Albanese appoints Special Envoy to combat Antisemitism, Islamophobia envoy to be named soon

Additionally, the Federal Government has announced plans to appoint a Special Envoy for Islamophobia, with further details to be revealed soon.

In a significant move to bolster social cohesion in Australia, the Albanese Government has announced the appointment of Ms Jillian Segal AO as the Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism. This step is part of the government’s broader efforts to ensure safety and inclusion for all Australians, regardless of race or religion.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:

“There is no place for violence or hatred of any kind in Australia. The appointment of Jillian Segal AO is a critical step in easing the tensions that we see playing out here at home, as a result of the devastating conflict in the Middle East.”

“Australians are deeply concerned about this conflict, and many are hurting. In times like this, Australians must come together, not be torn apart. We have built our nation’s social cohesion together,” he added.

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The recent escalation of conflict in the Middle East has resonated deeply within Australian communities. In response, the government has intensified its push for a ceasefire, the protection of civilians, the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gazans in need, and the release of all hostages. Australia’s advocacy for a two-state solution continues to be a focal point on the international stage, particularly at the United Nations.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles added that the Albanese Government has zero tolerance for prejudice or hatred of any kind.

“Antisemitic behaviour in Australia, including its recent rise, is unacceptable and the appointment of Ms Segal demonstrates our Government’s firm commitment to tackling Antisemitism head-on.”

“Ms Segal’s extensive leadership experience, and decades of advocacy for Jewish Australians will be invaluable as she works with Government to engage with community and take decisive steps to combat Antisemitic behaviour,” he further observed.

Ms Segal’s role as Special Envoy will involve extensive engagement with Jewish Australians, the broader community, experts in religious discrimination, and various government levels. Her mission is to develop and implement effective strategies to combat antisemitism across the country. Her upcoming attendance at the World Jewish Congress in Argentina will place her among global counterparts dedicated to the same cause.

Image: Jillian Segal AO as Special Envoy to combat Antisemitism (Source: X)

With a career that spans both the public and private sectors, including her tenure as the former President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and Chair of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Ms Segal brings a wealth of experience and leadership to her new role. Her lived experiences and professional background are expected to significantly contribute to the government’s efforts in fostering a cohesive society where Jewish Australians feel secure and empowered.

Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Ms Jillian Segal AO said that combating Antisemitism in Australia has never been more important than it is today.

“The Jewish community in Australia is experiencing valid feelings of fear in the face of increasing Antisemitism. Jewish Australians want to feel free to live their day-to-day lives, and also want to feel safe to practice and express their religion without fear. They also want to be able to contribute as they have previously to the vibrant multicultural society that we value in Australia.”

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“I look forward to working with stakeholders across the community to deliver a safer future for my community, and to strengthen social cohesion and drive a strong, informed and deliberate approach to combating Antisemitism,” she said.

Ms Segal’s three-year term will see her report directly to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, and Multicultural Affairs. Her appointment is a key component of the government’s nearly $90 million investment in initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts of the Hamas-Israel conflict within Australia. This appointment underscores the government’s dedication to addressing the concerns of affected communities and ensuring a united and inclusive Australia.

The Australian Jewish Association (AJA) welcomed the appointment of a special envoy to combat antisemitism after lengthy delays by Labor. AJA CEO Robert Gregory said; “Jillian Segal AO is an accomplished communal leader and businesswoman. We look forward to working with her on combatting antisemitism.”

Additionally, the Federal Government has announced plans to appoint a Special Envoy for Islamophobia, with further details to be revealed soon.

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