The Diocese has a zero tolerance to abuse and will respond promptly to all abuse concerns, allegations and incidents. This includes contacting the police immediately where there may be immediate risk of harm to any person, especially a child.
New Queensland Laws commenced 5 July 2021
Failure to Report Offence: all adults must report sexual offending against children to the police unless they have a reasonable excuse (i.e. the offence has already been reported).
Failure to Protect Offence: adults in an institutional setting (e.g. a school, church or sporting club) must protect children from the risk of a sexual offence being committed against them. The law attaches a criminal penalty to wilful or negligent failures to do so.
The Diocese is committed to fostering a culture where people are encouraged to raise concerns and can do so safely. Concerns can be raised with a Parish Safeguarding Representative, or anonymously through the Whistleblower Hotline (Stopline).
Each parish has Safeguarding Representatives who are part of a team responsible for ensuring the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults within the parish. They are dedicated to promoting safeguarding messages and keeping you informed about safeguarding practices and initiatives within the Diocese. They are available to assist with any safeguarding questions, concerns, disclosures, incidents or complaints. They will help you find the right people for assistance and support.
STOPline is an independent commercial service that receives confidential information and reports about suspected abuse, serious misconduct and policy breaches by diocesan personnel, including clergy, religious, employees and volunteers. The service also applies to Catholic Education Services (Cairns), Catholic Early Learning and Care (Cairns) and CentacareFNQ. STOPline is available to all diocesan personnel, volunteers and the general community. Further information on the sorts of matters that should be reported and the ways that they can be reported are found throughout their site.
The principles aim to provide a nationally consistent approach to creating organisational cultures that foster child safety and wellbeing.
They reflect ten child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and are the vehicle for giving effect to recommendations relating to the standards.
The National Principles have a broader scope that goes beyond child sexual abuse to cover other forms of potential harm to children and young people.