St Mary of the Presentation Catholic Parish Mudgee

The Almighty works marvels for me. Holy his name!

St Mary of the Presentation Catholic Parish Mudgee is part of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst and adopts the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst Safeguarding Policy below.

Catholic Diocese Of Bathurst
Safeguarding Policy

The Diocese of Bathurst is committed to safeguarding children, young people, vulnerable adults, and indeed all who participate in the life of the Church at whatever level.

This Safeguarding Policy (link) is intended to provide a framework of best practice which makes this safeguarding possible. It contains our policy statement and articulates the Gospel values, core principles, church documents and legislation on which it is based, and refers to guidelines for recruitment, training, education and clear procedures for when abuse or allegations of abuse occur.

The Diocese upholds the principle of shared responsibility and requires all of its personnel, including volunteers, to be trained in the contents and obligations of this document and to engage in behaviours that ensure the protection and wellbeing of all.

+Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst
7th September 2017

This policy applies to clergy, religious, employees, students on placement, and volunteers in agencies and parishes of the Diocese, and all associated with the work and mission of the Diocese.

To carry out this overall Policy, separate procedural documents are to be developed specific to:

  • Diocesan Chancery Office;
  • Parishes and other Diocesan entities;
  • Catholic Education, Diocese of Bathurst;
  • Centacare, Catholic Diocese of Bathurst.

Policy Statement

Gospel Foundation:

“… for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” (Mark 10:14)

Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus showed particular care and respect for the poor, powerless and vulnerable in the society in which he lived. He stated that he had come that all may have life…“life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10)

The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst is committed to this Gospel mandate.

Walking in his way, the values of love, dignity, respect and justice underpin this policy and are expected to be inherent in the encounters, guidelines, decisions and practices involved in its implementation.

This stance mandates that everyone in the diocesan church, regardless of role or position, must ensure that the fundamental rights of children, young people and the vulnerable, in particular, are respected and upheld.

Human Rights Foundation:

The Diocese is also committed to Article 3.1 and Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The protection of children recognises their human rights, as expressed in this United Nations Convention:

Article 3.1

“In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

Article 19

“1. States, Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has the care of the child.

  1. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have care of the child, as well as other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate for judicial involvement.”

The Holy See is a signatory to this Convention.

Statement of Principles:

The principles and standards put forward in this document are extensions of core principles of our Church:

  • Commitment to justice and equity;
  • Upholding the dignity of all people and their right to respect;
  • Commitment to safe and supportive relationships;
  • Outreach to those who are poor, alienated or marginalised.

Standards:

  • Children, young people, the vulnerable and all in our communities have a fundamental right to be respected, nurtured and safeguarded by all.
  • Persons involved in situations considered to be inappropriate or where reportable conduct is disclosed or suspected are to be treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect.
  • In any preventative and/or protective action related to child abuse, the overall wellbeing of the child is the primary concern.
  • The value of the family unit is respected but not to the detriment of the well-being of the child.
  • Persons appointed to ministry of any kind by the Diocese are required to carry out their duties with integrity, compassion, respect and courtesy.
  • Shared responsibility in the Diocese requires all its appointed personnel, including volunteers, to adhere to a code of conduct and procedures that ensures the protection and wellbeing of all.

General Statement of Commitment by the church in the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst is committed to:

  • the care and nurture of, and respectful ministry with, all children, young people and adults;
  • the safeguarding of all children, young people and adults when they are vulnerable;
  • the establishing of safe, caring communities which provide a loving environment where there is informed vigilance as to the dangers of abuse of any kind.

The Diocese will:

  • carefully select and train all those with any responsibility in the Church in line with safe recruitment policies detailed in procedural policies documents;
  • respond to every complaint of abuse against Church personnel in accordance with agreed policies outlined in procedural documents;
  • seek to offer an appropriate ministry of informed pastoral care to those who have suffered abuse;
  • discharge its responsibilities to those who are known to have offended against a child, young person or vulnerable adult;
  • in all of the above principles, follow the state and national legislation of the Australia, appropriate guidance and recognised good practice.

(from Guideline Template document from Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors 27 May 2016)

The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst will take the necessary steps to:

  • demonstrate the right to protection from harm for all people;
  • safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults;
  • foster current best practice in all areas of Church life;
  • demonstrate accountability and transparency through establishing effective structures and practices;
  • prepare and monitor Diocesan organisations, parishes, groups and authorised personnel in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults;
  • offer ongoing training and development for all authorised Church personnel including volunteers;
  • uphold and maintain standards of conduct which set out clear guidelines regarding ethical behaviour as an essential part of reducing the risk of harm for all people;
  • operate safe learning, play, work, pastoral and worship environments that ensure safety.

Key Documents

This policy is built on Key Documents:-

  • National Committee for Professional Standards – Integrity in Ministry – A document of principles and standards for Catholic clergy and religious in Australia. June 2004.
  • National Committee for Professional Standards – Integrity in the Service of the Church – A resource document of principles and standards for lay workers in the Catholic Church in Australia. September 2011.

Both of these documents are designed and approved for the safe and respectful conduct of life and ministries.

  • National Committee for Professional Standards – Towards Healing – Principles and procedures in responding to complaints of abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church in Australia. January 2010. Revised 2015.

Designed and approved for clear, just procedures, for when principles and procedures are contravened.

  • Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors – Guidelines Template document. 27 May 2016.

Diocesan Procedures are to be followed in line with appropriate legislative requirements including:

  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW) and Regulation 2013;
  • Ombudsman Act 1974 and Ombudsman Regulation 2011 (NSW);
  • Keep Them Safe 2009 Amendments to Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW);
  • Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 (NSW);
  • Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW);
  • Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).