Statement from the Executive Director

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Statement from the Executive Director, Catholic Education Melbourne 
on the final report from the
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its final report on 15 December 2017.

Catholic Education Melbourne reaffirms its resolute commitment to ensure that the care, safety and wellbeing of children remains at the forefront of all we do. This commitment is firmly grounded in Christ's message of love and the infinite potential of every young person as a precious and loved human being in relationship with God.

Catholic schools continue to be proactive in their efforts to strengthen their child safety practices. In partnership with students and families, school leaders and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure every aspect of Ministerial Order 870: Child Safe Standards is reflected across policies, practices and procedures. 

The Royal Commission's final report points to ways that we can ensure our schools and institutions are even safer places for our children. The Report's recommendations to the Federal government are extensive. Volume 13, which specifically focuses on schools, provides us with a mandate to further direct our efforts towards ensuring Catholic schools are safe, inclusive and respectful learning communities where all children and young people can grow and flourish.

We acknowledge the victims and their families who bravely told their stories throughout the inquiry and the failure of the Catholic Church to protect children from harm or to adequately respond to those people raising concerns. 

The survivors' courage must lead to a future where no child experiences maltreatment, abuse or neglect in our schools, churches or the broader community. 

The Royal Commission's report will be assessed in detail by the Truth, Justice and Healing Council in early 2018. Catholic education leaders throughout Australia will work locally with their Bishops and the broader Church to respond to recommendations.

Together, our shared mission is to ensure all children and young people in our Catholic schools learn and thrive in safe communities.

Stephen Elder,
Executive Director,
Catholic Education Melbourne.