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Michael Lavarch, left, and David Penny (ACSL)

Outgoing Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd board chair Michael Lavarch was thanked for his service and incoming board chair David Penny was welcomed into the role at ACSL’s Annual General Meeting this week.

Mr Penny, who has served as an ACSL board director since the company’s creation in 2020, is the executive leader of operations at the Institute of Sisters of Mercy Australia and Papua New Guinea. 

He has also served in a variety of Church leadership roles within dioceses and Ministerial Public Juridic Persons.

ACSL chief executive Ursula Stephens said that Mr Penny’s significant experience across the Church and knowledge of ACSL’s operating environment makes him well-placed to lead ACSL into its next chapter.

“ACSL’s staff and board can feel assured with David steering the ship as we continue to provide essential safeguarding services for the Church,” Dr Stephens said.

“I would also like to express our deep thanks to our departing chair, Professor the Honourable Michael Lavarch AO, who has made an outstanding contribution to the status of safeguarding within the Church.

“Michael ably led efforts to secure an expanded set of safeguarding standards for the Church, including protections for adults at risk as well as children. 

“He was also instrumental in updating our risk-based audit framework and the establishment of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards Auditor Register, providing choice in auditor to Catholic entities.”

A new ACSL board member was also welcomed at Wednesday’s AGM.  Michael Moore comes to the ACSL board with 43 years’ experience in management, accountancy and board roles in Australia and the United Kingdom. Since 1997, Mr Moore has worked for the Church in Australia in senior management and board roles.

ACSL’s 2022-2023 Annual Report was also presented and accepted at the AGM. It offers a snapshot of ACSL’s activities and progress in key service areas such as learning and development, audit and review, professional standards support, complaints response and systems management. 

Information about ACSL’s Governance, including board members can be found here.

ACSL’s 2022-2023 Annual Report can be viewed here.


Change of leadership for ACSL at Annual General Meeting (ACSL)