Warmest congratulations to Emeritus Professor Gary Bouma, UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Interfaith Relations (Asia-Pacific), and Acting Director, Monash Global Terrorism Research Centre, who has been awarded an AM for ‘significant service to sociology as an academic, to interfaith dialogues, and to the Anglican Church of Australia’.
Gary has assisted Australian policy-makers, civil servants, people of faith, clerics of many faiths, students, colleagues, and others to appreciate and enhance their understandings of the rich tapestry of religious life in Australia, and the challenges and benefits of managing religious diversity in order to strengthen Australia’s social inclusion. Gary’s many publications in these areas, his coordination of the Parliament of World Religions and the many reports and panels on these topics to which he has contributed, and in many cases pioneered, have established him as one of Australia’s and the world’s leading academics and practitioners on matters of managing religious diversity and promoting interfaith and intercultural harmony. The high national award is well deserved. Gary’s work has helped improve relations in this country and has elevated PSI’s and Monash’s reputation as Australia’s leading institution on matters of interfaith and intercultural relations.