What is the AFN?
The Australian Freedom Network (AFN) seeks to establish a framework through which faith-based organisations can collaborate and communicate regarding their efforts in the fight against modern slavery.
The Australian Freedom Network is a reflection of the Global Freedom Network, which was initiated by Andrew Forrest and was signed by global faith leaders including Pope Francis on 2 December 2014. The Global Freedom Network is founded on the premise that religious faith can be a powerful motivating force to inspire individual and community action both spiritually and practically.
The Australian Freedom Network was launched at Parliament House in Canberra on December 2, 2015, International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. At this event 18 faith leaders ceremoniously signed the same ‘Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery’ that was signed at Vatican City in 2014.
By adding their name to the Joint Declaration, the religious leaders are commiting their respective communities to engage in practical actions to tackle slavery here in Australia.
The Australian Freedom Network will:
- Raise awareness about slavery in Australia amongst faith communities
- Unify faith-based organisations to collaborate on ending slavery in Australia
- Inspire people to engage with the issue of modern slavery as an extension of their faith in Australia
- Encourage faith communities to take meaningful actions to end slavery in Australia
- Support and amplify existing anti-slavery work in Australia
The founding members of The Australian Freedom Network are:
- Pastor Wayne Alcorn, National President, Australian Christian Churches, represented by, Pastor Sean Stanton
- Reverend Dr Bill Brown, Chair, National Council of Australian Baptists in Australia
- Commissioner James Condon, The Salvation Army Eastern Territory
- Right Reverend David Cook, Moderator, Presbyterian Church of Australia
- His Grace Bishop Daniel, Coptic Orthodox Church of Australia, Sydney and Affiliated Regions
- Archbishop Dr Philip Freier, Primate, Anglican Church of Australia represented by,
Right Reverend Dr Matthew Brain
- Archbishop Denis Hart, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, represented by, Reverend Brian Lucas, General Secretary
- Sheikh Ali Jaber, Director, Al Sadiq Foundation, Melbourne
- Bishop John Henderson, Lutheran Church of Australia, represented by, Bishop Mark Lieschke
- Pastor Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor & Founder, Hillsong Church, represented by, Joel A’Bell Lead Pastor, Hillsong Church Australia
- Rabbi Alon Meltzer, Rabbinic Council of Australia and New Zealand & Executive Council of Australian Jewry
- Pandit Narendra Dave, President, Australian Council of Hindu Clergy
- His Eminence Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, Grand Mufti of Australia, represented by Shaykh Ahmed Abdo, Office of the Grand Mufti of Australia, Australian National Imams Council
- Sheikh Youssef Nabha, Imam, Masjed Al Rahman, Kingsgrove Sydney
- Julian Robertson, Presiding Clerk of Australian Quakers, represented by, Mrs. Rae Litting
- Venerable Ban Ruo Shi, Senior Abbott, Prajna Monastery Australia
- Stuart McMillan, President, Uniting Church in Australia, represented by, Dr. Mark Zirnsak, Director, Justice and Mission, Synod of Victoria & Tasmania
- Commissioner Floyd Tidd, The Salvation Army Southern Territory