Board of new Catholic Church professional standards body complete

13 February 2018

The seven-member board of the Catholic Church’s new child and vulnerable person standards setting, auditing and reporting organisation is now fully in place and pushing forward with the development of a major new approach to the way in which the Church ensures everyone who comes in contact with any of its ministries is as safe as possible.

The Chair of CPSL, The Hon Geoff Giudice, said following the appointments of Queensland education specialist Dr Kerrie Tuite and WA governance expert Dr Ruth Shean this month, the board is now made up of members with a wide range of skills and expertise.

“We now have people of the highest integrity, caliber and expertise on the board,” Mr Giudice said.

“With experts in child protection, education, disability, social services, governance, law, regulation and cultural change, this board is set to make a very significant impact on the way the Church operates its professional standards and child protection services.

“And working alongside a group of dedicated staff led by Sheree Limbrick, we are all confident that the work and the mission of CPSL will achieve great things for the most vulnerable people who come in contact with the Church and for the Catholic and broader community.”

CPSL has been established by the leadership of the Australian Catholic Church in the wake of Royal Commission revelations of institutional failure in the management and response to child sexual abuse claims in Catholic organisations including schools, parishes and homes.

CPSL will develop, audit and report on compliance with professional standards across Catholic entities. It represents a new national Church approach to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people.

CPSL is already undertaking consultation on the development of new standards having recently visited Adelaide and Darwin. It expects to be releasing the first draft of its new standards in the coming months.  They will be based extensively on the Royal Commission’s findings on the Key elements of a child-safe organisations.



The Hon Geoff Giudice AO (appointed November 2016) LLB, BA

The Hon. Geoff Giudice AO was President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission from 1997 until 2009 and the inaugural President of Fair Work Australia (now the Fair Work Commission) from 2009 until February 2012. Prior to 1997 he practised widely in the State and Federal jurisdictions specialising in industrial and employment law.

Geoff has degrees in Law and Arts from the University of Melbourne and is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School (Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law) and a consultant in the employment law practice of Ashurst Australia.

Geoff is currently a consultant with Ashurst Australia and Chair of the Independent Review Panel, Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (Vic).

Deputy Chair

Patricia Faulkner AO (appointed November 2016) MBA, BA (Econ), Dip Ed

Patricia Faulkner AO is a former Secretary of the Department of Human Services in Victoria. In this role, Patricia led portfolios including child protection, youth justice, public hospitals, public housing, disability accommodation and community health services.

In 2015-16, Patricia was Deputy Commissioner of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. For 25 years Patricia has led large complex organisations and held a variety of chairman and director roles with government entities and not for profit boards across a range of sectors.

Patricia is currently Chair of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Ltd, Chair of Jesuit Social Services, Chair of the Melbourne Racing Club Foundation and Deputy Chair of St Vincent’s Health Australia Ltd.

Professor The Hon Michael Lavarch AO (August 2017) LLB

Professor Lavarch AO has had extensive involvement in Australian public life, serving in Local Government before being elected to Federal Parliament in 1987, serving as Attorney General in the Keating Government from 1993-1996.

Since leaving Parliament in 1996, Michael has been the Secretary General of the Law Council of Australia, Dean of Law at QUT and, since 2012, Deputy Chief Commissioner and Commissioner, Risk, Intelligence & Regulatory Support at the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

Michael has worked with organisations supporting child welfare programs including the Forde Foundation which was established by the Queensland Government in response to the findings into the abuse of children in Queensland Institutions.

Michael is currently Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service Ltd and Chief Adjudicator with the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code Adjudication Panel.

Dr Robyn Miller PhD (August 2017) PhD, MFT, GradDipFT, BSocSc (Social Work)

Dr Robyn Miller brings over 30 years’ experience in community services, Local Government and child protection sectors, and has practised in both the public and private sectors as a therapist, clinical supervisor, consultant and lecturer.

From 2006-15 Robyn provided professional leadership as the Chief Practitioner within the Department of Human Services in Victoria, was a member of the Victorian Child Death Review Committee for 10 years, and worked as a consultant with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Since 2016, Robyn has been the CEO of MacKillop Family Services, provider of specialist services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people and their families in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

The Hon John Watkins AM (November 2016) MA, LLB, DipEd, HonDLitt

After sixteen years as a teacher in Catholic schools, The Hon. John Watkins AO served as a member of the NSW Parliament from 1995 until 2008 spending ten years as a Minister in eight portfolios including Education, Police and Transport.

In the three years prior to retiring from Parliament, John served as Deputy Premier of NSW.

After leaving political life, John was the CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW until retiring from that position in October 2017. John served as Chancellor of the University of New England, stepping down in 2014, in 2013 was awarded an honorary doctorate by Macquarie University and in 2015 he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

John currently serves on a number of Boards including as Chair of Calvary Health Care, Chair of Mary MacKillop International and Chair of the McKell Institute.

Dr Kerrie Tuite (February 2018) EdD, Med, BA, Cert Teach

Dr Kerrie Tuite is a leading Queensland educator with more than 30 years working in schools and senior education policy development and curriculum roles, Since 2009 Kerrie has been the Principal of Mount Alvernia College, Brisbane.

Dr Tuite is a member of the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority Steering Committee for Senior Schooling Review, and a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools, the Australasian Alliance of Girls’ Schools and Franciscan Schools Australia.

She is President of the Association of Catholic Secondary Schools Queensland, past President of the Catholic Secondary Principals Association Queensland, Board Director of Catholic Secondary Principals Australia 2011-2015.

Dr Ruth Shean (February 2018) PhD, MEd

Dr Ruth Shean, is a former senior public servant and administrator in the Western Australian government with more than 30 years of experience in governance, corporate management and culture change.

Ruth is the former Western Australian Commissioner for Public Sector Standards with responsibility for oversight of legislative and regulatory standards in WA public sector. She is the former Director General of the WA Government’s Department of Training and Workforce Development. Previous government CEO roles include Director General of the Disability Services Commission and Director General of the Department for Community Development.

Ruth has extensive corporate experience within the non-government sectors including CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Association and has been on the governing councils of Curtin and Murdoch.

With thanks to CPSL.

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