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Safe as Churches? Conference

Safe as Churches? Conference

An initiative of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), Safe as Churches? are biennial events that provide excellent professional development opportunities for those working in Professional Standards and Child Safety in Australian churches.

Australian churches are responding to the challenge of providing safe church environments in which to carry out ministry programs. This challenge is reflected not only in preventing and responding to claims and cases of sexual misconduct in our faith communities, but also in the lack of knowledge at a local and congregational level as to how we are to discharge our duty of care, and about the dynamics of power in leadership relationships.

In response to this challenge many Christian denominations have established strategies aimed at accountability and transparency in relationships and programs. Significant resources have been put into the establishment of professional standards groups / boards to handle complaints of abuse, and implementation of programs to train employees and volunteer leaders in best practice for creating safer churches. Another pro-active response, initiated by the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) in 2004, has been to hold inter-denominational consultations (conferences) under the banner of ‘Safe as Churches?’ .

The 'Safe as Churches?' consultations and conferences have been engaging the highly sensitive issues of sexual abuse and misconduct that in the past have often been concealed or ignored. Something important has happened when we are ready to share our stories on this most painful of subjects, and to ask for help from the family of Churches. Openness between Churches is an important step in allowing God to heal us and our communities and make us whole.

The third Safe as Churches? Consultation was held from the 1st to the 3rd of March 2007.

 

The second Safe as Churches? Consultation was held from the 8th to the 10th of September 2005.

The emphasis of this Consultation was not on institutions, risk management, or finances. The focus was on what happens to people – those who have been abused, those who have been accused of abuse, and those who have admitted to being abusers. How have we responded? How can we respond more effectively to facilitate justice and healing for the abused, and to provide support and accountability for   abusers? *

* From the forward to the Consultation Summary

 

An initiative of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), the Safer Churches conferences are biennial events that provide excellent professional development opportunities for those working in Professional Standards and Child Safety in Australian churches.

Australian churches are responding to the challenge of providing safe church environments in which to carry out ministry programs. This challenge is reflected not only in preventing and responding to claims and cases of sexual misconduct in our faith communities, but also in the lack of knowledge at a local and congregational level as to how we are to discharge our duty of care, and about the dynamics of power in leadership relationships.

In response to this challenge many Christian denominations have established strategies aimed at accountability and transparency in relationships and programs. Significant resources have been put into the establishment of professional standards groups / boards to handle complaints of abuse, and implementation of programs to train employees and volunteer leaders in best practice for creating safer churches. Another pro-active response, initiated by the women and men of the NCCA Gender Commission in 2004, has been to hold inter-denominational consultations (conferences) under the banner of ‘Safer Churches’ .

The 'Safer Churches?' consultations and conferences have been engaging the highly sensitive issues of sexual abuse and misconduct that in the past have often been concealed or ignored.  Openness between Churches and being willing to ask for help from the family of Churches, is an important step in allowing God to heal us and our communities and work towards reconciliation, wellbeing and wholenes

2019 Conference

The 9th biennial Safer Churches Conference

17 and 18 September 2019 at the Mecure Hotel Brisbane. 

This is the first conference held by the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) Safe Church Program since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommendations were released in December 2017.

The theme for the conference, "Transforming Cultures: Listening, Reflecting, Acting" will provide the framework across the two-day event.

Previous Conferences

 

The 9th biennial Safer Churches Conference

Transforming Cultures

Listening, Reflecting, Acting

17 and 18 September 2019 at the Mecure Hotel Brisbane. 

The theme for the conference was "Transforming Cultures: Listening, Reflecting, Acting" and provided the framework across the two-day event.

Master of ceremonies for the conference was Sam Burnett, Prolegis Lawyers. The conference focused on ensuring Australian churches are informed by key leaders, who are experts in this area in Australia.

The conference keynote presentations, panel discussions and electives explored a range of themes. The Panel discussions were facilitated by Ellen Fanning, an award winning ABC journalist.

Keynotes:

  • Child-Safe Churches: A transformative culture
    Prof Daryl Higgins, Australian Catholic University, Institute of Child Protection Studies
  • Listening to the voices of children
    Prof Tim Moore, University of South Australia, Australian Centre for Child Protection
  • Understanding the Impact of Institutional Betrayal and Spiritual Abuse on Survivors
    Julie Blyth, Clinical Consultant, Survivors and Mates Support Network (SAMSN) and
    Craig Hughes-Cashmore, Chief Executive Officer SAMSN
  • Transforming Cultures: Trauma Informed Practice
    Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, President, Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma
  • National Office for Child Safety
    Kathryn Mandla, Head National Office for Child Safety

Panels:

  • Panel 1: Child-Safe Churches: A transformative culture and Listening to the voices of children
    Panel members: Prof Daryl Higgins and Prof Tim Moore, Lynette Drew and Prof Peter Sherlock.
  • Panel 2: Understanding the Impact of Institutional Betrayal and Spiritual Abuse on Survivors and Trauma Informed Practice
    Panel members: Julie Blyth, Craig Hughes-Cashmore, Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, Rev Catherine Wynn Jones, Dr Graham Barker, Scott Holmes and Caroline Carroll OAM
  • Panel 3: What is the Church’s imperative/mandate to safeguard vulnerable people, particularly the aging and those with disabilities?
    Panel members: Rev Andy Calder, Janette Phelan, Ilsa Hampton, Dr Jeffrey Chan and Lucy Davis

 

