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Interim Anti-Slavery Commissioner appointed

21 December 2018

NSW has appointed its first Anti-Slavery Commissioner to implement groundbreaking new legislation that will combat modern slavery practices.

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 The Director of Anti-Slavery Australia, Professor Jennifer Burn will take on the role of Interim Anti-Slavery Commissioner and spend the next six months driving the implementation of the NSW Modern Slavery Act.

Tim Reardon, Secretary of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet announced the appointment today.

“NSW was the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce this specific legislation and today’s appointment underlines NSW’s commitment to combat modern slavery practices,” Mr Reardon said.

The NSW Modern Slavery Act, which passed the Parliament in June 2018, was based on the work of the Legislative Council Select Committee on Human Trafficking in NSW, led by the Hon. Paul Green MLC, and a private members bill subsequently introduced by Mr Green and supported by the NSW Government.

The Interim Commissioner will lead the implementation of the Act before full commencement on 1 July 2019, and work closely with key stakeholders to ensure the roll out is smooth and effective.

Ms Burn said she was honoured by the appointment and excited by the opportunity to strengthen NSW’s response to modern slavery.

“I am thrilled to lead the implementation of the groundbreaking NSW Modern Slavery Act and look forward to working with all stakeholders and interested community members on this important reform,” Ms Burn said.

Ms Burn’s extensive anti-slavery experience equips her well to be the Interim Commissioner.

  • 15 years leading Anti-Slavery Australia, a specialist legal research and policy centre located at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).
  • Professor of Law at UTS teaching human rights law, citizenship and migration law, including the Law of Human Trafficking and Slavery.
  • Inaugural member of the Australian Government National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery, first convened in 2008.
  • Recipient of the 2016 UTS Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Medal for Research Impact.

Ms Burn will commence in the role in January 2019.