Ireland opens first national safeguarding conference
Last weekend, just ahead of the start of the TJHC consultations on a new oversight body, the Irish Church held a major child protection conference hosted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.
The National Board for Safeguarding Children in Ireland is similar to the organisation we are now consulting on, a national standards setting and supervisory body for child protection and safeguards for vulnerable people in Catholic institutions.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, president of the Irish bishops' conference, opened the conference and warned against becoming "safeguarding-weary" or complacent.
He said the legacy of betrayal, trauma and shame that clerical abuse has left in its wake must never been forgotten, and he called for the Irish Church's safeguarding network to get behind the implementation of the new revised Standards and Guidance, due to be rolled out over the next year.
We've just completed the first of eight forums consulting with the Church community on setting up a national standards setting and supervisory body for child protection and safeguards for vulnerable people in Catholic institutions.
The first forum, held in Canberra on Monday, saw 25 people from across the local church community meet to flesh out and discuss ideas on the best ways to deliver better accountability, transparency and consistency as we work to ensure all Church institutions are safe.
Public hearing into St Joseph's Orphanage, Neerkol
The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing commencing on Tuesday 14 April 2015 in Rockhampton to investigate the experiences of a number of men and women who were resident at St Joseph's Orphanage, Neerkol, operated by the Sisters of Mercy between 1940 and 1975. The hearing will investigate the responses of the Sisters of Mercy, the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton, and the Queensland state government to complaints made by former residents of the orphanage regarding child sexual abuse by workers, priests and nuns at the orphanage between 1993 and present.