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Copyright & Disclaimer

The contents of this site are subject to copyright. No part of this site may be reproduced in any or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, except educational, without the written permission of the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.
The information contained in this site is provided in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate and abiding by copyright restrictions. Where any text, illustrations, photos, audio, video or other material submitted by You for publishing to any websites hosted by the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta:

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If you believe that any information contained in or linked to this web site is incorrect or inaccurate, please contact us.

Policies & Statements

DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA PRIVACY POLICY

Introduction

The Diocese of Parramatta (“Diocese”) as part of the Roman Catholic Church, conducts a range of activities in order to fulfil its mission of proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Those activities include parishes, schools and welfare agencies. In conducting those activities the Diocese collects personal information. The information is collected to enable the Diocese to minister to the faithful and to fulfil its canonical and civil law obligations under the Code of Canon Law and under the Civil Law (both State and Commonwealth).

The Diocese is bound by the 2001 amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (“Act”), which include the National Privacy Principles. The Diocese respects the rights of individuals to keep their personal information private and to ensure that it is accurate.

This policy describes ways in which the Diocese gathers, stores, disseminates and disposes of personal information.

Application

This policy applies to the Diocese and to all of the agencies and organisations, which are part of that juridical person except those having their own privacy policies, which have been approved by the Trustees of the Diocese.

Other separate juridical persons which are subject to the authority of the Bishop of Parramatta and which are bound by the Act and the National Privacy Principles are requested to draft privacy policies consistent with the civil law and their own particular circumstances and to seek the advice of the Bishop in relation to them prior to adoption.

This policy applies to:

  • Parishioners;
  • Students in Diocesan schools and their parents or guardians;
  • Volunteers, contractors and prospective employees of the Diocese;
  • Members of the general public;
  • Any other parties to whom the Act applies.

This policy and the provisions of the Act do not apply to records or information held or collected on behalf of or relating to existing or former employees of the Diocese. This policy does not apply to personal information collected prior to 21 December 2001.

This policy applies where personal information is collected and/or used by Diocese.

“Personal information” means information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether or not recorded in material form, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can be reasonably ascertained, from the information or opinion.

In addition to personal information, the Act also regulates the collection of sensitive information, including personal information about racial or ethnic origin, religion, criminal record, sexuality, and union activities. Sensitive information is also health information about an individual.

Purpose of Collection of Personal Information

The Diocese collects personal information for many purposes, including:

  • To minister to the faithful and to provide pastoral care;
  • To fulfil educational needs and expectations in Diocesan schools;
  • To provide welfare and support;
  • Fundraising activities;
  • To administer sacraments;
  • To assess the employment applications of prospective employees;
  • Other purposes that may arise from time to time.

Collection of Personal Information

The Diocese collects personal information in various ways, including:

  • You providing personal information about yourself and/or your child to the Diocese, a parish, school, or Diocesan welfare agency;
  • You providing the Diocese with your personal information and various documentation relating to possible employment with the Diocese;
  • Other methods that may arise from time to time.

The Diocese will endeavour to collect your personal information directly from you. Where this is not possible, your consent will be sought prior to collecting your personal information from a third party. If your consent cannot be obtained, the Diocese will have regard to the requirements and exemptions of the Act before making such a collection.

In the case of children, personal information will ordinarily be collected from their parents or guardians, unless specific and/or unusual circumstances require that the collection be made directly from the relevant child.

For prospective employees, the Diocese may collect personal information by speaking with referees. The Diocese may contact applicants’ previous employers who have not been nominated as referees. Should this be the case, applicants will be advised prior to such contact being made.

Information Held

The personal or sensitive information that the Diocese holds about you may include the following:

  • Personal contact details;
  • Sacramental records;
  • Information relating to your application for employment;
  • Any health information required by law;
  • Any personal information about you that will enable the Diocese to satisfy its duty of care to other individuals with whom you may come into contact in the course of your involvement with the Diocese;
  • Information relating to pastoral care needs;
  • Information relating to a child’s enrolment at a Diocesan school;
  • Any other information about you that may be relevant to the contact that you have with the Diocese

How Your Personal Information is Used and Disclosed

Your personal information will be used for the purpose for which it was collected, or for a related secondary purpose. If your personal information is quite sensitive, then it will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected or for a directly related secondary purpose. Your personal information may also be used for another purpose where:

  • We have your consent
  • You would reasonably expect that to occur;
  • The Diocese is legally required to do so.

