Culture of Safety
The Culture of Safety Unit works with people throughout the Church – whether in congregations, presbyteries or Synod – to make sure our Synod is a safe place for all.
Our special concern is to develop a culture and systems to encourage behaviour that helps church people – both ordained and lay – to consider the ethics and responsibilities required of them in their position. We also ensure the Church has systems in place to help people recover if they have been harmed by other people’s unethical or unsafe behaviour. Taken altogether, this is called Culture of Safety.
(Culture of Safety is not about trip hazards, fire extinguishers and safe electrical connections. For that important work, you need to visit Occupational Health and Safety.
This policy (and its requirements) is our most visible piece of work and includes Working with Children Check (Vic), Working with Children and Vulnerable People Registration (Tas) and Safe Church Training. Click here for more information.
Code of Ethics and Ministry Practice
Our Code of Ethics document applies to all ministers and ministry agents (in placement and retired). All ministers in active ministry are required to attend Code of Ethics training twice a year. Details for 2020 training sessions are available here.
Requirements for retired ministers can be found here.
If you are concerned that a minister or other ministry agent has breached the Code of Ethics, contact Sue Clarkson, our Ethical Standards Manager (details below).
This is required of all ministers in active ministry. For more information, click here.
A list of supervisors available to ministers requiring supervision is available by contacting our executive assistant Debra Penaluna at Debra.Penaluna@victas.uca.org.au
This is a legal requirement in Victoria only. For more information, click here.
If you are aware of an incident of Reportable Conduct, report it using this form or contact Sue Clarkson, our Ethical Standards Manager (details below).
Culture of Safety Unit staff
We are part of the General Secretary’s office, under the oversight of Associate General Secretary Isabel Thomas Dobson.
Sue Clarkson, Ethical Standards Manager
Sue is a minister of the Word who has a wide range of church experience. She is responsible for:
- Advice about breaches of the Code of Ethics
- Contact person for breaches of a sexual nature
- Convenor of Advisers for the Synod Sexual Misconduct Complaints Committee
- Assisting the Church to adopt outcomes from the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse
- Contact person for Direct Personal Responses as part of the National Redress Scheme
- Support of Reportable Conduct issues.
Sue can be contacted by phone 03 9251 5912, mobile 0437 072 231, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Hollis, Resourcing Minister
Sharon is a Minister of the Word with and skills in adult education considerable knowledge of the Uniting Church structures and processes. She is responsible for:
- Code of Ethics training and enquiries
- Ministry supervision directory, standards and encouragement
- Review, updating and developing Safe Church Training.
Sharon can be contacted by phone 03 9251 5270 or email email@example.com
Josh Tuhipa-Turner, Safe Church Coordinator
Josh is a social worker who has worked in child protection, restorative justice with young offenders and training.
Josh is responsible for:
- Safe Church Training for implementation of safe church policies
- Advice about the protection of children and vulnerable adults
- Implementation and support of the Synod’s Person of Concern policy.
- Advice about implementing safe church policies including Keeping Children Safe and Working with Children/Vulnerable People Check/Registration
Josh can be contacted Tuesday-Thursday on 03 9251 5288 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pam Kretzschmar, Safe Church Administration Officer
Pam is responsible for:
- Supporting the Synod’s Working with Children Check database and assisting congregations with this
- Collecting and compiling data to assist with audit and compliance requirements
- Providing general administration support.
Pam can be contacted on 03 9251 5245 or by email at email@example.com
Culture of Safety Steering Group
Our Steering Group helps us develop and furthers the culture of safety in members’ own workplaces. It includes colleagues from the Bethel Pastoral Centre, congregational ministry, equipping Leadership for Mission, People and Culture, Occupational Health and Safety, and the Synod Sexual Misconduct Complaints Committee.
Bethel Pastoral Centre
The BPC works at arm’s length from the Synod and provides a gateway of healing for individuals and groups who have experienced abuse or a misuse of power within the Church. Bethel can be contacted on 03 9859 8700 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Culture of Safety Unit is located at 130 Little Collins St, Melbourne.
For general enquiries, email us at email@example.com
To learn more about Keeping Children Safe, go to https://ucavictas.org.au/keepingchildrensafe
For Working With Children/Vulnerable People Checks, visit firstname.lastname@example.org