisine. I spend quite a bit of my time with
friends, eating and talking.
[CCN] You must
spend a great deal of time reading
[RJ] Books are probably my best friends (along with cups
of tea!) and my private library is a rather vast
collection of books on spirituality and faith of many
traditions. I am, however, at the moment reading a
wonderful book called the ‘The Shadow of the Silk Route’
by Colin Thubron, who has written so intelligently and
beautifully about amazing places in the world.
[CCN] I hear you
have quiet an eclectic taste in music
[RJ] I love music but don’t like to become too dependent
on the emotional sides of music. However, I like live
music and attend concerts when I can. My interest is in
traditional music from all over the world, some modern
music like Nick Cave, Eva Cassidy, KD Laing and a few
others. I also love some European and Asian classical
[CCN] Rashida, thank you for giving CCN readers the opportunity
to get so up close and personal with you. We
appreciate your willingness to talk with us and we wish
you every success for the future, inshaAllah.
RADICAL international university students are posing a
greater security threat than hardline sheiks by
spreading extremist messages at Australian mosques and
Moderate Muslims warned yesterday that international
students should be forced to undergo training about the
Australian way of life to counter their radical
interpretations of Islam.
The former chairman of John Howard's Islamic reference
board, Ameer Ali, said some international students
needed to be stopped from poisoning the minds of local
"The danger here is that universities are becoming the
hotbeds for fundamentalist views among students," he
told The Australian.
"They (international students) go to the mosque and they
mix around with the community and bring those same views
into Australia. They have a negative influence on
student attitudes towards religion.
"The students who come here, they come with the views
(they've developed) in their own countries - it can be
Shia Islam in Iran or Wahabbi Islam in Saudi Arabia.
These are the agents of change we are facing now."
How do religious
communities understand their role in connecting with the
wider society - particularly in working with people in
need? Australian Muslims and Christians face different
issues - one group's perceived isolation from the
mainstream, the other's wealth and institutional focus.
Michael Vincent formerly from ABC radio
PM and AM program receives the Meccan Award
for excellence in Journalism (radio) from
Monica Attard from ABC Media Watch program.
Michael has produced dozens of reports on
the Muslim community and particularly
impressed the FAIR selection committee with
his report about an ethnic Uygur Australian
who was the first person to be arrested
after September 11 2001 on terrorism related
charges in Kazakhstan. He is still being
held in prison in that country.
Over the past five years the media has
reported on the Muslim community in an unprecedented
volume of reportage. While the bulk of it has been
negative and the Muslim community has felt under siege,
amongst the frenzy there has been some positive
reportage in the print media, radio and television,
reporting the issues in a very informative, balanced and
Selected members of the media profession were presented
with special awards in recognition of the work that they
do in promoting community harmony and awareness of the
FAIR Executive Director Kuranda Seyit said, "I genuinely
believe that we are seeing a turning point in the
reporting of Muslim issues. The journalists themselves
are aware of the immense impact that they have on
communities and there has been an observable change in
the general reporting. So we want to recognise those who
have made a real contribution to reporting on Muslim
issues over the past several years."
These awards were based on research about journalists
who have reported on Muslim community affairs or issues
and attempted to portray the issues in a fair and
Amongst the recipients was one of Australia's most
respected investigative journalists Mark Davis.
Presently he is the senior journalist on SBS
Television's award winning current affairs program
Dateline. He has covered many issues pertaining to Islam
in the Middle East and South East Asia and his work has
always been exemplary.
"The key word here is balance and generally speaking
they have achieved that. The other recipients are
equally applauded for their consistency and high level
of output. I want to mention SBS news reporter Ashleigh
Nghiem as one of the outstanding journalists of her time
and The Sutherland Leader's Murray Trembath. Likewise,
The Sydney Morning Herald ran a very informative and
positive series about the Faces of Islam, and Hamish
McDonald will be recognised as one of the outstanding
reporters in this series." Mr Seyit said.
The inaugural 2007 FAIR media awards dinner was held on
Saturday, 8 September 2007 at the Bosphorus Lounge in
The night began with Rumi poetry
recitations by Kuranda Seyit accompanied by Kim Sanders
on the neyy. This was followed by a welcome by Sheikh
Naeem Abdul Wali and Lesley Gissane from the MCCA.
