National independent evaluation awards accreditation to Archdiocese for safeguarding
The Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn has demonstrated a commitment to being leaders in the field of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults through participation in a pilot program, Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) general manager Liz McMullin said.
Presenting Archbishop Christopher Prowse with a certificate of official accreditation this afternoon, Ms McMullin said the process had been a huge undertaking, and the Archdiocese should be very proud.
“We are very grateful for your participation in the pilot, and we are truly pleased to see your hard work be rewarded with this tremendous outcome,” she said.
“Your safeguarding team has done an outstanding job, and you have embraced the opportunity to enhance safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults in your parishes and communities.
“The accreditation demonstrates the commitment of your Archdiocese through participation in the only safeguarding program in Australia to provide and independent, third-party evaluation of an organisation’s safeguarding commitments.”
Institute for Professional Standards and Safeguarding manager Maria Hicks said the Archdiocese had been excited to elevate past efforts and open itself to the scrutiny of QIP.
“Today we will be officially recognised as having achieved accreditation, but it is no time to rest on our laurels,” she said.
“Over the last 8-10 years, the Archdiocese has made significant inroads into safeguarding our community, through training, support, governance, compliance, policies, processes, and protocols. But we live in an ever-changing world.
“Given the pace of change, we must be constantly vigilant and open to learning and sharing within our parish community how best to safeguard children and vulnerable adults, including people with disabilities and the elderly. Our work continues.”
Archbishop Prowse said he was delighted to receive the accreditation through an independent body.
“It is mixed blessing – we condemn sex abuse outright of any sort,” he said.
“We learn from the criminal behaviours in our own church, articulated well by Royal Commission, and we try our best to be wounded healers, learning from our own mistakes.”
The Archbishop congratulated staff on their hard work during the accreditation process and thanked those who ‘shepherded the shepherds.’
“As I go around the parishes now, I think one of the safest places for a vulnerable person or child to be in one of our Catholic institutions,” he said.
“It gives me great joy to know we have learnt from these dark chapters and are becoming leaders.”