2013 Freedom Award

Tanya Plibersek presents Award

Anti-Slavery Freedom Award to ACRATH

Tanya Plibersek presents AwardACRATH was honoured at the 2013 Freedom Awards in Sydney. The Awards recognise organisations and individuals dedicated to anti trafficking initiatives in Australia. Deputy Opposition Leader, the Hon Tanya Plibersek presented the 2013 Awards. Ms Plibersek spoke of the big gains resulting from the work of so many people gathered at the University of Technology Sydney on the evening of 17 Oct. Ms Plibersek also noted the willingness of people to work in networks to make a difference, even when working in a network could sometimes be ideologically challenging.

Two recipients of the 2013 Awards were Sister of St Joseph, Marie White, and Christine Carolan, ACRATH National Projects Co-ordinator. Christine commented at the Awards night that it was good for anti trafficking advocates to celebrate together, particularly with so many gains having been made in anti-human trafficking work in 2013.

Christine mentioned the Feb 2013 announcement by Nestle that all their chocolate made in Australia and NZ is now certified as slavery-free. Christine also noted the International Women’s Day (IWD) enactment of the new anti trafficking legislation that will, amongst other things, protect girls and young women from forced marriages. Also on IWD was the then PM Julia Gillard’s announcement that the Australian Government procurement officers would ensure goods in their jurisdiction were slavery-free. As a further cause for celebration, Christine was delighted to share the couple of hours old announcement that Woolworths have signed the BanglaDesh Fire and Building Safety Accord.

Jennifer Burn, Director of Anti Slavery Australia, the host organisation for the Awards, reminded those gathered that ACRATH was also honoured in the inaugural Anti-Slavery Freedom Awards when the founders of ACRATH, Srs Louise Cleary csb and Pauline Coll sgs, received an Award. Jennifer spoke of the challenges facing anti trafficking work in 2014, and mentioned in particular the work of community awareness raising.

At the Awards night, Christine Carolan reflected on the tension for ACRATH of celebrating an Award while at the same time being conscious of the June 2014 conclusion of the ACRATH core funding from the Attorney-General’s Department. Anyone able to support ACRATH with either a small or large donation, could contact Christine at projects@acrath.org.au

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