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Sydney

Monica Doumit to represent Catholic Church on NSW Religions Council

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Monica Doumit, Archdiocesan Director of Public Affairs and Engagement, has been appointed as a member of the Perrottet government’s NSW Religious Communities Advisory Council.

Ms Doumit was appointed as one of 15 members by the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure, on 19 December.

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“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 Liberal-National 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.”

Ms Doumit is a respected contributor to interfaith and ecumenical forums, as well as a columnist for The Catholic Weekly, and will serve a two-year term alongside members from the major Christian denominations and other religions:

  • 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 the Inter-Church Commission on Religious Education in Schools
  • Reverend Father Fadi Nemme of St Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church
  • Rt Reverend Dr Michael Stead of the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney
  • Pdt Ramachandra Athreiya of the Australian Council of Hindu Clergy
  • Mr Surinder Jain of the Hindu Council of Australia
  • Reverend Heather Joyce Topp and Very Reverend Gawaine Powell Davies of the Buddhist Council of NSW
  • Mr Elias Attia of the Islamic Council of NSW
  • Reverend David Riethmuller of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and ACT
  • Very Reverend Father Tadros El-Bakhoumi of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Diocese of NSW
  • Mr Parviz Deamer of the Australian Baha’i Community

“I’m honoured to have been invited to serve on the Advisory Council. It is particularly humbling to be chosen alongside such a wonderful group of faith leaders, some of whom I know very well and who I hold in great esteem,” Ms Doumit said.

“I am conscious that I am the only Catholic and one of only two women on the 15-member Council, which adds to the weight of my ‘representative’ responsibilities.

“I am grateful to Minister Coure for the opportunity, and I hope to work with him and other members to ensure that the needs of faith communities across NSW are ‘front of mind’ in government decisions.”

The Council will be led by Multicultural NSW Advisory Board Chair Nick Kaldas.

In November the NSW Labor Opposition promised to appoint its own Faith Affairs Council if elected, which would report directly to the Minister for Multiculturalism.

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