On March 31, 2019 the former National Committee of Professional Standards Office at Mascot ceased operations and the Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards commenced.
Its purpose is to reduce the opportunity for child and adult abuse within the Catholic Church by:
- Providing national leadership to develop and promote strategies that provide an effective and efficient National Complaints Management Framework.
- Ensure the highest professional standards are applied to keep all safe and the response to reports of abuse is applied consistently across the Catholic Church in Australia.
- Providing strategic direction, leadership and operational planning of current and future systemic trends related to professional standards to the Permanent Committee of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and other senior leaders within the Catholic Church.
- Ensure that a trauma-informed approach is applied when dealing with those reporting abuse to ensure that pastoral care is provided consistently across the Catholic Church in Australia.
- Work in partnership with internal and external agencies to reduce the risk of harm and respond appropriately in safeguarding and investigating allegations for those who are at risk of harm and those who have been subject to harm subject to investigative outcomes of outside agencies.
The Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards is led by Director Mr Rob Bates. He reports to the Permanent Committee of the Bishops Conference through Archbishop Tim Costelloe SDB, who represents the Committee in the area of professional standards. He also reports to the General Secretary of the Bishops Conference regarding organisational matters and management.
Mr Bates works closely with provincial directors based in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne (which covers Victoria [excluding Melbourne] and Tasmania), Adelaide (covers South Australia and the Northern Territory) and Perth.
Australian Catholic Ministry Register
The work of the Register is now based in Canberra at the General Secretariat. Mr Peter Hade, Manager of Australian Catholic Redress Limited, provides management of the development and maintenance of the Register and reports to the Director about the Register.
The Australian Catholic Ministry Register can be contacted on 02 6234 0904.
Complaints about a Church Authority
Complaints against Bishops or a leader of a Religious Institute are managed by the Director, in accordance with the protocol of Towards Healing established by the Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia, and canonical law.
Review of a finding under Towards Healing or its successor protocol
Review of Towards Healing findings are managed by the Director with the National Review Panel, consisting of external reviewers in accordance with the Towards Healing protocol established by the Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia.
Other functions of the Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards include fostering collaboration among professional standards directors (national/state/diocesan), development of consistent national policies and procedures for professional standards offices and personnel, and provision of opportunities for professional development.
The Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards can be contacted on:
02 9669 6218
Or alternatively via e-mail which is the preferred method of communication: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Bates, Director
Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards
GPO Box 368, Canberra
ACT 2601, Australia