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The audit report is on the Australian Catholic Safeguarding Limited’s website (ACSL)

Townsville Diocese has embraced child safeguarding standards, according to an audit report published today by Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd.

The audit, completed between March and June, assessed the diocese’s implementation of child safeguarding practices outlined in the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (NCSS).

The audit found that the diocese has fully or substantially progressed the implementation of 100 per cent of the NCSS indicators relevant to its operations.

Speaking after the report’s publication, ACSL chief executive Ursula Stephens said that the audit’s results demonstrate how committed leadership can translate into real results for child safety.

“The audit findings show that the Diocese of Townsville has invested in child safeguarding, at a leadership, cultural and resource level,” Dr Stephens said.

“Bishop Tim Harris and his leadership team have championed safeguarding throughout the diocese. 

“We saw some great initiatives, such as having all members of the diocesan clergy sign copies of Integrity in Our Common Mission, the National Code of Conduct for dioceses released last year. 

“This signals that the Diocese is committed to ongoing formation of their people that emphasises thinking and acting in the best interests of children.”

Dr Stephens said the diocese showed all relevant aspects of the child-focused NCSS were either “fully embedded or well on their way at the time of our audit”.

“This is really significant as the standards cover core aspects of safeguarding including engaging with children, families and communities and best practice human resources, as well as core safeguarding systems, policies and procedures,” she said.

Dr Stephens said the ACSL audit team did note some areas for improvement, including centralising risk registers at the diocesan level. 

“This is something we’ve now seen across several Catholic entities, where parish and ministry risk assessments are being completed but are not being centrally stored at the diocesan level. This is an important area to focus on as there does need to be oversight at the diocesan level.”

View the Diocese of Townsville’s audit report on ACSL’s website.


Child safeguarding standards embraced by Diocese of Townsville (ACSL)