The Hon Tanya Plibersek (Shadow Minister for Women and
Youth) spoke about the future directions of Australia's youth.
There was a performance by Linda Marr and then the launch of the
Into the Looking Glass Report on Muslim youth by Hon
Paul Lynch (Minister for Local Government) before the
formal proceedings went underway.
Professor Jake Lynch (former BBC presenter) was the MC
for the awards presentations and Hanifa Deen (Melbourne
author of Broken Bangles) addressed the audience on
relations with the media.
The recipients for the awards were:
Taghred Chandab Sun Herald
Crescent Award Murray Trembath Sutherland Leader
Al Bukhari Award Linda Morris Sydney Morning Herald
Hafsah Award Eddie Abd SBS Arabic Radio Ummah Award Mike Steketee The Australian
Ibn Battuta Award Hamish McDonald Sydney Morning Herald
Al Quds Award (Faces
of Islam) Michael Vincent ABC Radio Medinan Award Peter Kirkwood ABC TV Compass
Ibn Battuta Award Geraldine Doogue ABC Compass
Astrolabe Award Mark Davis SBS TV Dateline Mevlana Award Ashleigh Nghiem SBS TV News
A special address by Jeff McMullen on "Who the bloody
hell's country is this anyway" was quite fascinating.
Of course the Skoody was launched and even Laurie
Ferguson had a cucumber chopped on his chest with a
Feedback from all and sundry was that this was a great
event and promoted great relations with the media.
People were impressed by the array of journalists who
attended in support of the event and the quality of the
speakers and award recipients.
Source: Adapted FAIR media release
Ms Bligh is seen introducing herself to
Dr Rubana Moola, the Secretary General of the Muslim
Business Network and member of the Eidfest
If you're wondering who the
unfamiliar face on the right of the photograph is,
it happens to be that of the very newly appointed Premier of
Queensland, Anna Bligh, who was also recently
anointed as the Indian of the Year at a gala awards
CCN congratulates Ms Bligh on her appointment and
wishes her and her family strength and success
during the challenging times ahead.
affable, easy-going personality lies a strong and
determined woman with great resolve and conviction",
said our Man-on-the-Mussallah on hearing of her
promotion, having met with Ms Bligh on several occasions
at social and business events while she was Deputy
Premier and Treasurer.
Algester Mosque continues with its tradition of
serving up its famous barbequed chickens and steak rolls
after taraweeh every Saturday night in Ramadan.
The Mosque courtyard has been a popular
watering hole on Saturday nights after a hard week of
fasting and prayer.
Youth and Volunteering
Australia and the Australian Multicultural Foundation,
together with ORIMA Research, conducted a number of
focus groups with Muslim youth and not for profit
This research looked at the experiences
and attitudes to volunteering of young Muslim men and
women in Lakemba (Sydney), Melbourne and Shepparton (
The research found that was significant
scope to increase the participation of Muslim youth in
volunteering activities, as Muslim youth tend towards a
positive predisposition towards volunteering.
The idea that volunteering forms a
significant part of being a good community member
emerged as a common cultural norm among Muslim youth.
Brisbane - by Australia International Islamic
AMARAH a big hit at Brisbane Writers Festival
Report by Halim Rane
(L to R) Jasmine Khan, Nora Amath and
This year’s Brisbane Writers Festival
featured Reflections: Young Muslims on the
Contribution of Islamic Civilisation to Humanity,
which was written by Muslim youth from Brisbane and
edited by Nora Amath and Halim Rane.
On Thursday 13 September, the opening day
of the Festival, a capacity crowd were in attendance to
hear AMARAH members Halim Rane, Nora Amath,
and Jasmine Khan discuss the role of women in
Islam, Islamic civilisation, and the impressive array of
contributions Islam has made to humanity.
BWF sell out crowd
Festival organisers were overwhelmed by
the public response to the AMARAH session, which was not
only ‘sold out’ but, according to the organisers, ‘could
have been sold out three times over’.
