15 June 2020
Like many constituents I was dismayed by the Prime Minister’s statement ignoring the appalling truth of slavery in Australia. In the past we had forced servitude of Indigenous people and people ‘blackbirded’ from Pacific islands, and modern slavery currently exists throughout the Australian supply chain.
In 2013 I worked with the South Sea Islander community to successfully get the NSW Parliament to acknowledge and apologise for the slavery they experienced when they were forcibly removed from their home countries and made to work on sugar farms in Queensland and NSW. The unanimously supported motion: HERE.
In 2016 I named inspiring Australian South Sea Islander community leader Emelda Davis as Sydney electorate Woman of the Year, and last week in Parliament acknowledged her award of the 2020 Settlement Services International Human Rights Medal: HERE
Modern slavery still exists in NSW in the form of human trafficking, slavery, servitude, forced labour, debt bondage and forced marriage. I supported the ground breaking legislation in 2018 to establish a modern slavery commissioner, introduced by then MLC Paul Green. While NSW passed the laws, they are still not operating and I’ve asked questions to the premier to strengthen the commissioner’s powers: HERE