Australian Baha'i Sites

Marking 90 years since election of Australia’s first National Spiritual Assembly 

Delegates at the 2024 National Baha’i Convention have marked a momentous occasion, with this year’s gathering coinciding with the 90th anniversary since the inception of the very first National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Australia and New Zealand.  

In the convention’s opening remarks, the National Spiritual Assembly’s outgoing chairperson remarked that only nine delegates had convened at the first convention – a stark difference to the 95 gathered for the convention today. 

“This is a testament to the power of God and His covenant … and we cannot help but be moved by this power,” she said. 

She said the occasion was, however, tempered by the sorrow felt due to the ongoing suffering of the friends in Iran, who continued to show courage and resilience in the face of such persistent tests. 

Delegates gathered at the National Baha’i Convention.

The national governing council of Australia and New Zealand was first elected in 1934, the same year as the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran. The Iranian Assembly was, however, dissolved in 1983 after the Iranian Prosecutor General called for the dismantling of the Baha’i administrative structure. 

The outgoing chairperson also said it was hoped this year’s national convention would honour the community’s achievements and spur the friends on as they were reminded of the following words from the Universal House of Justice:  

A wider horizon is opening before us, illumined by a growing and universal manifestation of the inherent potentialities of the Cause for ordering human affairs. In this light can be discerned not only our immediate tasks but, more dimly, new pursuits and undertakings upon which we must shortly become engaged.

The Universal House of Justice

Thanks for reading.

Subscribe

Horizons Team

The Horizons Team aims to cast a spotlight on how the Baha’i Faith’s society-building power is being released in ever-greater measures across this vast and diverse country of ours.

More

Published in April, 2024, in Baha'i Institutions > News & Announcements

Available online at: horizons.bahai.org.au/bahai-institutions/marking-90-years-since-election-of-australias-first-national-spiritual-assembly/

Related Stories

National Spiritual Assembly

Convention video showcases sacred nature of Baha’i elections

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Australia has released a special video showcasing highlights from this year’s National Baha’i Convention while providing a ...

Video
National Spiritual Assembly

Members of Australia’s National Spiritual Assembly elected at annual convention 

The nine members of the national governing council of the Australian Baha’i community, the National Spiritual Assembly, have been elected at the annual National Baha’i ...

The Office of External Affairs

Our Story is One: Array of creative contributions honour 10 Baha’i women executed in Iran

In 2023, the worldwide Baha’i community launched its Our Story is One campaign in honour of the 10 Baha’i women who were executed in Iran more than 40 years ago for their beliefs in a more ...

Video
The Office of External Affairs

New documentary released about Australia’s first female Baha’i and photographer Effie Baker

Euphemia ‘Effie’ Baker is an inspiring historical figure in the worldwide Baha’i community. Now, in a new film released this week, the details of her life have become more accessible than ...

Video
National Spiritual Assembly

A time of joy, growth and renewal: National Assembly conveys love at Naw Ruz 

Australia’s elected national governing body – the National Spiritual Assembly – has conveyed its love and gratitude on Naw Ruz with a special message sent to the Australian Baha’i ...

The Universal House of Justice

‘Remain confirmed and assisted’: The hope for the Baha’is in Iran 

The new year is the harbinger of reflection and renewal, and Baha’i Naw Ruz is no exception. As communities across Australia and the world celebrated the occasion with a myriad of festivities ...