Sisters of Mercy Safeguarding Audit Report published

19 Aug 2021

By Contributor

Sisters of Mercy Australia and Papua New Guinea leadership from left, Sr Maureen Sexton RSM, Sr Eveline Crotty RSM (front), Sr Elizabeth Moloney RSM (back), Sr Gaye Lennon RSM and Sr Caroline Ryan RSM. Photo: Supplied.

Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd (ACSL) has recently published safeguarding audit reports of the Marist Sisters Australian Unit (MSAU) and the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG).

The audit reports on Church entities’ progress in implementing the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, a national framework for the protection and safety of children in Catholic organisations.

These are the 20th and 21st safeguarding audit reports of Australian Catholic entities completed by ACSL and demonstrate the commitment of these religious institutions to ensuring a safe Church for everyone.

Brisbane Archbishop and Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Mark Coleridge and former CRA President Sr Monica Cavanagh RSJ during a Press Conference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse in 2018.

ACSL CEO Dr Ursula Stephens, said that safeguarding audits conducted by ACSL form part of the Catholic Church’s ongoing response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“The aim of our audit program is to help Church entities identify any risks in their safeguarding practices and then provide practical recommendations to improve child safety within the organisation.”

“Our audit process involves a detailed review of the policies and documentation of entities as well as interviews with key staff about safeguarding practices within the organisation.”

“We are delighted that the audit of the MSAU found that 99 per cent of the safeguarding requirements relevant to their activities under the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards have already been implemented or substantially progressed and congratulate the Sisters for their work in committing to the Standards.”

Leaders of the Sisters of Mercy incorporated ministries gathered for a forum in 2018. Sourced.

“The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) achieved a 92 per cent rating for their progress in implementing their requirements under the Standards. Again, this is a very pleasing result, given that the Institute provides a diverse range of services, both here in Australia and in overseas missions.”

Dr Stephens said that these strong results are evidence of the commitment of both organisations to embedding child safe practices within their organisations.

“They have done a lot of work towards creating child safe organisations and are committed to continuous improvements in their safeguarding practices.”

“After almost three years of audits, and with findings of the Royal Commissions in Aged Care, and Disability Care, ACSL is reviewing its own audit framework to ensure it is risk-based and proportionate to Church entities’ engagement in ministry and the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people. This is in line with our own commitment to continuous improvement,” Dr Stephens said.

The audit reports for MSAU and ISMAPNG are available on ACSL’s website.