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The The OCD Sisters’ self-report validation is on the Australian Catholic Safeguarding Limited’s website (ACSL)

Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd has this week published a safeguarding review for the Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns Goonellabah.

The OCD Sisters are an enclosed, contemplative religious community, based in country New South Wales. The OCD Sisters are not engaged in public ministry and have a low safeguarding risk. 

ACSL chief executive Ursula Stephens said that due to these factors, a self-report against the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards that could be validated by ACSL was the most appropriate approach.

“Every Catholic organisation, no matter their size, has safeguarding responsibilities. Measuring progress in implementing safeguarding processes is a vital way we learn if we are on the right track. However, we acknowledge that a one-size-fits-all approach to review won’t work for all Catholic organisations, given how much ministries and activities can vary from one organisation to another,” Ms Stephens said.

“For the OCD Sisters Goonellabah, who dedicate themselves to a life of prayer, theirs is a completely contemplative life, which is conducted with clear separation from the public. The Sisters do, however, have women in formation and potential aspirants who may enter formation in coming years. There is limited engagement with the general public.”

Ms Stephens said ASCL reviews each organisation to see if the key principles of the safeguarding standards are in place or in development, regardless of the organisation’s size or ministry.

The self-report completed by the OCD Sisters and our subsequent report validation showed us that the Sisters have fully implemented and embedded the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards as they apply to their Congregation.”

Some recommendations for further improvement were made to the Sisters, who will have 12 months to implement them. 

The self-report validation is available on ACSL’s website.


Safeguarding review of Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns Goonellabah marks first published self-report of a Catholic entity (ACSL)