The Diocese of Broken Bay has launched an office for safeguarding which draws together work in safeguarding, child protection and professional standards across the chancery, parishes, Catholic schools and CatholicCare Broken Bay.
The initiative commenced under the leadership of the former Bishop Peter A Comensoli is the first stage of a new structure for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people within the diocese.
Diocesan administrator Father David Ranson announced on 5 March the appointment of two independent panels, a Diocesan Safeguarding Strategic Advisory Panel and a Diocesan Safeguarding Panel of Review.
“As a Diocese, we are committed to a practice of leadership which is inclusive and professional, and which strives for a healthy culture of responsibility, accountability and transparency,” said Father Ranson.
“An essential element, particularly in the areas of accountability and transparency, is the engagement of independent expertise.”
The seven-member Diocesan Safeguarding Strategic Advisory Panel is chaired by barrister and member of the Safe Church Network of the National Council of Churches Garth Blake AM SC, ACU’s director of the Institute for Child Protection Studies Professor Darryl Higgins, researcher at the Social Policy Research Centre UNSW Professor Ilan Katz, member of the Truth Justice and Healing Council and co-Chair of Kildare Ministries Sr Maree Marsh csb, Executive Director of CatholicCare, Diocese of Broken Bay Ms Lyn Ainsworth, director of Catholic Schools Office Broken Bay Peter Hamill and director for the Diocesan Office for Safeguarding Jodie Crisafulli.
A five-member Diocesan Safeguarding Review Panel will provide independent evaluation of the redress the Diocese seeks to provide to those who have suffered abuse. Membership is drawn from expertise in the areas of canon and family law, social work, trauma management and counselling, and healing and support for survivors of abuse.