Father Christophoros Krikelis among first 19 members on NSW Faith Affairs Council


The NSW Government has confirmed the first 19 members of the NSW Faith Affairs Council and among the names is Father Christophoros Krikelis from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.

The Council has been established as a consultative mechanism to provide advice on priorities and emerging trends, the impacts of government policy on faith communities, and enhancing community harmony, security and well-being.

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Steve Kamper said the NSW Faith Affairs Council aims to improve the Government’s understanding and competency in relation to religious communities and people of faith in the state.

Mr Kamper invited 12 of the largest religious affiliations in NSW to begin shaping the Council’s scope and forward agenda. The 12 candidates put forward by the largest religious affiliations needed to receive nominations from two other religious groups.

“The Faith Affairs Council provides us with a path forward through the challenging issues facing our multifaith communities,” Minister Kamper said.

“Formalising a way to collaborate and engage on faith-based matters shows the NSW Government’s commitment to listen to and deliver improved outcomes for all our religious communities.

“The NSW Faith Affairs Council will help us to identify opportunities and initiatives for enhanced collaboration and ongoing dialogue between the NSW Government and religious communities in NSW.”

Representatives from Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish, Christian and Catholic communities will sit on the Council. Photo: Seb Haggett / The Australian.

Representatives from Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish communities will sit alongside representatives from the main Christian denominations in driving the work of the Council.

Representatives were selected on their ability to not only represent their respective religious communities, but on their commitment to inter-faith cooperation and inclusion. They include:

  • Reverend Dr Michael Stead – Anglican
  • Associate Professor Gawaine Powell Davies – Buddhism
  • Mr Surinder Jain – Hinduism
  • Mr Darshan Singh Gill – Sikhism
  • Mr David Ossip – Judaism
  • Imam Shadi Alsuleiman – Islam
  • Father Christophoros Krikelis – Greek Orthodox
  • Reverend Dr Steve Bartlett – Baptist
  • Reverend Ralph Esthersby – Pentecostal
  • Reverend Dr Manas Gosh – Uniting
  • Reverend Dr Kamal Weerakoon – Presbyterian
  • Ms Monica Doumit – Catholicism

Previously, the Government had committed to four additional representatives being recruited through an open application process, however due to the calibre of the candidacy the Minister has decided to expand this number to seven.

These appointments include:

  • Mr Darren Bark – Better Balanced Futures
  • Rev Bill Crews AM – Ashfield Parish Mission
  • Mr Murray Norman – ICCOREIS
  • Rev Heather Topp – Buddhist Council of NSW & The Temple of New Seminary in New York
  • Ms Katherine Xavier – Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
  • Mrs Monica Chahoud – Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Australia, New Zealand and Oceania
  • Dr Ali Al Samail – Australian Ahl Al Bait Islamic Centre

The first meeting will take place on December 1. At this meeting a chairperson will be elected by the members of the Faith Affairs Council.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Christopher Michalakas among South Australia’s top law graduates

With three major law schools and over 4200 legal practitioners currently practising, South Australia boasts a strong fraternity of lawyers.

The dangers for the Hellenism of diaspora

The Hellenism of diaspora is faced with certain social and historical dangers, situations and realities which cause serious problems.

From ‘greeklish’ to ‘engreek’: The new social media slang

The (new) social media slang is a polyphonic, symbolic language, a cryptic way of communication, which is difficult to decode.

Greek winners at Olive Japan commit to quality and the planet

At the 13th edition of the Olive Japan International Olive Oil Competition, Greek olive oils took home 7 Gold awards and 17 Silvers.

Lipsi labelled Greece’s secret island gem of 2024

Le Figaro has spotlighted Lipsi, the main island in a chain of around 30 isles, in its 2024 list of Greece’s “secret” islands.

You May Also Like

Every statistic tells a story: What you need to know about the 2021 Australian census

It will be Australia’s 18th Census, to be held on Tuesday 10 August. It will include over 10 million households and 25 million people.

Stefanos Tsitsipas cruises through first round of the Australian Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas took a convincing victory in the first round of the Australian Open, defeating Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

BREAKING: Tsitsipas incredible perfomance vs. Djokovic not enough to reach French Open grand final

One of the greatest comebacks in French Open history was almost in the hands of Stefanos Tsitsipas Saturday morning, yet was stolen away by a great performance by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, beating the Greek tennis player 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1.