Robert Forsyth

Senior Fellow

Robert Forsyth

The Right Reverend Robert Forsyth was the Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, a region of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, from 2000 to 2015. Before this he was the rector of St. Barnabas, Broadway and chaplain to the University of Sydney. Robert gave the 2001 Acton Lecture Dangerous Protections: How some ways of protecting the freedom of religion may actually diminish religious freedom and has been awarded the Alan MacGregor Fellowship at Consilium in 2010.  Robert has been extensively involved in the areas of religious freedom and public policy.


Featured Publication

  • A Test of Maturity: The liberal case for action on religious freedom 31 July 2018 | PP8
    Australia has long enjoyed religious freedom in practice without robust legal protections. Such protections as there are, are found in anti-discrimination law, usually as exemptions. However freedom of religion remains vulnerable to accusations of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination when the…...
    Australia has long enjoyed religious freedom in practice without robust legal protections. Such protections as there are, are found in anti-discrimination law, usually as exemptions. However freedom of religion remains vulnerable to accusations of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination when the…
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Media & Commentary

  • Ruddock recommendations already out of date 23 November 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Although the full Ruddock report is yet to be released, some of its recommendations are already out of date — particularly on maintaining the exemption approach to preserving religious freedom. That is no longer tenable. Earlier this month we saw…
    Although the full Ruddock report is yet to be released, some of its recommendations are already out of date — particularly on maintaining the exemption approach to preserving religious freedom. That is no longer tenable. Earlier this month we saw…
    read more
  • Schools must retain hiring rights 19 October 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    In the hasty and overheated reaction to the leaked recommendations of the Ruddock review, pressure is building to remove the rights of religious schools to discriminate against teachers, not just students, on the grounds of questions of sexual orientation, gender identity…
    In the hasty and overheated reaction to the leaked recommendations of the Ruddock review, pressure is building to remove the rights of religious schools to discriminate against teachers, not just students, on the grounds of questions of sexual orientation, gender identity…
    read more
  • Time to cool it 28 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    It’s time to cool off the rising heat about religious freedom. It has been four months since the report of the Ruddock Expert panel of religious freedom was handed to the then Prime Minster. Given the new PM Scott Morrison’s…
    It’s time to cool off the rising heat about religious freedom. It has been four months since the report of the Ruddock Expert panel of religious freedom was handed to the then Prime Minster. Given the new PM Scott Morrison’s…
    read more
  • The real test of religious freedom today 12 September 2018 | The Sydney Morning Herald
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pledge to take action to protect religious freedom should not be interpreted as caving in to Liberal Party’s conservative base, let alone as serving the vested interests of the Pentecostal community of which he is a…
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pledge to take action to protect religious freedom should not be interpreted as caving in to Liberal Party’s conservative base, let alone as serving the vested interests of the Pentecostal community of which he is a…
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  • Waiting for a result 03 August 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    We are still waiting for the release of (and the government’s proposed response to) the report of the Expert Panel set up to by the Prime Minster on the freedom of religion in Australia. Australians are interested. The panel received…
    We are still waiting for the release of (and the government’s proposed response to) the report of the Expert Panel set up to by the Prime Minster on the freedom of religion in Australia. Australians are interested. The panel received…
    read more

Publications

  • A Quartet of Freedoms: Freedom of Religion, Speech, Association and Conscience 16 October 2014 | OP135
    Political Rights, to which Australia is a signatory, gives high prominence to freedom of religion. But religious freedom is under threat in Australia. An aggressive secular culture, combined with the diminished standing of religious organisations, is putting religious believers under pressure to be silent in the public square. It is…...
    Political Rights, to which Australia is a signatory, gives high prominence to freedom of religion. But religious freedom is under threat in Australia. An aggressive secular culture, combined with the diminished standing of religious organisations, is putting religious believers under pressure to be silent in the public square. It is…
    READ MORE
  • Catholic Resistance to German State Persecution: Lessons for Modern Australia 30 May 2014 | OP134
    Anti-Catholic sectarianism is on the rise in Australian society even though Australian Catholicism has made an extraordinary contribution to education, charitable relief, the running of hospitals, and the alleviation of social disadvantage. What has given rise to this new sectarianism and what are its likely consequences for contemporary Australian society?…...
    Anti-Catholic sectarianism is on the rise in Australian society even though Australian Catholicism has made an extraordinary contribution to education, charitable relief, the running of hospitals, and the alleviation of social disadvantage. What has given rise to this new sectarianism and what are its likely consequences for contemporary Australian society?…
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  • Dangerous Protections: How Some Ways of Protecting the Freedom of Religion May Actually Diminish Religious Freedom. 24 September 2001 | OP78
    The 2001 Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom delivered by Robert Forsyth.  Sometimes efforts to achieve good can backfire, especially where government legislation is concerned.              
    The 2001 Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom delivered by Robert Forsyth.  Sometimes efforts to achieve good can backfire, especially where government legislation is concerned.              
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