The Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay is committed to the care, wellbeing and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The role of Safeguarding in the Diocese seeks to ensure children, young people and vulnerable adults are provided with the fundamental right to be kept safe and respected. This right is held sacred in our Gospel, international and local laws and within our Church policy and practice.
- These documents outline Diocesan leadership and governance practices associated with embedding a culture of safety and care across the communities of Broken Bay.
The Diocesan Safeguarding Executive (DSE) is a leadership team comprising the Director, Diocesan Safeguarding Office (Chair) and the Manager for Safeguarding of each Agency. The DSE meets at least monthly but may meet more regularly at the request of the Director. Refer to point 8.2 in The Diocesan Safeguarding Office Charter for a description of the DSE's role.
Photo: (L to R) Angela Thomas - Manager CatholicCare, Melinda Rixon - Manager Catholic Schools Broken Bay, Jodie Crisafulli - Director, Ana Kosi - Manager Chancery & Parishes
"If you see something say something"
The Diocese of Broken Bay encourages all within our Church to join together in caring for our children and to notify the Diocese if you see any behaviours from within the Diocesan community that may be causing harm to a child and it concerns you. If you or someone close to you has suffered abuse by a representative of the Catholic Church we encourage you to make contact with us. We will listen to you and your experience and discuss available options with you. The Diocese ensures that it complies with all its reporting requirements, including reporting to Police, the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian and the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.
Local Concern – some concerns can be managed locally, and we encourage you to approach your community leader. Safeguarding welcomes your contact. A concern can be raised by completing the online form.
Chancery & Parishes P 02 8379 1605 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Catholic Schools P 02 9847 0610 E email@example.com
Catholic Care P 02 9481 2683 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Disclosures and Incidents
The Diocese of Broken Bay expects all its personnel to act upon Safeguarding concerns, disclosures and incidents. The initial response is critical to preventing harm and a person seeking assistance and healing.
The Diocesan communities endeavour to demonstrate a culture where people feel safe to speak up, including children.
When a disclosure is made to someone within the Diocese there may be legal obligations to report to authorities including the Police or the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.
The Diocese of Broken Bay demonstrates a commitment to their people by the provision of many varied works for the Common Good. It is through these works that the value and personal dignity of the person is celebrated and protected. When a Diocesan community is called upon to safeguard its people, the Catholic Church is asking them to pro-actively support a culture of safety and care that espouses honesty, engagement, and conversation.
The result is a community environment where children and vulnerable adults: know that their community is alert to areas of risk and harm, and are capable of applying appropriate actions of prevention; are confident to voice their concerns at all times, and have trust that their concerns will be listened to respectfully and seriously.
More information on Safeguarding
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse child safe standards.
Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd
Child Safe National Principles
Family and Community Services
NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian
Australian Human Rights Commission
Office of the eSafety Commissioner
NSW Ageing and Disability Commission
Through continually building awareness, skills and knowledge the Diocese fosters a culture where people see, do and say things that represents a community where the care and safety of children and young people is paramount. Maintaining such a culture requires diligent and persistent work. The Diocesan Safeguarding culture builds on the foundations of its Christian Faith and Diocesan led guidelines such as the Diocesan Office for Safeguarding Charter, Commitment Statement to Safeguarding and the Rights of the Child Framework.
Rights of the Child
For more information on the Rights of the Child visit:
The Diocese of Broken Bay implements the Rights of the Child as the foundation of program development. We hope to ingrain child rights in a comprehensive and respectful way by being embedded in the Church’s leadership, governance and culture. We encourage all workers of the Diocese to uphold and implement the principles of child rights in all aspects on their work.
The Diocesan Rights of the Child Framework seeks to influence the Diocese’s culture through supporting Governance and Leadership actions and decision making when developing policies, procedures and program implementation. Download the Framework here.
Voice of the Child
“Adults need to learn that it doesn’t matter how old we are, we can still make change” - Female, 11 -17 years
There are many benefits of involving children and young people in organisational decision making, therefore, it is important to break down the barriers to their participation to ensure all children and young people can have the opportunity to participate. The NSW Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People seeks to engage children and young people. [Reference: National Catholic Safeguarding Standard 2.1]
What do children and young people think about safety?
A summary of findings from studies conducted by the Institute of Child Protection Studies (ACU) and the Centre for Children and Young People (SCU)
The online environment offers new ways to communicate with others, build relationships and learn. Most online experiences are positive. However, the online environment also poses risks such as unwanted contact, cyberbullying, trolling, image-based abuse and exposure to inappropriate, offensive or illegal content. The online behaviour of the Diocesan personnel should always be respectful and maintain appropriate personal and professional boundaries.
Diocesan personnel also have an obligation to use the online environment in a manner that is safe for themselves and others, particularly when engaging with children and vulnerable adults. All online or electronic contact between Diocesan personnel and children or vulnerable adults, by whatever method, should be transparent and open to scrutiny.
The eSafety Commissioner https://www.esafety.gov.au [Reference: National Catholic Safeguarding Standard 8.2]
Through humility and openness, the Diocese accepts the truth of the harm that the church has inflicted upon some of its most vulnerable. The Diocese wants to contribute to their healing through a framework in which people can be heard and build a community which raises awareness and culture of safeguarding champions.
LITURGY OF LAMENT: A public acknowledgment of the pain and suffering of those who have been wounded by abuse in the Catholic Church, and an expression of commitment to ensure the ongoing protection and safety of children and vulnerable adults, is the foundation of an annual Diocesan Liturgy held during Safeguarding Month. This Liturgy was broadcast in September 2021 at the Cathedral. Download the liturgy booklet here.
This significant event brings together Clergy, parishioners and the wider community.
SAFEGUARDING MONTH: Throughout the month of September, the agencies of the Diocese of Broken Bay including CatholicCare, Catholic Schools Office, Chancery Offices & Parishes, promote scheduled events that highlight the importance of Safeguarding.