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Anti-Slavery advocates honoured for responsible business

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NSW Anti-Slavery Forum - The Catholic weekly
Stakeholders and speakers at the Inaugural Anti-slavery Forum run by the Office of the NSW Anti-slavery Commissioner at 60 Martin Place, Sydney. 21 May, 2024. Photograph by James Alcock for the Office of the NSW Anti-slavery Commissioner

Two members of the Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network (ACAN) team have received a joint commendation for their achievements at the inaugural NSW Anti-Slavery Forum.

Modern slavery survivor and ACAN consultant Moe Turaga and ACAN program manager Alison Rahill received the NSW Anti-slavery commissioner’s commendation for “modelling how survivors and allies can work together to promote responsible business practice.”

The commendations were announced by NSW Anti-slavery Commissioner Dr James Cockayne in Sydney on 21 May.

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The categories for the commendations align with Dr Cockayne’s strategic priorities to combat modern slavery and specifically recognise people whose work is making a difference in the field.

“I am thrilled to bring together a community of passionate people committed to ensuring the human right to live free from slavery is a reality for every person in NSW,” Dr Cockayne said.

Turaga and Rahill were also commended for their achievements in “changing the narrative” around modern slavery. They both said they were honoured to receive the recognition.

“The ACAN team has supported me as a person with lived experience since I began telling my story,” Turaga said.

“Without the ACAN team’s care for me and for people in modern slavery, I don’t think we could have ever achieved this level of public recognition.”

“I was delighted to receive the commendation alongside Moe, on behalf of ACAN and the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney,” Rahill said.

“It’s a testament to the great collaborative spirit we’ve built in our team and across the 50 Catholic organisations participating in the ACAN Program.

“We are already halfway through the fifth year since commencing the ACAN risk management program and will soon have completed 154 Catholic Modern Slavery Statements since the commencement of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth).

“This good work is only possible because of the commitment and compassion of every modern slavery liaison officer and working group member, driving continuous improvement in the way we address modern slavery risk in Catholic operations and supply chains.

“I also want to acknowledge the outstanding support we receive through the Archdiocese of Sydney from our Archbishop, the Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, who established the Anti- slavery Task Force in 2017, and from our Chancery team. It’s wonderful to feel part of the response to Pope Francis’ call to address modern slavery and human trafficking in our generation.”

ACAN team members were also active participants in the NSW Anti-slavery Forum.

ACAN Program Manager Jenny Stanger moderated a panel discussion on modern slavery in ICT supply-chains, while Moe Turaga shared his perspective as a person of lived experience on enabling remedy and improving anti-slavery efforts.

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