Spirituality and faith

A multi-faith university

UWA recognises the diversity of backgrounds of its community.

As a university, we support and encourage:

  • efforts which promote understanding and cooperative action between many different beliefs and/or religious traditions
  • intellectual engagement with questions of meaning, belief and faith
  • the right to freedom of belief and religion
  • dialogue aimed at developing shared understanding
  • freedom to believe as one chooses and to change one’s beliefs

We keep an Interfaith Calendar, so everyone can know festival times for some of the larger religious bodies. Religious obligations of any belief systems are recognised as potential grounds for an application for deferral of one’s exams.

UWA's Student Guild also represents a number of religious and spiritual clubs and societies. View the list.

Belief and practice during COVID-19

While corporate religious gatherings cannot be held (including at UWA), many religious resources and meetings are available via the internet. Prayer groups are rapidly forming using platforms such as Zoom and Facebook. Search Google and Facebook for your usual place of worship, religious affiliation and location.

Additionally, personal spiritual practices can be maintained as a source of strength and comfort. We encourage setting aside daily time for personal reflection, prayer or meditation.

You may wish to contact people from your religious community or like-minded friends for conversation and mutual encouragement. Reach out to contact your local religious leader to find out how your religious community is responding to the challenges of the moment and ask them for personal support if you need it.

If you’d like to connect with a spiritual leader, email michael.wood@uwa.edu.au or yahyaibrahim@almaghrib.org. You can also email the Student Wellbeing team at studentwelfare-studserv@uwa.edu.au.

  • Chaplaincy

  • What is a chaplain?

  • Spiritual life

We’re committed to supporting you with a diversity of cultural, religious and non-religious backgrounds and aim to promote interfaith conversation and collaboration wherever possible. We have staff from Anglican, Catholic and Islamic backgrounds who can offer pastoral support to students and staff.

Pastoral support does not assume a religious background. A conversation might be quite informal. Many people find that through the process of pastoral support, they gain clarity on problems and discern new possibilities. Pastoral support might include conversations about grief and loss, life direction, relationships or choice of studies.

A chaplain can provide you with compassion, care and listening. Our services are available for all students, regardless of your religious or non-religious affiliation.

Support you can receive includes:

  • pastoral care
  • help making life direction/vocational decisions
  • help with issues of interpretation of sacred texts, such as the Bible
  • fostering a lifelong exploration in spirituality
  • contributing to community building, equity, justice and peace-making on the UWA campuses and colleges
  • having a neutral person in the reconciliation of conflict (restorative justice)
  • encouraging interfaith relationships to combat ignorance, build shared understanding and build peace

UWA chaplains also assist in their church communities and the wider community off-campus. In addition to our chaplains, we have many other supportive and spiritually respectful groups, including Guild clubs and societies.

Our chaplains can also help you work through spiritual questions and we can make referrals to relevant religious communities, on-campus faith groups and prayer services. Your spiritual life includes finding what it takes to make a difference, to be part of a community, to be the change you want to see, and even to be able to see it in the first place.

It also includes big-picture philosophical and theological concerns, such as:

  • your values
  • the vision for life that you are prepared to live for
  • whom you trust and how you know
  • your measures of integrity and identity
  • what motivates you and brings you meaning and purpose
  • where joy comes from

Venues

Due to COVID-19 and the Federal Government’s restrictions on gatherings, venues and spaces used at the University for spiritual life purposes are not currently available.

Young man meditating outdoors

Meditation

There are many forms of mindfulness and spiritual meditation but the basic core of them all is very similar – to focus the mind. You can meditate anywhere and anytime. One beauty of meditation is its simplicity.

Anglican Chaplain Michael Wood practices and teaches meditation from the 1600-year-old Christian meditation tradition. Anyone can use this approach and you don’t need to be of the Christian faith to meditate in this way or to benefit from it.

Contact Michael on 6488 4762 if you would like to find out more.

 
Young woman in discussion with an adviser

Life coaching

Coaching is a structured process through which you can gain greater clarity, purpose and effectiveness in your life. You will be encouraged, challenged and supported to figure out your own strategies for achieving your desired outcomes.

You can try new approaches and then reflect on what’s working for you. Many people report that coaching is enabling and empowering.

Our Anglican Chaplain has 30 years’ experience in leadership, coaching and facilitation, and is an ICF Professional Certified Coach. 

 

Restorative conferencing

UWA offers restorative conferencing with our Anglican Chaplain being a trained restorative conference facilitator who can assist with resolving conflicts in relationships.

Conflict resolution

Contact

Sheik Yahya Ibrahim,
Islamic Chaplain

(+61 8) 9458 5206

yahyaibrahim@hotmail.com

Off campus (on call)
Langford Islamic College

Father Peter Tran,
Catholic Chaplain

0432 235 304

peter.tran@uwa.edu.au

Tuesday: Law Link building
Other days: St Thomas More College

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