Assistant Minister for Defence - Appointment of a Muslim representative to the Religious Advisory Committee to the Services

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The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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5 June 2015

The Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert, today announced the appointment of Imam Mohamadu Nawaz Saleem to the Religious Advisory Committee to the Services (RACS).

The RACS was established in 1981 to provide a link between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the governing bodies of faith groups. It now consists of five members from the Christian faith, one Jewish member and one Muslim member.

Nominated by the Australian National Imams Council, Imam Mohamadu Nawaz Saleem is a highly experienced Imam, with formal qualifications in law and academia. He is also an Associate Chaplain with the Victoria Police.

Mr Robert committed to appointing a Muslim representative to the RACS in a recent speech in Parliament where he spoke on the concept of Capability through Diversity.

"Capability through Diversity is all about enhancing the combat power of the ADF by widening the national recruitment pool and tapping into the tremendous latent resources that a culturally and linguistically diverse workforce brings to Defence," Mr Robert said.

"Increasing the breadth of the RACS to include the Muslim faith also reflects the ADF’s pastoral care responsibilities for all its members and is entirely consistent with Defence’s commitment to cultural reform."

Imam Mohamadu Nawaz Saleem will work with the Muslim community and other members of the RACS in providing advice on the religious and spiritual wellbeing of all members of the ADF.

Media contacts:
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert's Office) (02) 6277 7730 or  0477 391 174
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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