ACSL is now responsible for the previous functions of Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards, including providing oversight of complaints response at a national level by:

  • providing an independent process for responding to complaints against Church Authorities;
  • providing an independent review mechanism for complaints managed by a Church Authority; and
  • assisting Church Authorities to implement Vos Estis Lux Mundi.

For more information on the role of ACSL in complaints response, please visit Transition to ACSL/Professional standards & complaints response.

Catholic Church - National Response Protocol

The implementation and continuous review of the National Response Protocol is now the responsibility of Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd (ACSL). 

The National Response Protocol provides a framework for Catholic entities across Australia to respond consistently to people raising concerns or allegations of child sexual abuse. The Protocol outlines principles and procedures to offer a consistent response to children and adults who have been subjected to child abuse by Church personnel.

Adopted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) in November 2020, the Protocol comes into effect for all dioceses and ACBC member entities from 1 February 2021.

If any person is in immediate danger, contact Police on ‘000’.

If you need to report a concern about a matter pertaining to a Catholic entity, whether it be a diocese or religious institute or other Catholic body, you can contact the entity directly.

If you suspect a child or adult is at risk of harm, call the relevant statutory authority in your state or territory to discuss your concerns.

The implementation of the National Response Protocol from February 1 2021 prompts the phasing out of Towards Healing and The Melbourne Response. Individuals who have matters currently being managed under Towards Healing or The Melbourne Response can continue to use those processes until the matter is resolved. Towards Healing and The Melbourne Response continue to be valid until the end of 2021 while Church authorities implement the National Response Protocol locally.

View the National Response Protocol 

If you are a person responsible for implementing the Protocol in your entity and you need support, have a suggestion or query, please contact us via and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Crisis Lines

  • Kids Helpline   1800 551 800   Website
  • Lifeline   13 11 14   Website
  • Suicide Call Back Service   1300 659 467   Website
  • 1800 Respect - sexual assault and family violence support and advice   1800 737 732   Website

Elder Abuse

  • Aged Care Complaints Commission   1800 951 822 Website
  • Seniors Rights   1300 368 821   Website

Disability Abuse and Neglect

  • National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline   1800 880 052   Website


  • Human Rights Equal Opportunity Commission   1300 656 419   Website

Redress Scheme

The National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional sexual abuse launched on 1 July 2018.  It will run for 10 years and people can apply any time up until 30 June 2027.   

1800 737 377 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays   Website

People can apply online or via a paper application. The online application can be accessed through myGov, if you don’t already have an account you can create one. The paper application can be accessed by:

Bravehearts is a Redress Support Service provider. Bravehearts offers free and confidential support to anyone considering applying to the National Redress Scheme. Bravehearts can provide more information about the Scheme and who can apply. They can also help fill out the form and support you throughout the process  1800 272 831 Website

Sexual assault services

Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence National Help Line   1800 Respect (1800 737 732)   Website

Support lines and services

  • Beyond Blue - support for anxiety and depression   1300 224 636   Website
  • Blue Knot Foundation - counselling and support for survivors   1300 657 380   Website
  • Bravehearts Inc - counselling and support for survivors, child protection advocacy   1800 272 831   Website
  • Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) - support and advocacy for Forgotten Australians   1800 008 774   Website
  • Child Migrants Trust - social work services for former Child Migrants, including counselling and support for family reunions   1800 040 509   Website
  • Child Wise - trauma-informed telephone and online counselling for childhood abuse  1800 991 099    Website
  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia   1800 222 660   Website
  • Headspace - support for young people experiencing mental health issues   1800 650 890   Website
  • Healing Foundation - service to help build up the capacity of Indigenous organisations and support the development of the Link Up network   Website
  • In Good Faith Foundation - advocacy, casework, referral and support to aid recovery for victims, their families and communities responding to clergy, religious and lay abuse   03 9940 1533   Website
  • Mensline Australia   1300 789 978   Website
  • On the Line Australia - national telephone and online support, information and referral for men with family and relationship concerns   1300 789 978   Website
  • People with Disability Australia - national telephone line to provide information and referrals to people with disabilities   1800 422 015   TTY: 1800 422 016   Website
  • Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia - 24/7 telephone and online crisis counselling service for anyone in Australia who has experienced or is at risk of sexual assault   1800 211 028   Website