New Safeguarding team member motivated by mission of love and service

By Marie Iemma

This National Child Protection Week, Safeguarding in the Diocese of Parramatta is pleased to announce its newest team member, Manager, Legal Marie Iemma.

Marie, who has a background in implementing, managing and administering child safe systems, policies and practices, most recently with Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP), explains what her role will entail and shares why she is passionate about ensuring that the Church is safe for everyone.

I am motivated by our mission to love one another, to serve the world and to love God. I feel passionately about our spiritual responsibility to care for and uphold the dignity and rights of children, young people, and vulnerable adults, who are all precious gifts from God.

Jesus showed particular care for children,

“…for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs…” (Mark 10:14).

As well as the poor and the vulnerable,

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed.” (Psalm 82:3)

As a mother myself, I have a lot of empathy for those who have suffered harm. I recognise how crucial this work is, in order to cherish and safeguard children, young people and the vulnerable from anyone who would harm them. While we cannot right the wrongs of the past, we can do everything we can to ensure that no child or vulnerable adult is harmed again.

Having worked with CEDP, I already know that the Diocese of Parramatta is such a wonderful place to work. I love the culture here and the friendly and warm faces within the Diocese. I believe strongly in the mission of the Diocese of Parramatta, which aligns very closely with my personal values and beliefs.

Working within the Safeguarding space, I will be involved in the delivery of advice and support to parishes, agencies and ministries of the Diocese of Parramatta to ensure the Diocese is a safe place for children, young people and vulnerable adults.

This will include managing concerns, reports and complaints regarding the conduct of people who are responsible for leading ministry or providing services in the Diocese, and responding immediately and compassionately to any harm, or risk of harm.

I will also have oversight and management of civil litigation matters, investigations and complaints, as well as National Redress Scheme matters, concerning Safeguarding matters within the Diocese of Parramatta. A large part of my role will also involve the implementation of preventative strategies and safety initiatives across the Diocese and its agencies, in line with the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.

This National Child Protection Week we all need to consider how, being engaged in the life of the Church means that we all need to play our part to protect the safety, well-being and dignity of children, young people and vulnerable adults within our parishes.

We are called to love one another and step up and speak out for the protection of all. In order to create safe environments in our parishes, we need active participation and responsibility by parish communities. Parish communities need to be alert to areas of risk and harm, and parishioners need to be confident to voice their concerns and trust that at all times their concerns will be listened to respectfully and taken seriously.

Marie is due to commence with the Diocese in late September 2022. She is looking forward to partnering with parish communities, agencies and ministries of the Diocese of Parramatta, in working towards embedding the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards in the day-to-day operations of the Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Find more information on Safeguarding in the Diocese of Parramatta at

Read Daily
* indicates required