How to make a complaint

The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne takes all complaints of misconduct very seriously. This information is intended to help you if you wish to make a complaint, have been or are being abused or harassed by clergy or Church officers, including Regional Bishops, in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

If you wish to make a complaint about the Archbishop of Melbourne, please refer to Episcopal Standards.

Kooyoora Ltd has been appointed by the Melbourne Diocese to respond to all complaints of misconduct including sexual, physical, spiritual or emotional abuse by clergy or Church officers. Kooyoora Ltd is an independent Professional Standards company which undertakes Professional Standards work for non for profit charitable entities. You can find out more about Kooyoora’s role here.

The first step in making a complaint is to call the recorded information line at any time on: 1800 135 246

All information provided to this service is strictly confidential. The person taking a message on this number will ask you to give a name and your phone number or address so that Kooyoora can contact you as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can write to Kooyoora.

By email to: contact@kooyoora.org.au

or by mail to:
Director of Professional Standards
Kooyoora Ltd
PO Box 329
Canterbury VIC 3126
Mark your envelope Confidential

The aim is to resolve complaints as quickly as possible

The complaint process

There are different ways of dealing with complaints – informally, formally or referring the matter to another Church professional standards body or to a child protection authority or to the Police.

The website of the Kooyoora Office of Professional Standards give details of the process:

If the Committee believes that the conduct or the subject of the complaint, if established, would call into question the fitness for ministry of the Church worker, it may refer the matter to the Professional Standards Board for adjudication. The Board must determine whether the complaint is proven and, if so, may make recommendations to the Church authority as to what action should be taken against the Church worker.

The Church authority must give effect to recommendations of the Board and Review Board on a complaint or authorised modifications of the same.

Duties to report

Any adult who forms a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed by an adult against a child under 16 has an obligation to report that information to Police. Failure to disclose the information to Police is a criminal offence: Crimes Act 1958, s327.

Clergy and other Church workers have further duties to report under State and Church legislation:

Links

State of Victoria

Duty of every Victorian adult to report child sexual abuse

Duty of a person in religious ministry to report

Duty of responsible organisational person to act to protect

Duty of the holder of a WWC to report any change in circumstances

Duty of Head of Entity to report conduct to the Commission for Children and Young People

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

Duty of prescribed Church worker to report to Professional Standards

Duty of every Church worker to report certain criminal charges made against them

Clearances

Clergy

A person in Holy Orders or an authorized lay minister must obtain a clearance for ministry certificate issued by the Kooyoora Office of Professional Standards before engaging in ministry in the diocese: s57.

A clearance for ministry includes a provisional clearance,  issued pending determination of a complaint, where the Board is satisfied that pending the final determination—

  • the applicant may otherwise lawfully engage in the ministry; and
  • there is no unacceptable risk of harm to any person if a provisional clearance is granted:  s80.

The documents on this page represent the body of legislation, protocols and codes which govern ethical and professional standards in the Melbourne Diocese.

Lay people

A lay person whose role office or position for service falls within prescribed categories and the prescribed criteria in s67 must obtain a clearance for service certificate issued by the Kooyoora Office of Professional Standards.

Special responsibility of a Vicar or Priest in Charge or Senior Minister or the Dean

A Vicar, Priest in charge or Senior Minister, with overall authority in a parish or a congregation or the Dean at the Cathedral has a special responsibility to meet the standards of the Code of Conduct for Child Safety, in particular –

  • not to permit a member of the clergy to engage in ministry without that person first obtaining a clearance for ministry;
  • not to appoint a lay person to a role office or position unless they are satisfied that the person is fit to hold the same;
  • not to permit a lay person to hold or continue to hold a role office or position for which they are responsible if that lay person falls within the prescribed criteria in 

Links

Training

It is a condition of every new licence or permission to officiate issued by the Archbishop that at least once every 3 years clergy attend Professional Standards Seminars as part of holding a clearance within the Diocese.  Lay leaders are expected also to attend these seminars.

The seminars for 2019 can be found here.

These Seminars are limited to 30 people and attendees must register via email to clearances@melbourneanglican.org.au

Redress

The Diocese offers survivors the choice of proceeding through either the National Redress Scheme, the Kooyoora Independent Redress Scheme or such other means as they may be advised.

Links

Legislation and other resources 

See the Resources pages on the website of the Kooyoora Office of Professional Standards for the Diocese of Melbourne.

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