St Nicholas is committed to promoting the safety and wellbeing of all children, families and staff in our community
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Our commitment

As an agency of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, St Nicholas is committed to: 

  • Fostering communities of safeguarding, including open and respectful communication about issues of safeguarding with individuals, families and groups 
  • Upholding the dignity and rights of all children and vulnerable adults and seeks to empower them to have their voices heard 
  • Training all relevant personnel in safeguarding knowledge and skills including indicators of abuse, supporting people to disclose abuse and reporting abuse 
  • Working closely with statutory authorities to report alleged abuse and support them to investigate those allegations 
  • Developing our risk assessment and management systems for all diocesan activities and personnel 
  • Developing the breadth and depth of our auditing and compliance regimes 
  • Implementing and maintaining compliance with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations and the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.


The Office of Safeguarding

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and St Nicholas have an abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and vulnerable persons. 

The Office of Safeguarding is an integral part of the Diocese and St Nicholas, and is placed outside the Diocese’s services, programs and parishes, overseeing their safeguarding standards in operation. 

The Office of Safeguarding works with NSW Police, the Office of the Children’s Guardian, the Department of Community and Justice and other statutory authorities and specialist authorities within the Catholic Church in Australia to fulfil its responsibilities and maximise the safeguarding of children and vulnerable persons. 

The Office of Safeguarding supports the Diocese to promote and uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as an institution of the Catholic Church in Australia. 

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Rights of the child

As with all peoples, children have human rights across the full spectrum of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

Because children are recognised as having inherent needs and dependencies, they also have particular rights. 

Both the Commonwealth of Australia and the Vatican (Holy See) ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in November 1990, this is the central international instrument that underpins both Australia’s and the Church’s approach to safeguarding children.

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s child friendly summary of children’s rights state that children have the right to: 

  • Be treated fairly no matter what 
  • Have a say about decisions affecting them 
  • Live and grow up healthy 
  • Have people do what is best for them 
  • Know who they are and where they come from 
  • Believe what they want 
  • Privacy 
  • Find out information and express themselves 
  • Be safe 
  • Be cared for and have a home 
  • Education, play and cultural activities 
  • Help and protection if they need it. 

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