Child Safety

Video message from our parish Safeguarding Committee

Child Protection Sunday 2020 Prayer

Ways to Support and Encourage Children to Speak and Be Heard

Staying Safe online during COVID-19 (from the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner)

eSafety Commissioner resources for Parents and Kids

Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Persons - Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

Catholic Church in Australia - Response and Prevention

Catholic Religious Australia - Safeguarding

NCPW2020_Keeping Children Safe and Well

Dear Friends

In Child Protection Week, our whole nation is invited to ‘put children first’. In fact, that is the theme in 2020, which marks thirty years of Child Protection Week in Australia.

Although the Pandemic has changed the way we are all living and working, it doesn’t change what is most important. For Christians, the Lord Jesus shows us that at all times, the most vulnerable among us are those requiring our greatest care. In particular, the safety and the protection of children is one of our most important priorities.

The Professional Standards Office of our Archdiocese along with our Mission Team have developed some resources to be of help for all in our communities. These are designed to support children and young people’s right to be safe and feel safe.

My heart breaks for those who were not cared for and protected in the past. When a child is neglected or abused, the pain and suffering endures throughout their whole life. I am sad and angered that the Church has not always been a place that has put children first. We continue to address the horror of abuse, to walk with those in need, and to build a culture of safety and protection for our most vulnerable. Personally, I will continue to meet with survivors of abuse; listening to them, hearing them and trusting them, and helping our Church be continually converted.

Please pray with me that we would put children first always, and protect their safety.

Most Rev Peter A Comensoli
Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne

Child Protection Guidelines

The parish takes the safety, well-being and inclusion of all children very seriously and has policies and procedures in place to maintain a Child Safe environment.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne's Professional Standards Unit (PSU) was established to further enhance and strengthen capacity to safeguard children and vulnerable people across the Archdiocese. Contact​​

See more about the Professional Standards Unit on the Archdiocese's website

The Australian Jesuit's Policy for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults is:

"Principles, Protocols and Standards of Practice"


Hawthorn Catholic Parish is committed to creating and maintaining a child safe organisation, and has policies and procedures to achieve the Child Safe Standards:


1. Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, through effective leadership arrangements

2. A Child Safe Policy or Statement of Commitment to Child Safety

3. A Code of Conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children

4. Screening, supervision, training and other human resource practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel

5. Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse

6. Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse

7. Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.

Province child safety poster May 2020

Children and Young People are Welcome and Valued

Our parish will always do our best to welcome and protect you and we have a Code of Conduct to help us:

Code of Conduct Explanation for Children

Code of Conduct Explanation for Young People

Child Friendly Commitment Statement

If anyone wishes to bring a complaint of abuse against any member of staff, present or past, of a Jesuit ministry, they may do so in any of the following ways: 

a) If you believe a crime has been committed, contact the police 'Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team' (SOCIT) (Box Hill team) on 03 8892 3292

or call 000

b) Contact: Professional Standards Unit of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne - phone 03 9926 5630, 

c) Contact: Fr Des Dwyer SJ – phone 03 8862 4000

d) Parish Child Safeguarding team - Donna Bosnjak (phone 8862 4021), Bernadette Kirwan (phone 8862 4020)

e) Contact: Jesuit Provincial's Director of Professional Standards,

Mr Simon Davies - phone 03 9810 7300,

Reporting abuse or safety-related miscon

© 2020 Hawthorn Catholic Parish;                   Version 1.0.3