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Chanukah - Pillars of Light

Free Events
This is a past event
Free Events


18 December 2022 - 22 December 2022
7pm - 9pm

Friday 23 December 2022
4pm - 6pm


Main Square

18-23 December 2022

A little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness.

Pillars of Light, in celebration of Chanukah, is providing Melbournians with an opportunity to come together over a multicultural celebration, focusing on what unites us as a city.

Each evening features a bespoke program highlighting the core precepts of connection and collaboration through guest speakers, dignitaries, artistic performers, cultural groups, sports people and more, who’ll be invited to light the menorah, bringing together our varied communities through hope, positivity, love and light.

Pillars of Light has sourced local and known multicultural, faith and Indigenous artists and choirs that will perform during the festival.

You are welcome to join us this holiday season for what is a phenomenal display of multiculturalism and diversity in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD – Fed Square!

Pillars of Light thanks its Principal Partner Gandel Foundation for their generosity and support over the past 3 years. Together with the Victorian Government, ARK Centre and Fed Square. Gold Partners Pratt Foundation, Erdi Foundation, Melbourne City Council and Bindy & David Koadlow

Pillars of Light is a free event.

Pillars of Light Livestream

The Program

Sunday 18 December | 7pm – 9pm | Theme: Connection

  • Welcome to Country – TBC
  • MC – Solomia Voznyak
  • Speakers –
    • Lord Mayor Sally Capp
    • Helen Durham AO
  • Shamash Lighter – Farah Farouque (Tenants Victoria)
  • Menorah Lighter –
    • Professor Frank Oberklaid AM, MD, FRACP, DCH
  • Performers –
    • Pop Choir
    • Josh Kelly and Choir

Monday 19 December | 7pm – 9pm | Theme: Inclusivity

  • MC – Dean Cohen OAM (CEO, Flying Fox)
  • Speakers –
    • David Loven (School Captain, Glen Eira College)
    • Ro Allen (Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner)
  • Shamash Lighter – Graham Goldsmith AO (Deputy Chairman, Gandel Foundation)
  • Menorah Lighters –
    • Simone Szalmuk Singer (CEO, Erdi Foundation)
    • Dean Rzechta
    • UJEB Representatives
  • Performers –
    • Danny Finkelstein & Star Bros
    • With One Voice Choir

Tuesday 20 December | 7pm – 9pm | Theme: Youth
Event Sponsor: VicHealth

  • MC – Charlize Nalupta (VicHealth)
  • Speakers –
    • Ahmed Hassan (Executive Director, Youth Activating Youth)
    • Stephan Carbone (VicHealth)
  • Shamash Lighter – Maccabie Kids all ability
  • Menorah Lighters –
    • Charlize Nalupta (VicHealth)
    • Jade Correia (VicHealth)
  • Performers –
    • Beyond The Bathroom Choir
    • Men In Suits Choir
    • No Lights No Lycra

Wednesday 21 December | 7pm – 9pm | Theme: Diversity

  • MC – Dr Susan Carland (Monash University)
  • Speakers –
    • Janine Mohamed (CEO, Lowitja Institute)
    • Bill Papastergiadis OAM
    • Hon John Pesutto MP (Leader of Victorian Liberal Party)
  • Shamash Lighter – Monica Forson (Victorian Anti Racism Taskforce)
  • Menorah Lighters –
    • Seb Chan (CEO, ACMI)
    • Fotis Kapetopoulos (Kape Communications)
    • Cath Scartch
    • Mohamed Mohideen OAM (Victorian Multicultural Commissioner)
  • Performers –
    • Ella Hooper and Band
    • The Cultural Centre of Florinians (Aristotelis)

Thursday 22 December | 7pm – 9pm | Theme: Reconciliation
Event Sponsor: B’nai B’rith

  • MC – Jamil Tye (Director of Indigenous Engagement, Monash University)
  • Speaker –
    • Lyn-Al Young (Indigenous Designer and Artist)
    • Jill Morgan AM
  • Shamash Lighter – Leila Gurruwiwi (Australian Media Commentator and TV Producer)
  • Menorah Lighters –
    • Doron Abramovici (Vice President, JCCV)
    • Tony Wheldon OAM (Immediate Past Chair, Courage to Care)
    • Alex Kats (Chair, Council of Christian and Jews Victoria)
    • Karen Milward (Karen Milward Consulting)
    • Kevin Bell (Yoorrook Commissioner)
  • Performers –
    • Warren Wills and Choir
    • Jalgany
    • Didgeridoo performance

Friday 23 December | 4pm – 6pm | Theme: Harmony
Event Sponsor: AMF

  • MC – Vedran Drakulic OAM (CEO, Gandel Philanthropy)
  • Speakers –
    • Hon Andrew Giles MP (Minister for Multicultural Affairs)
    • Makarand Bhagwat (Director, Hindu Council Australia [Vic])
    • Naomi Levin (Jewish Community Council of Victoria)
    • Hon Colin Brooks MP (Minister Multicultural Affairs)
  • Shamash Lighter – Ari Suss (CEO, Fox Special Projects)
  • Menorah Lighters –
    • Dr Hass Dellal AO (Executive Director and Company Secretary, AMF)
    • Leon Kempler (Chairman, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce)
    • Sue Hampel (Co-President, Holocaust Museum)
    • Gurpreet Verma (Secretary, Hindu Council of Australia [Vic])
    • Devang Sheth (Melbourne Shwetambar Jain Singh)
    • Diana Cousens (Vice Chair, Buddhist Council of Victoria)
    • JCCV representative
  • Performers –
    • Saray Illuminado
    • Cultural Band
    • Max Konig

Click here to see the 2021 line-up!



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