Working with Vulnerable People

Working with Vulnerable People

CMOA Policy for Working with Vulnerable People

The Catholic Diocese of the Australian Military Services is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all people in the ADF, our communities and our society. This is inclusive of those who are vulnerable in any aspect within our society.  It is a responsibility and duty to live this principle of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, not only as Catholics in the spirit of Christ’s teachings, but also as citizens in our communities. As members of the Catholic Military Diocese it is incumbent upon us to adhere to professional standards as set by our nation and the Church, as well as an obligation for uniformed personnel, to perform their duties under Defence policies and regulations. 

The policy is intended to provide a framework for a uniform standard of behaviour and compliance (i.e. best practice). Our Diocese will respond to complaints of unprofessional conduct in ways that reflect nationally established standards and protocols and ensure adherence to applicable legislation. We are committed to providing ongoing pastoral support to any person affected by physical, emotional or sexual abuse by church personnel.

The Diocese provides information and support to all Catholic chaplains and paid and volunteer church personnel. We provide training and education, in conjunction with the Australian Defence Force, to develop and maintain the knowledge and skills required to implement safe working environments. In so doing we assist all chaplains with maintaining professional standards, ethical behavior and ensure they operate within the associated legislation, in the conduct of their duties.  

The abuse of vulnerable people, nay any person, tears at the fabric of family and community alike and has far reaching consequences. An incident of abuse can undermine years of dedicated service by a church community and faith in our fellow human beings.


Associated Legislation

Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
Working with Children Act 2005
Crimes Act 1958
Education and Training Reform Act 2006
Equal Opportunity Act 2010
Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth)

National Committee for Professional Standards

Integrity in Ministry. A Document of principles and standards for Catholic Clergy and Religious in Australia. June 2004
Integrity in the service of the Church. A resource document of principles and standards for lay workers in the Catholic Church in Australia. September 2011
Towards Healing. Principles and Procedures in responding to complaints of abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church in Australia. January 2010