2014  - Climate Change - Global Divestment Day  14 Feb 2015 - The Public Affairs Commission of General Synod offers a paper as a resource for Dioceses as they consider divestment action to address climate change

Action on Climate Change: The Role of Divestment from fossil fuels

2013 - Issues and Questions for the 2013 Federal Election political parties from the Public Affairs Commission 

We need a government who will determine the truly critical issues that should be addressed for the long term national and global good and then go about achieving progress collaboratively.
2011 - Submission to the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples


A submission to the Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Inquiry from the Anglican national Public Affairs Commission and several other committees within the Anglican Church.
To view or download the submission, use the link below:


2011 - Social Justice Sunday - September 25 "I was in Prison and you visited me" - National Council of Churches in Australia

Social Justice Sunday 2011 (25 September) highlights concerns about the prison system in Australia. Social Justice Sunday is an ecumenical project undertaken by the National Council of Churches in Australia's (NCCA) Social Justice Network. It provides an opportunity for Christians from many traditions to consider how they can address issues in the world.

NCCA published "I was in Prison and you visited me",a resource to assist individuals and congregations to be aware of the alarming facts about prisons in Australia and to advocate for a more just society.

This publication and "Prison, The Last Resort", a companion resource of the NCCA Social Justice Network, is available from the NCCA website - Social Justice Network

2010 - A Discussion Paper on Population Issues

The Public Affairs Commission has published a discussion paper on issues related to population growth titled A Discussion Paper on Population Issues. Its publication coincided with the announcement by the Federal Government of the appointment of Tony Burke as Minister for Population. A copy has been sent to Minister Burke and to the opposition spokesman on the issue, Senator Cori Bernardi. Population growth has featured as an issue in the 2010 Federal Election campaign. The paper provides background to a motion to be put to the General Synod by the Public Affairs Commission in September 2010.

A copy of the paper may be downloaded from this link:
A Discussion paper on Population Issues - 18 March 2010

Family Violence Inquiry - Australian Law Reform Commission

The Commonwealth Attorney General referred the following issues to the Australian Law Reform Commission:

  1. The interaction in practice of State and Territory family/domestic violence and child protection laws with the Family Law Act and relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory criminal laws; and
  2. The impact of inconsistent interpretation or application of laws in cases of sexual assault occurring in a family/domestic violence context, including rules of evidence, on victims of such violence.

The full Terms of Reference can be found at http://www.alrc.gov.au/inquiries/current/family-violence/terms.html .

The General Synod passed resolutions in 2004 and 2007 touching upon matters within the Terms of Reference.

In 2004 the General Synod passed the following relevant resolution:

The General Synod:

  1. recommends that State and Territory Governments enact uniform laws that provide for:
    1. the reporting of child abuse to the police and the government child protection authorities: …
(Resolution GS36/04)

In 2007, the General Synod passed the following resolutions: The General Synod:

  1. recommends that the Commonwealth Government ensures that children and young people are a national priority by appointing a Children’s Minister and an independent Commissioner for Children, who will provide leadership in:
    1. a co-ordinated approach to policy implementation in the best interests of children;
    2. developing a National Strategy on child abuse and neglect, in consultation with the States and Territories and community service organizations; and
  2. recommends that State and Territory Governments enact uniform laws that provide for:
    1. the reporting of child abuse to the police and the government child protection authorities; and
    2. the screening of all persons seeking to work with children in a paid or voluntary capacity; and
(Resolution 67/07)

The Standing Committee requested the Public Affairs Commission to prepare a submission to the Law Reform Commission Inquiry in light of the General Synod's resolutions. The Public Affairs Commission learned that Anglicare Australia was already in the course of preparing a submission. After liaison with the General Synod Office, Anglicare Australia prepared a submission. Please click on link below for Anglicare Australia's submission.



Human Rights Consultation - Anglican Church of Australia Submission


The Human Rights Consultation, chaired by Fr Frank Brennan, has been established to investigate and report whether human rights are adequately protected in Australia. A sub-group of the Public Affairs Commission prepared a submission which has been endorsed by the Standing Committee of General Synod.


2009 - June Human Rights Consultation - Religious Freedom in Employment

Public Affairs Commission Submission


On receiving the Standing Committee's submission, the Consultation invited the Standing Committee to address a public hearing at parliament House, Canberra, on 1 July 2009. Bishop Robert Forsyth, Bishop of South Sydney, represented the Standing Committee. To see the outline of his address, click the link below.


Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century
The Federal Government's Australian Human Rights Commission has commissioned the Australian Multicultural Foundation, (AMF) in association with RMIT University and Monash University to prepare a report on Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century. This team will consult with the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations (APRO) in preparing its report. Their website for the Project is:  http://www.hreoc.gov.au/frb/index.html



2009 - February Key issues for Australia's future in the global context


Decisive change in the global climate is one of the two greatest challenges the human race has faced, at least in recent centuries, the other being the risk of nuclear disaster. There are strong links to the growth of human population and consumption, and our responses will affect human survival. Major issues of social justice arise because the poorest communities will suffer most. A related key concern is how to care for the whole Creation: many of the other life forms on Earth are increasingly vulnerable to extinction and we have a moral obligation to help preserve as many of them as possible.

The development of this paper has been illuminated by contextual theology. The paper puts forward some ways to integrate environmental and social justice in our responses. It does not aim to be comprehensive but to outline key information, considered views, and action that can be taken on some of the big issues we face. On matters of such importance to humanity and the whole Creation, the voice of the Church needs to be heard.

The following Terms of Reference for the Commission were adopted at the November 2002 meeting of Standing Committee:

  • to develop a process to assist people engage with public affairs;
  • to respond, within its capacity, to aspects of public affairs. These aspects may be referred to the Commission or initiated by the Commission; and
  • to report to General Synod.


The Hon Rev'd Dr Lynn Arnold AO (Chair)
Dr Beth Heyde
Mr Bradley Chapman
Ms Kasy Chambers
The Rev'd Dr Andrew Cameron
The Very Rev'd Dr Peter Catt
Dr Carolyn Tan
The Rev'd Evan Pederick