Sultana's Dream

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Sultana's Dream
May 2011


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Freedom of Religion and Belief Research Report Released

The report released by Race Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes 23 March is the culmination of an extensive nationwide consultation process.

The research took place throughout Australia over a 12 month period. It involved over 210 senior religious representatives, in 23 group consultations and 30 interviews, as well as the receipt of almost 2000 submissions from a vast cross-section of individuals and organisations from the Australian community.

Areas canvassed included: the relationship between the church and the state, and the operation of discrimination laws.

The intention behind the research had been to listen to the voices of the community, and report on the issues that were raised, and the final report stands as an extremely comprehensive account of this.

"One of the conclusions that can be drawn from this research, is that there is a need to develop appropriate responses to the unique and varied Australian religious contexts and settings, including ancient Indigenous traditions, Christian heritages, and minority faith communities," said Commissioner Innes.

"Additionally, when we are considering issues of discrimination and equality, as we do at the Commission, the research shows that there is a pressing need for education about religions, if we are to reduce ignorance and fear, while promoting intergroup respect."

Commissioner Innes said the report would prove a valuable tool in the development of policies and programs in the area of religion and belief, as we continue to address the changing and evolving needs of our multicultural population in Australia.

 The report is available at: