This year CPSL and the National Council of Churches Australia (NCCA) Safe Church Program will be partnering to work on safeguarding initiatives for the benefit of all their members.

The Catholic Church and NCCA have a long history of working together over many years on joint initiatives to serve the faithful in our Australian Church communities. This includes the faithful contributions of many Catholic representatives such as Sr Angela Ryan CSB who was a key leader on the NCCA’s Gender Commission Working Group and a founding member of the Safe Church Network (SCN) in 2004 as well as Mrs Narelle McMahon who served for many years on the SCN to inform the work of the safe church program including the biennial Safer Church’s Conference. It is with great respect and acknowledgement that CPSL and NCCA say thank you for the foundations that have now paved the way for our continued partnership and ecumenical responsibility to ensure our Australian Churches are safe for all people.

Left to right: CPSL CEO Sheree Limbrick; NCCA Safe Church Program National Co-ordinator Laura Lindsay-Cregan; CPSL Director of Safeguarding Daniele Donnini

Since mid-2019, CPSL has been the main contact with the NCCA Safe Church Network on behalf of the Catholic Church in Australia. In December 2019, CPSL and the Safe Church Program discussed common areas of interest amongst our Churches and Church agencies in responding to the recommendations of the Royal Commission and the ongoing implementation of what we now know as the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. We identified a range of opportunities where a more concerted and structured collaboration would benefit both organisations and our membership. In January 2020, a secondment proposal was agreed upon between CPSL and NCCA for the secondment of NCCA Safe Church Program National Co-ordinator Ms Laura Lindsay-Cregan. Laura will be working two days per week with CPSL until the end of June 2020 on four key joint initiative projects with the purpose of strengthening ecumenical partnerships and developing capacity across all our Churches.

1. Development and resourcing of webinar modules which would then be promoted to and accessed by all NCCA members. Current webinar topics CPSL is committed to are:
Risk management
Grooming awareness
Responding to problematic sexualised behaviours of children
Managing high risk individuals
Professional/pastoral supervision

2. Development and coordination of CPSL’s first national safeguarding conference 'A Safer Church for All: Safeguarding, Core to Mission' scheduled to be held on June 20, 2020, along with a professional development day for safeguarding practitioners on June 19, 2020. Both of these events will be open to participants from a broad range of faith groups and seek to supplement the bi-annual Safe Church Program Conference.

3. Adaptation and co-delivery of CPSL’s ‘Introductory Session for Leaders’ for identified faith groups and members of the NCCA network.

4. Identification of other areas for future collaboration, input and sharing expertise including further training opportunities and initiatives.

Laura will be working closely with Daniele Donnini, Director of Safeguarding, on all of these initiatives and CPSL is delighted to welcome Laura to our team and to be working more closely with NCCA to share our collective knowledge and skills for the benefit of faith communities across Australia.