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Child safeguarding consultations begin

The Catholic Church’s new child safeguarding organisation, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL) has met with three significant groups over the past week as it continues its Australia-wide consultation on new child safeguarding standards for the Catholic Church, the organisation has announced.

Ms Sheree Limbrick, CEO of CPSL, said that over the past week Catholic School Parents Australia, Catholic Religious Australia Council members and Vicars General from Dioceses across Australia have been briefed on the draft standards and asked for their feedback.

“This is all part of a concerted effort to hear from everyone who will be impacted by these new standards before they are finalised later in the year,” Ms Limbrick said.

“In addition to the groups we have already met with, we will shortly be starting consultations with survivors and other groups in every state.

“This three-month consultation process started at the end of April with the release of draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards which can be seen on our website where anyone can provide written feedback,” she said.

On Wednesday 23 May Ms Limbrick met with eight Vicars General from Dioceses across Australia, all of whom expressed strong support for CPSL and the introduction of new safeguarding standards across all Church entities.

“It was heartening to hear all the Vicars General voice their commitment to improving safeguarding practices and audit mechanisms.

“Together we discussed several areas where CPSL could tighten requirements in the next iteration of the NCSS and discussed a range of strategies dioceses are already implementing to improve safeguarding particularly in the areas of screening overseas clergy, supporting parishes to increase awareness of child safety and improving risk assessment skills and practices.”

Earlier on Sunday May 20, Ms Kate Eversteyn, CPSL Director of Safeguarding, met with Catholic School Parents Australia (CPSL) in Sydney where she shared information and sought feedback regarding the draft safeguarding standards.

“We are encouraging all parents to take an active role in keeping children safe,” Ms Eversteyn said.

“One way of helping parents do this is by keeping CSPA and other school and parent organisations informed of our work and asking for feedback from parents on what makes a child safe church and school,”

John O’Brien, Executive Officer, Catholic School Parents Australia, said CSPA is keen to ensure that the national voice of parents with children in Catholic schools is heard around these vital safeguarding issues.

“As a follow-up to the report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, CSPA is developing a position statement entitled “Catholic Schools as Child Safe Communities.

“Our meeting with CPSL has been most informative, clarifying and helpful and will greatly inform our formal response to the draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards,” he said.

On Monday 21 May Ms Limbrick met with some 15 Catholic Religious Australia Council members in Sydney to discuss the draft standards.


Catholic Professional Standards Ltd child safeguarding consultations up and running (Catholic Professional Standards Media Release)


Moody Air Force Base


Catholic Professional Standards Ltd child safeguarding consultations up and running (Catholic Professional Standards Media Release)


Fr Gerry Gleeson (Sydney), Fr Peter Williams (Parramatta), Abp Mark Coleridge (Brisbane), Fr Christopher de Souza (Parramatta), Mons Peter Meneely (Brisbane), Fr Stephen Hackett msc (General Secretary, ACBC), Sheree Limbrick (CPSL), Fr Tony Percy (Canberra Goulburn) (Supplied)