Protecting our children into the future

IPSS trainers, Brenda Foley, and Maria Hicks

As part of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn’s response to the 2017 Royal Commission report on Childhood Sexual Abuse, the Church, staff from the Institute for Professional Standards and Safeguarding (IPSS) have hit the road, engaging with clergy, parish pastoral Councils and volunteers working with children.

IPSS trainers, Maria Hicks, and Brenda Foley are presenting programs specifically aimed at parishes, groups, and movements, focusing on civil and moral responsibilities in safeguarding and protecting children.
The training is interactive and draws on the Archdiocese’s policies, identifying Safe Practices, Safe People and Safe Places using practical, real-life (de-identified) examples.
The aim of Child Protection Week 2019 is to engage members of the community in supporting and protecting children. Our parishes, groups, and movements need to be vigilant in preventing inappropriate behaviour and identifying and decisively responding where it may have occurred.

Delivery of this training highlights the Archdiocese’s commitment to safeguarding our children and to the implementation of Principle 7 of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (based on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Child safe standards):

Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.


Professional Standards and Safeguarding Q & A

How do we organise training?
A key feature of the training program is that the training comes to you. Brenda and Maria are willing to negotiate a time and location suitable to the parish clergy, the Parish Pastoral Council and volunteers. To arrange training for your parish, groups, and movements, please contact Maria at or on 6239 9806.

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What have we learned from our training to date?
What has become apparent through our training to date is that there is a real willingness by our leaders to ensure our children are welcomed and appropriately cared for in our community. Keeping updated however on the harm our children may be exposed to, particularly through their use of technology is a concern.
Parents, carers and our community leaders may find the following resource on online safety developed by the e-safety commissioner useful.

Do all adults have to report to the Police if they believe a child has been sexually assaulted?
Yes – In NSW and the ACT anyone over 18 years old who reasonably believes a sexual offence has been committed against a child that is a person under the age of 18 at the time the offence was committed, must report information about the sexual offences committed to the Police. There are exemptions. Find out more at

Do clergy need a WWVP registration or a NSW WWC check to Minister?
Yes. Given the Archdiocese is spread across both the ACT and NSW, all active Archdiocesan clergy as well as employees working in the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation require both an ACT Working with Vulnerable People registration as well as a NSW Working with Children Check.

We do I go for more information?
All of the Archdiocese’s Child Protection policies can be found at the following link:


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