Public Information (Part One): Are Schools Keeping their Communities in the Dark?

This is the first part of a two-part series exploring the kinds of information schools must and should make publicly available. Part One focuses on schools’ key legal obligations in this area, which are expanding due to increased focus on transparency. Part Two will focus on the key issues faced by schools when determining what to publish, and proposes some practical solutions.

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Catholic Church Responds to Royal Commission: National Standards and Addressing Celibacy, Conviction and Confession

Almost nine months after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) handed down its findings, the Catholic Church has delivered its formal reply. Of particular interest is the response of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) to the Royal Commission recommendations addressing celibacy, convictions for child sexual abuse and the sacrament of confession.

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Child Safe Frameworks Get More Complicated Post Royal Commission: It’s Time to Take Action Now

Since the release of the Royal Commission’s final report, there was hope for a more unified and perhaps national approach to child safety and child safe standards frameworks. This will most likely occur in the future, however, in the short term, the multitude of frameworks and standards/principles is only becoming more complex.

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The Teacher-Student Relationship: Where Do the Boundaries Lie?

Teachers are expected to uphold high standards of integrity, accountability and professionalism, and to maintain professional boundaries in their interactions with students; breaches of professional boundaries may also contravene the child protection obligations of teachers and schools.

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Preventing Child Abuse in Recreation Activities: Scouts Australia and the Recommendations of the Royal Commission

Scouts Australia, the lead representative organisation for all state and territory Scout Associations, has been subject to two case studies from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission). As a large, national sporting and recreational body, Scouts Australia’s response to the Royal Commission is an interesting template for other organisations who have interstate obligations.

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Final State Responds to the Royal Commission: Victoria Provides Official Response and Hints at Further Reform

With Victoria recently issuing its official response to the Royal Commission’s Final Report, all jurisdictions have now responded to the Final Report recommendations, and schools can expect ongoing injurisdictional consultation as child protection reforms progress.

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Religious Confessions and Child Protection Reporting (Part Two)

While compliance with statutory and Canon Law is not necessarily mutually exclusive, the manner in which religious schools and institutions respond to the Royal Commission will be key to determining their ability to comply with various types of obligations.

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Religious Confessions and Child Protection Reporting (Part One)

Upcoming and proposed changes to child protection laws could bring the mandatory reporting expectations of the clergy in line with those of teachers, medical professionals and others in positions of authority. However, the legal requirements associated with child abuse disclosures made during religious confession still vary between jurisdictions.

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Responses to the Royal Commission: States and Territories Address the Child Safe Standards

One of the key recommendations coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse (the Royal Commission) was the implementation, endorsement and oversight of the 10 suggested Child Safe Standards. Now, six months after the Final Report was delivered, all but one State has outlined their proposed responses to the Royal Commission’s final recommendations, including how they will react to the Standards.

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