Addressing liability for institutional child abuse: NSW leads the way in state and territory responses to the Royal Commission

Recently, the Civil Liability Amendment (Institutional Child Abuse) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was introduced into the New South Wales Parliament by Shadow Attorney-General, Paul Lynch. It is a groundbreaking step by NSW to update their liability for institutional child abuse before the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse (the Royal […]

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Student duty of care obligations: Where does a teacher’s duty end?

Recently in the news was the case of a child found unresponsive in their mother’s car in Victoria, after the mother assumed she had dropped the child off at their primary school.  In light of this incident, it seems right for teachers to question where their duty of care obligations to their students end. And with schools […]

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Review of mandatory reporting laws in NSW prompts wider discussion

A new discussion paper released by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) in NSW, Shaping a better child protection system (the Discussion Paper) is a reminder to schools about the importance of mandatory reporting regarding child safety incidents. Background to the Discussion Paper The Discussion Paper was released by the NSW Government on 20 October […]

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Falling tree branch injures two in Victoria: a reminder to schools about Tree Management

A falling tree branch has injured two people on the grounds of a school at Bendigo North, in central Victoria when the branch came down on the school’s basketball court. It serves as a timely reminder for schools of the importance of an effective tree management policy, including regular inspections and recommendations from an accredited arborist. Trees […]

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Education and Care Services National Law changes commence

On 1 October 2017, changes to the Education and Care Services National Law (National Law) and Regulations (National Regulations) came into effect. The amendments were made after federal and state and territory Education Ministers agreed to changes to the National Quality Standard (NQS) at the last Council of Australian Governments (COAG). These changes are intended to strengthen […]

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Ominous asthma warning: Growing complacency leading to unnecessary deaths

Alarming new research suggests that, even though Australia has been successful in curbing the rate of asthma deaths and hospitalisations, we are growing increasingly complacent about the risks posed by asthma. A study was conducted by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research (Study) surveying almost 2,700 people with asthma. It found that 39% of people only used […]

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New program for child sexual abuse evidence in NSW Courts

A pilot program for child sexual abuse victim evidence has been rolled out in Newcastle and Sydney Downing Centre courts.  The trial reached its halfway point this month with the delivery of a UNSW report Evaluation of the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot (the Evaluative Report). The program is the first of its kind in Australia […]

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Cultural shock: how schools can help overseas students to speak up and adapt to education in Australia

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary, Frances Adamson, has encouraged Chinese students at Australian universities to speak up if they hear something they disagree with, if they wish to gain an “authentic Australian education”.  Ms Adamson said in a speech she delivered to the Confucius Institute annual lecture at the University of Adelaide, that “silencing […]

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New laws on bullying: Schools under increased pressure to do more

Even if you subscribe to the controversial school of thought that bullying is an ‘inevitable’ interaction, that it is ‘part of growing up’ and ‘builds character’, it is uncontested that being bullied, particularly at a young age, can have very serious consequences for a child’s wellbeing, development and overall mental health. It is hence little […]

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Teacher receives six-figure payout for being bullied at school

It’s not only students in the school yard being caught bullying at school. Bullying also affects school staff.  In recent news, a NSW primary school teacher has received a six-figure settlement after claiming she attempted suicide as a result of being bullied by her principal and isolated by her colleagues for more than a year.  Although […]

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