With the theme ‘Creating a New World Culture through Filial Piety,’ the Festival took place at the Peace Embassy and was live-streamed by Zoom to other states and overseas.
A warm welcome by the MC, Mr. Soon Teck Lim as President of CPFWP Australia and a powerful youth performance from the CPFWP Taiwan got everyone’s minds and hearts together. This was followed by a heart-felt opening prayer from Rev Steve Evans, pastor of Sunshine Coast Family Church.
Rev. Yutaka Yamada, chairman of Universal Peace Federation Oceania, gave the welcoming remarks. He emphasized the importance of sacrificing myself for our parents and creating filial piety culture in our families. This is the culture to realise “One Family under God.” Prof. Thomas Hwang, International President CPFWP, and Mr. John Adamedes, President of UPF Australia, gave congratulatory remarks.
Prof. Hwang highlighted the importance of maintaining and promoting family values. He also commented that this event by the CPFWP in Australia will have positive repercussions in other countries’ chapters. Mr. Adamedes highlighted that filial piety starts with attending God as our Heavenly Parent and that God must be at the centre of the family relationships.
The audience heard two testimonies, one from Pablo Barreto about his mother’s words of encouragement when he was a student, that are still guiding him years later, and one by Brigitte Xu, who gave some very practical advice on how sons and daughters can repay the love and care received by their parents, at the time when parents need to be looked after.
The highlight of the festival was the Filial Piety Writing contest. It was difficult for the judges to decide on the winners, as all entries were heartfelt, sincere, moving and well written. There were two categories, Youth (22 and under) and Adults. In the Youth category, Leon Burfield, 19, got the first prize; Youngmin Yoo, 21, the second and Lora Lim, 12, the third. Their essays had the audience moved and at the same time entertained.
In the Adult category, the first price went to Robert Kaforau, who shared a testimony about his family back in the Solomon Island, and particularly about his late mother. Pastor Sammy Lee received the second prize although unfortunately he could not attend due to health issues, and the third prize went to Pablo Barreto. In between testimonies, the youth choir delighted the audience with a Chinese song called Gratitude to My Father and Mother, and Wind Beneath My Wings. These songs warmed the hearts of all participants. The event concluded with a group photo, refreshments and informal sharing among all participants.