Click here to go to the Truth Justice and Healing Council website
ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
Click here for information regarding the Second Stage of the Royal Commission public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat
Click here to go to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse website
Ballarat Diocesan Professional Standards Consultative Panel
Coordinator for Professional Standards:
PO Box 576
BALLARAT VIC 3353
Ph: (03) 5337 7121
Fax: (03) 5332 1122
Email: Professional Standards
Bishop Paul Bird CSsR
Rev Justin Driscoll VG
Mr Mark Bromley
Ms Maureen Waddington
Ms Christina Sadowski
The Consultative Panel is part of the structure under the protocols established by the Towards Healing process which provides that each Bishop must have a Consultative panel to advise him at various stages in the Towards Healing process for responding to complaints of abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults and to assist him in the formulation of and the review of Diocesan policy regarding professional standards.
The responsibility of the Consultative Panel is as follows:
• To consider and formulate the appropriate responses to complaints against clergy, employees and volunteers in the Diocese.
• To review current policies and implement new policies and practice in relation to safeguarding children and other vulnerable people in the Diocese.
Ballarat Diocesan Policy on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults:
“The Catholic Diocese of Ballarat is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for people of all ages, with special concern for children, young people and vulnerable adults. This commitment is made in the spirit of Christ’s teachings on behalf the bishop, clergy, staff and volunteers who serve in parishes, schools, Centacare and other Catholic organisations in the Diocese. The Diocese will respond to complaints of unprofessional conduct in ways that reflect nationally established standards and protocols and ensure adherence to applicable legislation. We are committed to providing ongoing pastoral support to any person affected by physical, emotional or sexual abuse by church personnel.”
Policies and Codes:
Bishop Paul Bird and the Bishop’s Advisory Council have asked that each parish facilitate a program of familiarisation with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference document Integrity in the Service of the Church.
All parish workers including volunteers and those in lay ministry are asked to be familiar with this document.
It is a very helpful document for all parishioners.
The document can be downloaded HERE.
Hard copies can be ordered from: 02 9669 6218.
Parishes are asked to advise the Bishop’s Advisory Council when they have completed the ‘Integrity’ familiarisation with their parish staff and volunteers. Contact 5337 7125 or email Bishop's Advisory Council.
Powerpoint resources and worksheets can also be re-sent to you
For further information contact Bishop's Advisory Council.
Towards Healing is a Church protocol for dealing with complaints of abuse by clergy, religious and other employees (paid and non-paid) of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Ballarat. Click here for more information.
The Response of the Church
Bishop Paul Bird's Pastoral Letters
The Diocese of Ballarat
In this Diocese, the Bishop has acknowledged with deep regret that a number of people have abused children, adolescents and adults who have been in their pastoral care.
Any attempt to sexualize a pastoral relationship is a breach of trust, an abuse of authority, and professional misconduct. Any form of sexual behaviour with a minor or adolescent is always sexual abuse.
It is both immoral and criminal. Clergy, members of religious orders, and others who work in the name of the Church are in a special position of trust and authority in relation to those who are in their pastoral care. For example; parishioners, people seeking advice, the sick, people with disability, students at schools.
Principles and procedures in responding to complaints of sexual abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church in Australia have been set out in the booklet Towards Healing. This process also applies to complaints of physical and emotional abuse.
If you are distressed or wish to speak with someone about any issue relating to sexual abuse, click here for information.
How do I make a complaint?
RING The Towards Healing HELP LINE – ph: 1800 816 030 (free call)
- Ring and say you wish to make a complaint. You will be put in touch with a Contact Person living in your part of the State.
- The Contact Person will arrange a meeting at a location to suit you. The Contact Person will document your complaint.
You can ring the Help Line number if you wish to:
- Talk in confidence about what happened, and about your current situation.
- Make an official complaint which will be registered and investigated using the Towards Healing Process.
- Ask in confidence for assistance and support (e.g. counselling)
Professional Standards Resource Group (Victoria)
PO Box 6186
Mildura West 3500
IF YOU WISH YOU CAN CONTACT THE POLICE AT ANY TIME