Your personal information will generally be used to attend to any pastoral care, ministry, educational or welfare needs that you may have. If you are a prospective employee, your personal information will be used to assess your suitability for the position for which you have applied. Your personal information may also be used to assess your suitability for a position for which you have not applied but to which the Diocese believes you may be suited. Should this be the case, the Diocese will seek your consent before considering you for such a position.

Other related secondary purposes are:

  • To minister to the faithful and to provide pastoral care;
  • To fulfil educational needs and expectations in Diocesan schools;
  • To provide welfare and support;
  • For fundraising activities;
  • To administer sacraments;
  • To assess the employment applications of prospective employees;
  • For other purposes that may arise from time to time.

The Diocese may distribute aggregated statistical information to the Vatican and the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference for reporting purposes. In most cases, this information will not contain any features that will identify relevant individuals.

The Diocese is a large entity with many agencies and organizations. Information may be shared over the whole range of Diocesan bodies.

In some limited circumstances, contractors to the Diocese may have access to your personal information. In most cases, confidentiality agreements are in place with these contractors so that personal information.

Website

The Diocese has a website located at www.parra.catholic.org.au

This website contains information about Catholic parishes and clergy, mass times, pastoral care, current issues, other Catholic websites, prayer, educational and other services, the Bishop, administrative matters, and other topics.

The Diocese does not record the personal information of visitors to the website.

Storage of Information

The Diocese takes reasonable steps to protect and secure personal information from unauthorised access, loss, misuse, disclosure or alteration. These steps include restricted access to Diocesan offices and other areas where personal information is stored, and in computer files that can be accessed only be authorised individuals using login names and secret passwords. All parishes, schools, and welfare agencies of the Diocese are required to do the same.

The Diocese will store personal information for such a period of time as the Diocese deems necessary.

Disclosure of Personal Information

Disclosure of your personal information will only be made, with your consent, to individuals or companies outside of the Diocese.

In some limited circumstances, contractors to the Diocese may have access to your personal information. In most cases, confidentiality agreements are in place with these contractors, so that personal information that they may come into contact with in the course of their work with the Diocese is protected.

Accessing Your Information

You may request access to personal information that is held about you. Access to your personal information must be provided to you, except in specific circumstances as identified by the Act. The Diocese is entitled to impose a reasonable charge on you for providing you with the personal information, particularly where photocopying is necessary.

To access your personal information, you must make a written request to the Parish Priest, Principal, or the Manager of the relevant agency. Should you be uncertain of contact details, please contact the Vicar General at the Diocesan Chancery, telephone 9683 6277, address Level 2, 12 Victoria Road, Parramatta NSW 2150

Accuracy of Information

The Diocese will take all reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of your personal information. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that your personal information is kept up to date. If you wish to change or modify your personal information, you should make a written request to the Parish Priest, Principal, or Manager of the relevant agency. Your written request should set out the changes that you wish to make.
Consequences of Not Providing Personal Information

Subject to certain exceptions, the Diocese cannot collect your personal or sensitive information without your consent.

If you withhold your consent, however, the Diocese may be limited in its ability to:

  • Attend to your welfare needs;
  • Attend to your child’s educational needs;
  • Attend to any pastoral care or other ministry needs that you may have;
  • Offer you employment;
  • Deal with any inquiries, difficulties or concerns that you may have

Questions and Complaints

If you have any queries about this policy or wish to make a complaint about the manner in which the Diocese has handled your personal information, in the first instance please contact the relevant Parish Priest, Principal or the Manager of the relevant agency.

If the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may then wish to make a complaint to the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner, who is responsible for the enforcement of the Act.
You may contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s as follows:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner
Telephone: 1300 363 992
GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 1042
Facsimile: 02 9284 9666
Email: privacy@privacy.gov.au

To download OH&S Policy, click here.
The Church’s policies and procedures on how to respond to complaints of sexual or physical abuse by a Church person are set out in detail in Towards Healing, issued by Australia’s Catholic Bishops and Leaders of Religious Institutes in 1996.
It is the Church’s policy that complaints are to be received by a Contact Person specially appointed and trained for the task. A person wishing to make a complaint can arrange to meet a Contact Person by dialing the contact line: 1300 36 99 77.

