Congratulations to the Diocese of Parramatta – Australia’s first Catholic organisation to achieve external safeguarding accreditation
On Tuesday 7 March, AGPAL Group Chief Executive – Dr Tina Janamian, proudly joined key members of the Diocese of Parramatta and a number of parishioners to celebrate their achievement of accreditation against the QIP Safeguarding Standards for Children and Vulnerable Adults, Pilot Edition.
The Diocese of Parramatta is the first Catholic organisation in Australia to have achieved accreditation against the QIP Safeguarding Accreditation Program as part of the pilot program.
Dr Tina Janamian was delighted to represent QIP Chair, Mr Gary Smith as QIP formally recognised the Diocese of Parramatta Chancery Office for this momentous achievement. Dr Tina Janamian presented Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv with their accreditation certificate and commended the Diocese of Parramatta for being leaders in the safeguarding space.
“By proactively volunteering to partake in the QIP safeguarding accreditation pilot, the Diocese of Parramatta have demonstrated capability as leaders in relation to their commitment and the positive actions they have taken to enhance their safeguarding systems, processes and culture,” she said.
The Diocese’ ongoing commitment to, and prioritisation of safeguarding was further evidenced as Chief of Operations and Finance – Geoff Officer and Bishop Vincent Long shared messages of their ongoing journey and the importance of being open to external evaluation and embracing opportunities to raise the bar higher.
“The process of inviting in an independent external agency in to undertake the assessment was a little nerve-racking… we thought ‘Are we ready? What happens if they find weaknesses?’
External evaluation marked a new beginning for us by being able to benefit from having fresh eyes look at what we’re doing. We have already enhanced our processes to support victims of abuse and united our Safeguarding and HR Teams to guide us as we continue on this improvement journey.”
“The accreditation is a moment in time along the journey. The real test is whether we can keep going and continue to not only live out what we’ve said we’re doing, but also raise the bar along the way. Being accredited is a significant milestone, and I’m very proud and grateful for the way our internal staff embraced the challenges of this external accreditation,” said Geoff.
Bishop Vincent Long echoed many of Geoff’s statements by recognising the importance of engaging an external and independent assessment provider to better safeguard within the Church and the importance of being leaders in this space.
“Our decision to engage QIP comes from my deep belief that the Church should not oversee itself in this critical area.
Our commitment is to zero tolerance of abuse and to being at the forefront of embedding and living out a strong safeguarding culture. We continue to work with our staff and parishes to embed an enhanced safeguarding culture, increasing ability and training to empower safeguarding leaders.
“It is of great significance to receive this QIP Accreditation – symbolising a day of celebration and renewed commitment to safeguarding – the culture, wellbeing and life flourishing for all people. We are proud to be a leading light for others in this space.”
The QIP Team, on behalf of the AGPAL Group of Companies further congratulates the Diocese of Parramatta Chancery Office on this outstanding achievement. As pilot program participants, the Diocese has played a special and very significant role in shaping what will be the final QIP safeguarding accreditation program. They have tested, provided feedback and enhanced the QIP safeguarding accreditation program to allow other Australian institutions, entities and organisations to be assessed against a framework that provides assurance of the strength and validity of their safeguarding commitments and that they are being held accountable.
To read more about the Diocese of Parramatta’s achievement, their Acknowledgement of survivors and commitment to child protection click here.