PRESENTATIONS

     
Bp Philip Huggins opening meditations     1.Liz Stone opening
  pdf Bishop Philip Huggins - Opening reflection (330 KB)     pdf Elizabeth Stone, Interim General Secretary (902 KB)   
 1.P.Daryl Higgins Child safe churches    1.Tim Moore listening to
  pdf Prof Daryl Higgins - Child Safe Churches (2.32 MB)     pdf Prof Tim Moore - Listening to the voices of children (3.63 MB)  
2. Nat. Safety Officer   1.samsn
pdf The National Office for Child Safety - Kathryn Mandla (1.35 MB)     pdf Julie Blyth and Craig Hughes Cashmore - Understanding ...survivors (1.98 MB)
 

 

WORKSHOPS

     
1.grooming awareness    Marc Chanjpg
  pdf Grooming Awareness (2.32 MB)     pdf Working with an Intercultural Church - Rev Dr Marc Chan (1.04 MB)
     
J cox Ldrewjpg   Scott Holmesjpg
  pdf Transforming Church cultures - John Cox, Lynette Drew (1.74 MB)     pdf Promoting equality, preventing violence - Scott Holmes (1.25 MB)
  Tools for Listening - A Safe Church Resource, UCA    

 

VIDEOS

Day 2 - The panel on ageing and disability had a number of great videos, in MP4 format, that you can download below:

video Respect Older People Panel video 1 (12.54 MB)

video People with Disability in the Community Panel Video 2 (29.41 MB)

video See Me Know Me Panel Video 3 (19.54 MB)

Day 2 - Worship, Bishop Philip Huggins

video Stop for Peace (93.79 MB)

PHOTO GALLERY

DAY ONE

1.1   1.2 1.3  1.4
 1.5  1.6  1.6 1.8
 1.9  1.10  1.11 1.12
1.13 1.16 1.17 1.18
1.19 1.20 1.14 1.15

DAY TWO

2.1  2.2  2.3  2.4
 2.4  2.6  2.7 2.8
 2.13.1  2.15  2.16.1  2.17
 2.9  2.10  2.11 2.12

 

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Following is the Consultation Summary from the first Safe as Churches? Consultation
4 - 6 March 2004

(Documents on this page require AcrobatReader to open. Upload AcrobatReader from Adobe.)

Safe as Churches? I Consultation Summary - full document (405kb)

11 - 13 June, 2009
Adelaide West Uniting Church, Adelaide, South Australia

Building on the past 3 ‘Safe as Churches?' Consultations, the members of the Safe Church Project Working Group organised the Safe as Churches? IV Conference 2009 in Adelaide, South Australia.

An extensive program was developed, including opportunities for theological reflection, professional development and nourishment for the work to be done in creating safer churches.

Heads of Churches, Professional Standards Directors and other Practitioners from churches across Australia and New Zealand participated in the conference.

Attached are the papers given at the Conference plenaries:

Conference Details

Being Safer Churches

16th – 17th May 2017 - Jasper Hotel, Melbourne

Breaking ground for safer churches and stronger communities. The upcoming “Safe as Churches?” Conference is the 8th biennial conference bringing together various leaders and experts to network and develop effective ways to lead our churches in best practices for safeguarding our children, youth and vulnerable adults.

All presentations for which permission was given by the speaker for public dissemination can be found below.

Day 1:

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Update

Helen Blake & Nicky Lock: Forgiveness and Reconciliation for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Tim Dyer: Pastoral Care for Parishes

Carl Collins: Different types of offenders

Dale Tolliday: "Dealing with known offenders"

Day 2:

Our Watch - Mary Barry

Elder Abuse Prevention - Gerard Mansour (Commissioner for Senior Victorians)

eSafety.gov.au Presentation - Please note, these presentation slides are unavailable, visit www.esafety.gov.au to access resources and statistics that were mentioned in this presentation.

Workshops:

Helen Blake & Nicky Lock: Pastoral Care for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Tim Dyer & Gill Fletcher: Pastoral Care / Recovery for Parishes

Richard Elms: Safer Interviewing - Double Listening

Please note the Our Watch and Carl Collins Workshop presentations are unavailable for download.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details and information from the conference.

 

Conference Details

Being Safer Churches

16th – 17th May 2017 - Jasper Hotel, Melbourne

Breaking ground for safer churches and stronger communities. The upcoming “Safe as Churches?” Conference is the 8th biennial conference bringing together various leaders and experts to network and develop effective ways to lead our churches in best practices for safeguarding our children, youth and vulnerable adults.

 All presentations for which the speaker has giving permission for public dissemination can be found below.

Day 1:

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Update

Helen Blake & Nicky Lock: Forgiveness and Reconciliation for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Tim Dyer: Pastoral Care for Parishes

Carl Collins: Different types of offenders

Dale Tolliday: "Dealing with known offenders"

Day 2:

Our Watch - Mary Barry

Elder Abuse Prevention - Gerard Mansour (Commissioner for Senior Victorians)

eSafety.gov.au Presentation - Please note, these presentation slides are unavailable, visit www.esafety.gov.au to access resources and statistics that were mentioned in this presentation.

Workshops:

Helen Blake & Nicky Lock: Pastoral Care for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Tim Dyer & Gill Fletcher: Pastoral Care / Recovery for Parishes

Richard Elms: Safer Interviewing - Double Listening

Please note the Our Watch and Carl Collins Workshop presentations are unavailable for download.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details and information from the conference.