The Gift of our Children

Senior students gather to ask the Archbishop a series of questions during a Listening and Dialog session in 2018

As the National Child Protection week launches across Australian, an exciting new initiative is making an impact in schools and parishes within the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

Specially designed to listen to children, the My Voice project has heard from over 2,000 children from years four to seven about the rights and responsibilities all who belong to the Church can expect.

Giving children a voice is at the forefront of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn’s commitment to implementing child safe standards. The My Voice project is just one of the initiatives reflecting this commitment.

Every year National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN)  invites all Australians to play their part to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. The theme for 2020 is “Putting Children First.”

To mark the beginning of National Child Protection week, the Archdiocese has launched an updated Child Protection Code of Conduct.

Manager Institute for Professional Standards and Safeguarding Maria Hicks urged all to become familiar with the document.

“The Archdiocese recognises that Children are a gift from God. They have an intrinsic right to respect and protection from harm, so we have asked all of our volunteers in our parishes, regardless of whether they work with children or not, to read this essential document and sign the acknowledgment page.

Primary school children explain their artwork to the Archbishop at the 2018 Plenary Listening and Dialogue session.

“Our Archbishop, Vicar General and clergy, will also sign this document,” Maria told the Catholic Voice.

During 2020, all active clergy have participated in webinars on their civil reporting obligations and the ten child safe standards. Face to face safeguarding training continues to be rolled out within Archdiocesan parishes, groups and movements.

“Through programs such as “My Voice” and clear communication with parishes and schools, our commitment to nurturing our children continues to strengthen,” said Maria.

COMMENTS

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  • Gabrielle 3 weeks

    How many parishes have a Child Protection Officer? I thought it was mandated that all parishes did.