Our Commitment

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton, as the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, is committed to the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable persons. We are committed to creating a safe environment for children and vulnerable persons within our Cathedral and its ministries.

We unhesitatingly endorse and adopt the Safeguarding Commitment Statement made by the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, a copy of which can be found in the narthex, or entrance, to the Cathedral itself.

The 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 particular 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 states that children have the right to:

  1. be treated fairly no matter what
  2. have a say about decisions affecting them
  3. live and grow up healthy
  4. have people do what is best for them
  5. know who they are and where they come from
  6. believe what they want
  7. privacy
  8. find out information and express themselves
  9. be safe
  10. be cared for and have a home
  11. education, play and cultural activities
  12. help and protection if they need it.

The Office of Safeguarding

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has an abiding commitment to promoting the safety, welfare and well being of children and vulnerable adults — particularly those who participate in the life of the Diocese as part of our faith communities in parishes, in our diocesan systemic schools, early education centres and out-of-school hours care service, as part of our welfare and community services through CatholicCare and other diocesan ministries. 

The Office of Director of Safeguarding has been established by decree, issued by the Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle.

The Office of Safeguarding is an integral part of the Diocese, reporting directly to the Bishop’s Office. The Office of Safeguarding is placed outside the Diocese’s services, programmes 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 adults.

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

For more information on the Office of Safeguarding, and to access a range of safeguarding material, visit the Office of Safeguarding website.