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Australia

NSW Modern Slavery Act: Faith leaders’ open letter

We invite faith leaders of NSW to add their signature to the open letter below.


20 October 2021 

RE: Faith Leaders support of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW).   

Dear Premier,  

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Premier of New South Wales. As leaders of our faith communities, we wish you all the best in your new role and look forward to working with you.  

Your predecessor, Gladys Berejiklian, was a co-sponsor of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) (‘the Act’) as it passed through the New South Wales Parliament. We appreciate the strong moral stance the government took against the scourge of modern slavery, which we know is present within our state borders and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. 

As leaders of faith communities, we are extremely concerned that the Act is still awaiting proclamation, nearly 1200 days since passing the NSW Parliament. We wish to impress upon you the importance of maintaining your commitment to the people of New South Wales by urgently proclaiming and commencing the Act. 

We understand that minor amendments are required to ensure the Act functions as intended. However, we are concerned that future amendments might include the removal of hard-fought key provisions that ensure the Act is effective in combatting modern slavery. We urge you to retain the following provisions in any amendments to the Act:

1. Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

2. $50 million consolidated revenue threshold 

3. Penalties for non-compliance

4. Support for victims.  

The Asia-Pacific region is home to approximately two-thirds of the world’s slaves, many of them children and women. NSW has the seventh largest economy within this region. And, as NSW Government departments and businesses continue to procure goods, have links in their supply chains, and conduct their operations within the Asia-Pacific region, it is vital that we have well-functioning anti-slavery legislation in NSW.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency of addressing the problem of modern slavery in our region. More than 10 million children around the globe are being exploited and suffering. We can no longer be bystanders to this gross injustice.  

As leaders of our faith communities, we implore you to endorse the Act once again, and to immediately introduce appropriate amendments to the Parliament that will finally see the NSW Modern Slavery Act proclaimed and commenced.  

Signed, 

The Most Rev Kanishka Raffel – Archbishop, Anglican Diocese of Sydney 

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel – President, NSW Council of Churches

The Right Reverend Dr Michael Stead – Bishop of South Sydney, Anglican Diocese of Sydney 

Reverend Stu Cameron – CEO and Superintendent, Wesley Mission

Imam Shadi Alsuleiman – President, Australian National Imams Council 

Ben Peletier – Chairman, NSW Reformed Church, Northern Beaches Christian Reformed Church 

Surinder Jain – Founding Director and Nat. Vice President, Hindu Council of Australia

Reverend Dr Matthew Wilcoxen – Rector, St John’s Anglican Darlinghurst 

Reverend Dr Nobin Shunmugam – Pastor, Wamberal Christian Reformed Church

Richard Botta – Pastor, C3 Church Carlingford 

Sue Irwin – Senior Pastor, The Grainery Church 

John Gray – Senior Minister, St Paul’s Castle Hill 

Paul Summers – Senior Pastor, Caringbah Baptist Church 

Arnaldo Santiago Jr – Lead Pastor, Anchor Church South West

Reverend Dr Andrew Katay – Senior Pastor, Christ Church Inner West Anglican Community

Lee Murray – Lead Pastor, Establish Church

Enoch Nagabyrava – Pastor, St Mary’s Baptist Church

Lesli Berger – President, Jewish Board of Deputies

The Most Rev Kanishka Raffel Archbishop, Anglican Diocese of Sydney 
Reverend Stu Cameron 
CEO and Superintendent 
Wesley Mission
Surinder Jain
Founding Director and Nat. Vice President 
Hindu Council of Australia
Richard Botta 
Pastor 
C3 Church Carlingford 
Sue Irwin 
Senior Pastor 
The Grainery Church 
Lesli Berger
President
Jewish Board of Deputies

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel
President, NSW Council of Churches
Imam Shadi Alsuleiman 
President 
Australian National Imams Council 

 

Reverend Dr Matthew Wilcoxen 
Rector 
St John’s Anglican Darlinghurst 
John Gray 
Senior Minister 
St Paul’s Castle Hill 
Reverend Dr Andrew Katay
Senior Pastor
Christ Church Inner West

The Right Reverend Dr Michael Stead Bishop of South Sydney, Anglican Diocese of Sydney 
Ben Peletier 
Chairman, NSW Reformed Church 
Northern Beaches Christian Reformed Church 
Reverend Dr Nobin Shunmugam 
Pastor 
Wamberal Christian Reformed Church 
Paul Summers 
Senior Pastor 
Caringbah Baptist Church 
Arnaldo Santiago Jr 
Lead Pastor 
Anchor Church South West 

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