Engagement with the state’s multicultural and multi-faith communities will be much stronger thanks to the NSW Government with the formation of the new Religious Communities Advisory Council.

Following a competitive, merit-based assessment process, 15 members have been appointed to the new council, which will be led by Multicultural NSW Advisory Chair Nick Kaldas.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure welcomed the new members, who will advise on matters relating to religious communities across NSW.

“I want to thank each member for self-nominating themselves and helping the NSW Government strengthen engagement with faith communities,” Mr Coure said.

“While this is the first time a council like this has been created, it’s actually formalising the work and active collaboration that’s been happening between the NSW Government and religious communities for years.

“We understand when communities and government work closely together, it leads to better outcomes for everyone, and that is exactly what we will achieve for religious communities across the state with this new advisory council.”

The members, who will all serve two-year terms, include:

  • Imam Shadi Alsuleiman of the Australian National Imams Council
  • Dr Basim Al-Ansari of the Office of the Ayatollah Al-Ansari
  • Mr Darren Bark of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
  • Mr Murray Norman of ICCOREIS
  • Reverend Father Fadi Nemme of St Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church
  • Rt Reverend Dr Michael Stead of the Anglican Church Sydney Diocese
  • Pdt Ramachandra Athreiya of the Australian Council of Hindu Clergy
  • Mr Surinder Jain of the Hindu Council of Australia
  • Reverend Heather Joyce Topp of the Buddhist Council of NSW
  • Mr Elias Attia of the Islamic Council of NSW
  • Reverend David Brian Riethmuller of the Uniting Church in Australia
  • Mr Gawaine Powell Davies of the Buddhist Council of NSW
  • Very Reverend Father Tadros El-Bakhoumi of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Diocese of NSW
  • Ms Monica Doumit of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
  • Mr Praviz Deamer of the Australian Baha’i Community

The 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. The council’s first meeting will be held on 23 January 2023.

MEDIA: Scott Hodder | 0455 094 282

Page last updated: 3 May 2023 | 3:02 pm