The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Sherlock, presented a report to the University Council at its December 2019 meeting summarising the University’s work so far in response to the Final Report and Recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The report was well-received by Council and has been forwarded to relevant Government departments.
The Report notes that the University established a Strategic Goal: Responding to the Royal Commission in 2018, with a Project Officer being appointed in 2019. The strategic goal states that:
as the leading institution in Australia for the formation and education of people for formal ministry” the University has a role to make “specific contributions … to the fullest possible implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations … not only to ensure compliance but also to foster and implement best practice in theological education, ministry formation, supervision, and professional development.”
The report notes the University has revised its Code of Conduct and supporting policies, effective from 1 January 2020. Information, familiarisation opportunities and training about the Code will be available before and during the start of the 2020 academic year.
The University Council also adopted and implemented the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations effective from 1 January 2020. These National Principles enact the Royal Commission’s recommendations regarding Child Safe Standards, have been endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments, and are in accord with the various state and denominational standards and frameworks.
The University’s Strategic Goal Responding to the Royal Commission continues in 2020. Following up on issues discussed at the 2019 Ministry Colloquium will form part of the work of 2020.
Project Officer, Responding to the Royal Commission