Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello hosted a meeting of the State’s key religious leaders at NSW Parliament on 26 November, at which the following joint statement was agreed to by the participants:
“As founding members of the NSW Religious Leaders Forum, an initiative of the NSW Government, we have come together today as faith leaders representing different religions to present a unified commitment to community harmony.
We recognise that our freedom as Australians to profess, practice and maintain our religious heritage comes with an equal responsibility to demonstrate our common commitment to Australia, its interests and future.
We accept our responsibility to work together in promoting mutual respect and unity across the many religious communities in New South Wales.
We are committed to reaching out beyond our own communities and congregations and being a united public voice for social justice and community harmony.”
Inaugural participants included:
- Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, Grand Mufti of Australia
- Mr Ismail Sirah, Advisor to the Grand Mufti of Australia
- Bishop Robert Forsyth, Bishop of South Sydney (Anglican Diocese of Sydney)
- Fr Basil Kodseie, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand & the Philippines
- Mr Brian White, Chairperson of the Buddhist Council of NSW
- Pandit Ram Sivan, Buddhist Council of NSW
- Sr Giovanni Farquer , Director, Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Dialogue (Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney)
- Fr Yousef Fanous , Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Sydney
- Sheikh Ibrahim El-Shafie, Darulfatwa Islamic High Council of Australia
- Mr Wissam Saad, Principal of Darulfatwa Salamah College
- Deacon Dimitri Kepreotes, Lecturer, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
- Prof Nihal Singh Agar, Hindu Council of Australia
- Mr Khaled Sukkarieh, Chairperson Islamic Council of NSW
- Sheikh Yahya Safi, Imam Lakemba Mosque
- Mr Khaled Alameddine, Vice President & General Manager of Lebanese Muslim Association
- Deacon Michael Suliman, Melkite Catholic Church of Australia & New Zealand
- Ven Miao You, Secretary & Board of Directors, Nan Tien Temple
- Nava Sabet, Acting Public Information Officer National Baha’i Centre
- Jeremy Spinak, President of NSW Jewish Board Deputies
- Dr Basim Alansari, Office of Ayatollah Al-Ansari/Shia Islam
- Mr Sukhvinder Singh, President of Simran House Inc (Sikh)
- Rev Myung Hwa Park, Moderator of The Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW
- Rabbi Zalman Kastel, Director of Together for Humanity Foundation
- Fr Simon Ckuj, Ukrainian Catholic Church of Australia & New Zealand
The next meeting of the NSW Religious Leaders Forum is scheduled for February 2015.