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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 conduct, ethics and responsibilities required of them.

We provide resources for reflection on ethical ministry and supervision and resources for congregations to assist them – and the whole Church – to be a safer place for all people.

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.

Keeping children safe

This suite of resources assists congregations and Church councils to implement the Child Safe Policy (and its requirements). Child Safety is a key component of who we are as a Church – as well as a legal requirement of all organisations who engage with children and young people. Click here for more information on policies, processes and resources to assist Church councils to care for children by implementing the Child Safe Policy.

Code of ethics and ministry practice

The Assembly Code of Ethics and Ministry Practice applies to all ministers, including retired ministers who are involved in any active ministry, candidates, pastors, chaplains and lay people engaged in ministry. All of these ministry agents are required to attend two Ethical Ministry Refreshers each year. Contact your presbytery for dates for the next Ethical Ministry Refresher in your area or click 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, please contact your presbytery minister or Sue Clarkson, our Ethical Standards Manager (details below).

Ministry supervision

This is required of all ministers in active ministry. For more information, click here. A list of UCA supervisors to ministers is available by contacting Debra Penaluna or visiting the Australasian Association of Supervision.

Reportable conduct

This is a legal requirement in Victoria and NSW. For more information, click here.

If you are aware of an incident of reportable conduct, please fill out this form or contact Sue Clarkson, our Ethical Standards Manager (details below).

Our staff

The Culture of Safety Unit is 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. Sue’s role includes:

  • providing advice about breaches of the Code of Ethics.
  • being the contact person for breaches of a sexual nature.
  • being the Convenor of Advisers for the Synod Sexual Misconduct Complaints Committee.
  • overseeing Code of Ethics training and enquiries.
  • overseeing ministry supervision directory, standards and encouragement.
  • being the contact person for Direct Personal Responses as part of the National Redress Scheme.
  • being the support for Reportable Conduct issues.

Sue can be contacted by phone 03 9116 1433, mobile 0437 072 231, or email.

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 9116 1438 or by email.

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 9116 1436 or by email.

Bethel Pastoral Centre

The Bethel Centre offers counselling, care and support for individuals, families and congregations with or connected to the Uniting Church – Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. Bethel offers support for healing of hurt experienced through participation in Church life and advocates for reconciliation wherever possible. For more information, visit the website or call 03 9859 8700 or email Bethel.

Contacts

The Culture of Safety Unit is located at Level 2, Wesley Place, 130 Lonsdale St, Melbourne.
For general enquiries, email us here.
To learn more about Keeping Children Safe, click here.
For Working With Children/Vulnerable People Checks, click here.

 

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