Halim, Nora, and Jasmine spoke on the history and
essential teaching of Islam, the development and
contributions of Islamic civilisation, and the important
role that Muslim women historically played in Muslim
They also responded to questions from the audience
concerning women in Islam today, Islamic law, governance
and public administration, conflict and violence,
prejudice and racism against Muslim, and a number of
Muslim Journalist Refused Entry
Brisbane Writers' Festival Media
Release Wednesday 12 September
Brisbane Writers Festival is disappointed to announce
the cancellation of international guest Abdel Bari
Atwan as the Department of Immigration and
Citizenship has not been able to process his visa
application in time for the Festival.
of al-Quds al Arabi, a major Arabic newspaper
published in London, Abdel Bari Atwan is a
journalist of international reputation. Palestinian
born, he has been a UK citizen for the past 30 years.
director Michael Campbell says, “I am appalled and
embarrassed in equal parts by this situation. His
latest book The Secret History of al-Qa’ida is a
book which in no way endorses al-Qa’ida or any of its
objectives but rather makes the important point that if
we are to combat terrorism, we must understand those who
explains, “Mr Atwan has not been able get a visa to
visit this country as a guest of the Brisbane Writers
Festival. It is bizarre that DIMA in Australia say they
have no record of his application, even though it was
submitted in the UK. To my knowledge Mr Atwan has
never been refused a visa to visit any other country.
He has travelled internationally, including as a guest
of Boston, Chicago and Harvard Universities in the
United States – most recently in April this year.”
his home in the UK, Abdel Bari Atwan says, “ I am
seeking legal advice and I am talking to a top
international human rights lawyer. If there are legal
grounds I will sue the Australian government. I
consider this as racial discrimination against me as a
Muslim, as an Arab. The use of this delaying tactic is
tarnishing my image. It is the worse type of censorship
and intimidation and it has never happened to me
Mr Atwan’s UK Publisher, Little Brown
Director, Richard Beswick says, “Mr Atwan brings a
Muslim’s sensibility to the most important story of our
times, while remaining cool and detached in its
telling. In the week when Osama Bin Laden has appeared
again on our televisions Mr Atwan – who met Bin Laden in
the Tora Bora caves – has vital advice for Western
governments and their allies in their approach to
terrorism. That anybody should be prevented by hearing
that advice is a real cause for outrage and a shocking
instance of a government ignorantly patronising its
Atwan’s event with journalist David Marr on Thursday
morning will proceed without him. He also says if Abdel
Bari Atwan’s visa application is processed after the
Festival, he would still be very happy to host an event.
"In the Shade of
Ramadan" is a
of short educational and
motivational reflections on the
produced by the Muslim American Society (MAS) featuring
different speakers from around America.
Thirty episodes are
being produced and are being uploaded daily on
the MAS Youth web site,
http://www.masyouth.net/ramadan. The first
season (2006) of the series received more than 19000
Q: Kareema, during Ramadan I generally
lose a few kilos but tend to put it straight
back on after Eid. What can I do to curb this?
A: Make walking a part of your daily routine. Allow
yourself to 'feast' on Eid (keep it as healthy as
possible)! The weeks following Ramadan is when you
should start controlling your meal portion size. Try 5
smaller meals throughout the day, instead of 3 big ones.
This will help with your metabolism (body's ability to
convert food to fuel) as well. Remember, the more you
eat, the more you need to move.
THINK OF MOVEMENT AS AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT AN
INCONVENIENCE - and slowly but surely, you'll see and
feel the difference!!!
All questions sent in are published here
anonymously and without any references to the author of
Allah for putting my appeal for Fitrah in last
week's CCN. It is very much appreciated. However,
there has been a slight change. In my appeal I
mentioned "Proceeds of which are used to make food
hampers for distribution".
Due to the severe food shortages the Fitrah
Committee has decided that this year instead of
making Food Hampers, they will give out cash to the
One may ask what will they do with cash when there
are food shortages.
1) They will have cash available when food does
2) Others now go across the border to buy food.
Hence the decision by the committee to give out
Jazaak Allah for your support.
Was Salaam Faisel Essof
[Editor] We have
been informed that Fitrah is $10 this year.
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particularly if they eventually turn out to be libelous,
unfounded, objectionable, obnoxious, offensive,
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It is the usual policy of CCN to include
from time to time, notices of events that some readers
may find interesting or relevant. Such notices are often
posted as received. Including such messages or providing
the details of such events does not necessarily imply
endorsement of the contents of these events by either CCN
or Crescents of Brisbane.