For more information about what the Australian Catholic Church has done and is doing for safeguarding children and vulnerable persons, click here.

To download a copy of Towards Healing, click here.

To download Child Protection Policy, click here.

Forms and Resources

Honours & Awards | Overview – click to download.
Overview of Papal, Diocesan and Civil Honours & Awards

Honours & Awards | Nomination form – click to download.
Nomination form for Papal, Diocesan and Civil Honours & Awards

Honours & Awards | Overview & nomination form – click to download.
Combined Overview/Nomination form for Papal, Diocesan and Civil Honours & Awards

Clergy Leave Form – click to download.
Statement by Church Authority – click to download.

Statement by Individual – click to download.

Integrity in the Service of the Church 2011 – click to download.

Integrity in Ministry – click to download.

The Whitlam Report – click to download.

Child Protection Policy – click to download.

The Whitlam Report – click to download.

THE WHITLAM REPORT

To contact the Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards please click here.

For any media enquiries please contact Diocese of Parramatta communication services.

To read the Whitlam Report, click here.

17/1/2013
Report by the Hon Antony Whitlam QC released

The Catholic Bishops of Armidale and Parramatta have made available the report from former Federal Court judge, the Hon Antony Whitlam QC, who was commissioned by the dioceses to conduct an independent inquiry into processes related to the management of a former priest following allegations he had committed acts of child sexual abuse.

The Bishop of Armidale, Most Rev Michael Kennedy, and the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, accept the findings of the report.

Mr Whitlam’s report comments on deficient record-keeping, lack of or ineffective assessments and inefficient inquiries. However, he also comments that had current procedures for reporting child abuse by the Catholic Church and protocols regarding the transfer of priests been in force, the former priest “F” would have been “stopped in his tracks”.

In July last year, the Bishops commissioned Mr Whitlam to conduct the inquiry and both dioceses provided him with full access to diocesan records and he was encouraged to interview anyone he deemed relevant to the inquiry. As soon as the Bishops received Mr Whitlam’s report, a full copy was given to the NSW police.

Following examination by the police of the report, it is now available Download Report here

A summary of the report is available here here 

Police requested certain sections and the names of some victims and their families who participated in the inquiry not be identified in the report so their privacy is protected.

The Bishops sincerely thank those who participated in the inquiry along with Mr Whitlam for bringing his expertise and judgment to very complex matters.

All sexual abuse is a crime and is to be condemned. The Bishops offer their profound apologies to victims of child sexual abuse and will continue to work to bring them justice and healing.

To read Bishop Anthony’s pastoral message to the faithful of the Diocese of Parramatta click here here

The Whitlam Report will be thoroughly and carefully examined by both dioceses in order to determine if and how current processes and protocols can be improved.

In responding to complaints, the Bishops will continue to work closely with the police and other authorities in their efforts to not only deal with sexual abuse but to treat all victims and their families with respect and compassion.

The Diocese of Parramatta strives to promote the safety and protection of children and other vulnerable persons in its care.

To access the diocesan Child Protection Policy click here

Catholic Education Parramatta Child Protection Information Line for current parents and former students: 1300 661 015. For more information click here

Counselling is available to victims and their families from the special service that has been established by CatholicCare Parramatta: 02 9933 0233.

To access the Diocese of Parramatta Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards, please contact: safeguarding.org.au

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

On 11 January 2013, the Governor-General appointed a six-member Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Royal Commission will inquire into how institutions with a responsibility for children have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse and related matters.

It will investigate where systems have failed to protect children, and make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions.

The Commissioners can look at any private, public or non-government organisation that is, or was in the past, involved with children, including government agencies, schools, sporting clubs, orphanages, foster care, and religious organisations.

For news and information about the Royal Commission, including submissions, hearings and support services click here

Contact the Royal Commission: 1800 099 340.

Branding

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The Diocese of Parramatta has a new brandmark.

For more information on how this will affect you, please download the Brand Identity Guidelines.
If you have any questions, please contact Communications on 02 8838 3400 or comms@parra.catholic.org.au

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