Child Safe

As a community walking in Jesus’ footsteps, we follow this command, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbour as yourself.” (Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37, Luke 10:27) God calls us to love and minister to vulnerable and marginalised people – these are people who need special care, protection and support.

St Mary’s, as a member of the Anglican Church of Australia within the Diocese of Melbourne,  is committed to child safe practices. The safety and the wellbeing of children and vulnerable people are embedded in policies and practices which reflect a commitment to zero tolerance of abuse.  

Clearance for Ministry
Clergy (a person in Holy Orders) and authorised lay ministers must hold a Clearance for Ministry granted by Kooyoora stating they are fit to hold the proposed role, office or position in the Church.  A new Clearance for Ministry must be obtained for each new role, office or position.
Clearance for Service 
The Professional Standards Uniforms Regulations prescribe at Schedule 1 that lay people who hold any of the following roles, offices or positions, are required to hold a Clearance for Service which is a certificate granted by Kooyoora (Office of Professional Standards):

1 (A) Those who hold a role, office or position that requires them to have a WWC Clearance under the Worker Screening Act 2020 (Vic).

1 (B) Those who hold a role, office or position that constitutes “ministry to children” within the meaning of the Safe Ministry to Children Canon 2017, currently as follows:

Ministry to children means work of a kind where a person:  

(a) is required to hold a working with children check, or a working with vulnerable people check by reason that the person has contact with a child as part of engaging in a regulated activity; or 
(b) exercises a pastoral ministry which has direct, regular and not incidental contact with children; or  

(c) provides services to children that are ancillary to the exercise of a pastoral ministry within General Synod – Safe Ministry to Children Canon 2017 Adopting Ordinance 2017 paragraph (b) which involve:  

(i) contact with children during an overnight activity (such as camps and similar activities); or  

(ii) close, personal contact with children (such as changing clothes, washing and toileting); or  

(d) supervises the ministry of a person within any one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c); or  

(e) performs a professional standards role; or  

(f) performs a safe ministry role. 

Regardless of whether a role, office or position is within the meaning of 1 A. and 1 B. above, any of following roles, offices or positions:

  • Child Safety Officer, Family Safety Champion
  • Leader or coordinator of, or instructor, teacher, or other position providing leadership, oversight or direction in 
    • children’s or youth group;
    • camp where children are present;
    • crèche;
    • Sunday School or other educational program for children or young people;
    • small groups where children are present and not accompanied by a parent;
    • choir, music, dance or acting group that includes children;
  • bus driver for children;
  • candidate for selection conference for Holy Orders;
  • theological exiting student intending to seek ordination;
  • theological student doing a youth or children’s practicum;
  • Warden of Altar Servers or coordinator of the altar serving team where the team includes children. 

Church authorities may also require other people to obtain a Clearance for Service (see section 60(3) of the Professional Standards Uniform Act).

For more information you can visit the Melbourne Anglican Diocese Website 
Our organisation takes all allegations seriously and has practices in place to investigate thoroughly and quickly. Our staff and volunteers are trained to deal appropriately with allegations.

We work to ensure all children, families, staff and volunteers know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse or are a victim, and if they notice inappropriate behaviour.We all have a responsibility to report an allegation of abuse if we have a reasonable belief that an incident took place.

If an adult has a reasonable belief that an incident has occurred then they must report the incident. Factors contributing to reasonable belief may be:

  • a child states they or someone they know has been abused (noting that sometimes the child may in fact be referring to themselves)
  • behaviour consistent with that of an abuse victim is observed
  • someone else has raised a suspicion of abuse but is unwilling to report it
  • observing suspicious behaviour
  • To report concerns that are life threatening, ring Victoria Police 000
  • To contact a child protection office close to you, call a local office.
To report concerns about the immediate safety of a child after hours, call:
After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service

Ph: 13 12 78 (5.00pm – 9.00am Monday – Friday, 24 hours on weekends and public holidays).
Note: this is an emergency service for week nights, weekends and public holidays only.