Stepping Up: An Interfaith Event to Reach Out to our Cambodian Neighbours

Stepping Up: An Interfaith Event to Reach Out to our Cambodian Neighbours

By Angelina Dyceuco

President Dieter F Uchdorf of the First Presidency declared: “We honor and respect sincere souls from all religions, no matter where or when they lived, who have loved God… We lift our voices in gratitude for their selflessness and courage. We embrace them as brothers and sisters, children of our Heavenly Father.”

The Sydney Mortdale Stake held a service project aimed to foster interfaith relations between differing religious traditions. Sharing a mutual concern for the needs of the community, the members of the Stake collaborated with representatives from the Muslim, Jewish and Catholic communities.

Those who attended were involved in making tug ropes for animals in a local animal shelter. There was also a great support towards donations of children’s socks and underwear to be sent to an orphanage in Siam Reap. The ‘Stepping Out Program’ not only provides food and clothing to those who have been orphaned but also protection and education for a number of children and youth.

Mr Jihad Dib, the principal of Punchbowl Boys’ High School (with 70% Arabic speaking students) and Commissioner to the NSW Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW, addressed those who attended. His message contributed to the spirit of the evening as he commented, “Always treat people with dignity and respect whoever they are”.

President Philip Barton echoed the message of unity by commenting that our identity as neighbours, and brothers and sisters, outweighs our individual differences.

Photos (below) by Daniela Jackson


A display of photographs of the Cambodian children became a bridge of understanding between the givers and receivers.


President Andrew Campbell, 1st Counsellor in the Mortdale Stake Presidency, and Sarah Greenbaum of the Jewish Board of Deputies making tug ropes for the animals in a local animal shelter.


Derek Godinet (Middle), Vice Captain of Punchbowl Boys’ High School, is photographed with his Young Men’s President, John Pike (Left), and principal, Mr Jihad Dib (Right).

Left to Right: Mr Jihad Dib, Derek Godinet and President Philip Barton of the Mortdale Stake.


Moment of fun interaction between Francisco Cou (Assistant Director of Public Affairs of Mortdale Stake), Principal Jihad Dib and Sarah Greenbaum of the Jewish Board of Deputies.