Religious Freedom Reference Group

        Terms of Reference    

        1. To monitor, and report and make recommendations to the Standing Committee on -

        (a) restrictions on the ability of Christian individuals, churches and organisations to manifest their faith and mission in society, and

        (b) regulatory burdens which unduly or disproportionately impact the operation of such churches and organisations.

        2. To develop for the Standing Committee's consideration recommended strategies for ensuring that the freedoms of religion, speech, association and conscience are protected, strengthened and promoted.

        3. In undertaking the functions referred to in items 1 and 2, to consult and work in co-operation with the Social Issues Committee, Anglicare and other diocesan agencies and, where practicable, Christian organisations and church bodies outside the Diocese, including Freedom For Faith.


        4. Elected by the Standing Committee with at least one-third of the members being Standing Committee members.  One additional member with formal theological training to be appointed by the Archbishop.

        5. Current members are -

        Mr Norm Lee
        The Rev Dr Edward Loane
        Mrs Emma Penzo
        Mr Mike Southon
        Bishop Michael Stead (Chair)
        Dr Robert Tong AM
        Mr Robert Wicks


        6.  2 members (Meetings (Quorum, Attendance and Resolutions) Ordinance 2007), including at least one Standing Committee member.

        Administrative Arrangements 

        7. SDS provides staff and services, the Diocesan Secretary arranges the secretarial work for the Committee and the costs are met by the Synod.


        8. The members hold office at the pleasure of the Standing Committee but retire at the first Standing Committee meeting after the first session of each Synod.


        Current as at  7 August 2023