Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin
Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Housing
Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing
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Unshackled – NewHope Baptist Church

Today I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of a passionate group of people in my electorate of Deakin called Unshackled. Based at the NewHope Baptist Church in Blackburn, Unshackled exists to bring an end to human trafficking and slavery, encouraging personal commitments to justice. I first had the privilege of meeting with the Unshackled team, led by the exceptionally committed coordinator Jess Groszek, prior to the election. At that time I had a productive visit with the now Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Julie Bishop, and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash.

Last week I met with the group again to receive letters that Unshackled had collected from Deakin constituents concerned about women trafficked in Melbourne’s legal and illegal brothels. As always, we had a constructive dialogue about the very significant issue of how to bring an end to the abhorrent practice of human trafficking and slavery in Australia and overseas. In particular, we discussed ways that the government can improve the support for victims of people trafficking and the people trafficking visa framework.

I wish to put on record my thanks to, and appreciation of, all members of Unshackled for their dedication to helping the most vulnerable people in society, who, in most cases, cannot help themselves. I look forward to continuing my work with Unshackled.