Key safeguarding policies are in place within the Maronite Eparchy of Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, according to an audit focusing on the safeguarding of children released by Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd today.
The audit found that the Eparchy has either implemented or is substantially progressed in the implementation of 100 per cent of the indicators relevant to them under the child-focused National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.
The audit was undertaken at the invitation of Maronite Eparchy Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, and was completed this year as the eparchy’s golden jubilee celebrations drew to an end.
ACSL chief executive Ursula Stephens said that NCSS safeguarding audits of Church entities across the country have been undertaken since 2019, and are part of building an organisation’s safeguarding capacity by checking that sound and robust processes are in place to keep children and adults at risk safe.
“Our audit of the Maronite Eparchy of Australia is the first audit of an Eastern Rite church, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to spend time with the Maronite community in Sydney to learn more about their safeguarding strategies in what is a very vibrant, youthful and active Catholic community,” Dr Stephens said.
She said the audit found “excellent work and attention to detail” in the Maronites’ “risk assessments for physical spaces, ministry programs, and approaches to responding to high-risk individuals”.
Dr Stephens said the audit did identify some areas that could be strengthened and further systemised, such as compiling individual risk assessments for activities into an overarching Eparchy risk register.
View the Maronite Eparchy of Australia’s full audit report on ACSL’s website.