Reports

Since its beginnings in 2003, APRO has produced an extensive series of reports and submissions on the principles of religious freedom and harmony in Australia. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about APRO’s policies.


Submission on the Exposure Draft of the Freedom of Speech (Repeal of S.18C) Bill 2014

Section 18C is important as a declaration by government that Australians are entitled to be protected against the expression of racial abuse. It follows that the proposed reduction in the scope of that protection would represent a signal to racists that government has become less interested in providing that protection.

Accordingly we would respectfully submit that the draft Bill should not proceed, and that the Racial Discrimination Act should remain unchanged.

Full Report


APRO Position Paper: Addressing Religious Discrimination in Australia

This position paper will consider the nature of racism and discrimination experienced in Australia on the basis of religion, and will also look to what we, as a responsible community, can do to eradicate these incidents and promote and support a harmonious multi-faith and multicultural Australia.

The paper seeks to highlight issues for consideration by government, religious and community leaders, and the community at large, to ensure that Australia both protects the inherent right to freedom of religion and sends a clear message that discrimination and racism on the basis of religious belief is unacceptable and, indeed, in many instances, unlawful.

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Faith Matters: an interfaith agenda for a religiously plural Australia

A submission by the members of the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations (APRO) to members of the Australian Parliament and Government.

Given the recent resurgence of religious voices in public discourse and in the light of Australia’s long term commitment to and support of Freedom of Religion and Belief APRO makes six recommendations it considers important to the next phase of harmonious and productive interreligious relations in Australia.

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APRO submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission on Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century

In the decade since the report released by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) on Freedom of religion and belief, the international climate has altered dramatically and Australian public policy has changed in response. In this environment security considerations and strategies need to be positively balanced by proactive measures to ensure a harmonious society that embraces cultural and spiritual diversity. It is also critical that CALD and religious communities are not driven into segregationist and isolationist responses to the backlash against muticulturalism and the suspicion of cultural and religious difference.

This submission addresses six key areas for consideration within debates surrounding freedom of religion and belief in Australia:

  1. Legislation
  2. Education
  3. Employment
  4. New Technologies
  5. The Media
  6. Gender Equality

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Past Forums

APRO Forum 2017: “Religious values and the value of religion”

The forum provided a space for Christians from various denominations, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Bahá’ís and others to come together to explore the value of religion and the place of religious values in our diverse society. Representatives from government, academia and the media also attended.

The forum began with a keynote address by Professor the Hon Kristina Keneally, the frst woman to become Premier of NSW. Refecting on her personal journey as an “openly Catholic” feminist woman, she explored the complex linkages between religion, faith, values and politics in a secular society. She said it was wrong to say that religion has no role to play in political discourse, as we are all infuenced by the experiences, beliefs and worldview that we bring to public life; we are all spiritual beings. The more important question to ask, she said, is how well our politicians understand the faith of their fellow citizens, and how it shapes and motivates them.

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APRO Forum 2015: “Building a community where we all belong”

The Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations hosted a successful day-long interfaith forum on “Building a community where we all belong” in the Macquarie Room, NSW Parliament House, Sydney on Tuesday 17 November 2015.

The forum provided a timely opportunity to advance discourse on a range of issues related to the role of religion in building a united and cohesive Australian community. It brought religious and community leaders together in an exchange of views that also included government officials, academics, and interested community members.

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APRO Forum 2011: “Inter-faith in Australia: The Way Forward”

The APRO forum on “Inter-faith in Australia: The Way Forward” was held at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall Street, Barton on Monday 21 March from 2.00 to 5.00 pm.

The objectives of the forum were to:

  • Bring members and leaders of the various faiths in Canberra together with APRO in order to facilitate communication and the building of understanding
  • Identify opportunities for strengthening relationships between the faith communities through dialogue, interaction and cooperation
  • Offer support to smaller faith communities
  • Provide recommendations on a range of issues concerning the future if interfaith in Australia that will inform policies and programs across government agencies and faith communities.

Full Report


Report for the Australian Human Rights Commission “Building Community Together” forum

The APRO Multi-Faith forum on “Building Community Together” was held at the Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia, 59 King William Street, Adelaide on Tuesday 16 June 2009.

This was a one-day forum, the objectives of which were to:

  • Bring members and leaders of the various faiths in South Australia together with APRO in order to facilitate communication and the building of understanding
  • Identify opportunities for strengthening relationships between the faith communities through dialogue, interaction and cooperation
  • Offer support to smaller faith communities
  • Share information and facilitate input into the Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be held in Melbourne in December 2009.
  • Provide recommendations that will inform policies and programs across government agencies and faith communities, including the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report on Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century.

Full Report


APRO Media Forum: “Religion and the media: Why good news is not good news”

The mainstream media plays an important role in informing and shaping the views of many Australians about religion and religious issues. Most faith communities recognise the influence and potential of the media, and the need to work with the media effectively. Yet there are many challenges. Some feel their communities are unfairly targeted by the media, while others feel ignored. Many perceive the media to be focussed on division and “bad news” stories, while all wish their faiths to be presented accurately and in a positive light. The forum was inspired by recommendations made at the “Australian Faiths: Building Community Together” forum for religious leaders held in Sydney in June 2007.

The objectives of the forum were to:

  • Bring together representatives of all faith traditions in Australia who work with the media, in order that they can learn from each other through dialogue, interaction and cooperation
  • Enable participants to improve their knowledge about how the media works and increase their skills to work with the media more effectively
  • Provide participants with an opportunity to meet and learn from key journalists who are engaged and interested in stories about religion
  • Provide journalists with an opportunity to meet and learn from representatives of diverse faith traditions.

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Media Reports

APRO Supports National Day of Mourning

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APRO welcomes Australia’s voice against religious persecution

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APRO shares Australia’s concern over religious persecution in Iran

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Australia’s religious leaders oppose religious persecution in Iran

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APRO submission to the federal government inquiry into the regulation of billboard and outdoor advertising

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