Religious Communities Advisory Council in NSW convenes for inaugural meeting

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The members of the NSW Government’s newly created Religious Communities Advisory Council met for the first time on Monday, 23 January with safety and security among the key items of discussion. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the inaugural meeting brought together the leaders of multicultural and multi-faith communities from across the state to give them a seat at the table to speak directly with the government. 

“This council formalises the relationships and years of work we have already been doing with multi-faith communities. Each of the members of this council are representing the needs of multi-faith communities across the state, and we have given them a seat at the table to speak directly with us on several matters,” Mr Coure said.

“Today, the first order of business was discussing the safety and security of faith-based intuitions, which they have told us is a priority.”

Advisory Council chair Nick Kaldas APM, who is also chair of the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board, said the meeting was an opportunity to establish the framework for working collaboratively with government.

“The latest census data shows just how diverse NSW has become,” Mr Kaldas said.

“Our reputation as the most successful multicultural state in the world was built off the back of government commitment to engage with and capture the voices of all communities.”

The Advisory Council will meet quarterly and report annually through the Community Relations Report.

Fifteen faith and religious leaders from across NSW will serve two-year terms on the Advisory Council, advising on matters relating to religious communities across the state. The Advisory Council’s work is guided by the Multicultural Principles, which are enshrined in the Multicultural NSW Act 2000 as the policy of the State in NSW.

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