Diocese of Parramatta launches first Safe Parishes Week

6 June 2021
Safe Parishes Week


Welcome to the Inaugural Safe Parishes Week in the Diocese of Parramatta

Related story: Kathryn Greiner joins Bishop Vincent Long to launch Safe Parishes Week.

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Related story: Prevention, Healing and Support Services in the Diocese of Parramatta

Related story: We are in this together: A reflection on Safeguarding

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Catholics in the Diocese of Parramatta foster strong parish communities which, following Christ’s example, welcome people from all walks of life. With that comes responsibility.

Inspired by the gospel, we welcome everyone to our Church, recognising those with particular vulnerabilities: children, the elderly, those with disabilities and people from different cultures and educational backgrounds.

All people must be safe in our parishes. We all have a part to play in making sure that happens.

The Catholic Church as a faith community follows the example of Jesus Christ in mercy and compassion. We can show Christ’s love by owning the responsibility we have towards the safety of others, accepting our role with humility.

Safe Parishes Week 2021

In an Australian first, the Diocese of Parramatta has launched its inaugural Safe Parishes Week to raise awareness of how everyone in parish community contributes to making a parish safe.

Our 2021 Safe Parishes Week held from 6 to 13 June 2021 will feature information and resources which promote safety in parish life.

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding in the Diocese of Parramatta is:

  • Protecting children and adults at risk
  • Supporting victims of sexual assault and trauma
  • Listening to children
  • All adults taking responsibility for keeping children safe
  • Responding well if there is a complaint or a concern
  • Ensuring our activities and programs are safe
  • Making sure all the people who work with children and adults are suitable and supported
  • Educating ourselves and others about safeguarding so we can do it well
  • Putting children first
  • Understanding the impact of power to create situations where adults become ‘at risk’
  • Zero tolerance of abuse and harm.​

The Safeguarding framework the Diocese of Parramatta adheres to is the Child Safe Standards from the NSW Government Office of the Children’s Guardian and can be found here.

Bishop Vincent Long’s Commitment to Safeguarding

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, has made a public commitment to the need to protect the vulnerable in our Church community and to listen to those who have been harmed.

He tells us:

“In all of our works, ministries and activities, we respond to the call of the Gospel to protect those who are vulnerable by fostering culture, education, systems, processes and environments where the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable people is paramount.”

See and read Bishop Vincent Long’s Commitment to Safeguarding.

Diocese of Parramatta Statement of Commitment to Safeguarding


Diocese of Parramatta Safeguarding Council

Kathryn Greiner is a member of the Diocese of Parramatta Safeguarding Council. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

The Diocese of Parramatta has invited experts in the field of child protection and safeguarding to advise us of best-practice we can implement in the Diocese.  The Safeguarding Council, chaired by former NSW Children’s Guardian Kerryn Boland, brings new and expert perspectives to Safeguarding in the Diocese of Parramatta. Kathryn Greiner, who has an extensive background in leadership in the business, political and not-for-profit worlds is also a committed member of the Council.

Kathryn joins Bishop Vincent on 9 June in a Facebook livestream at 10.30am to launch Safe Parishes Week. You can watch the livestream at this link on Wednesday 9 June at 10.30am.









Launch of Points Build

Related story: New safe parishes online training an ethical responsibility.

Points Build is an innovative new training program designed for clergy, staff and volunteers in church life in the Diocese of Parramatta. Completed online, it provides training on recognising and preventing situations where abuse may occur; the responsibilities around preventing and reporting abuse; and how to access further information and assistance.

While Points Build is mandatory for some members of our parishes, everyone is invited to take part in the training. Find out more here.

You can find out how many Points Build points you need in your parish role in the Diocese of Parramatta Safeguarding Training Guide.


Domestic Violence Iris Women App

It is a sad fact that domestic violence happens in all types of families, and this includes Catholic families. The Diocese of Parramatta is committed to preventing this type of abuse and providing assistance to families where it has occurred. Its first initiative has been the launch of the Iris Women App for helping women recognise patterns of behaviour in their relationships which may be abusive.

Australian of the year 2015 Rosie Batty and 2021 Local Hero in the Australian of the Year Awards, Rosemary Kariuki both support the Iris App.

Find out how to download the app from the App Store or Google Play on the Diocese of Parramatta Safeguarding website.


2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Each day this week Catholic Outlook and our social media will feature stories, tips and reflections you can read and share to spread the message that we’re in this together to build safe parishes faithful to the gospel and Christ’s message of mercy and compassion to all.

If you see something in your parish you think might be unsafe, or have concerns about, contact the Office of Safeguarding in the Diocese of Parramatta on (02) 8838 3419 or email: safeguarding@parracatholic.org.

If the matter is urgent call the police on 000.

Safe Parishes Week is being held in the Diocese of Parramatta 6 to 13 June 2021 to highlight the initiatives the Diocese has put in place around Safeguarding.

To find out more go to the Office of Safeguarding website.


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