Protection of Children and Vulnerable People
The Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) acknowledges that regrettably there have been times, during the history of the congregations which formed our present Institute in December 2011, when some people were not treated with care and respect.
Today ISMAPNG has strict procedures and policies to ensure the protection of children and vulnerable people. These apply to its members and to all who are employed in its works.
The ISMAPNG Professional Standards Policy can be read/downloaded HERE
The ISMAPNG Child and Vulnerable Persons Policy can be read/downloaded HERE
The ISMAPNG Code of Conduct can be read/downloaded HERE
If you are aware of abuse by one of our personnel, against a child or a vulnerable person, you are strongly encouraged to report your concern.
Child Abuse – Australia and Papua New Guinea
Child abuse is a criminal offence and the police are the appropriate authority to handle criminal investigations. If you have a complaint you should contact your local police station or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 (Australia) or the Department of Police (PNG) +675 322 6100.
Complaints – Australia
ISMAPNG strictly follows the principles and procedures set out in Towards Healing, the Catholic Church’s Australian protocol for addressing complaints of abuse (sexual, physical or emotional) relating to priests, sisters, staff and other paid and voluntary personnel.
Towards Healing is a response which enables the concerns of victims and survivors to be addressed primarily in a pastoral way as opposed to an adversarial and legal approach.
Those who may make contact with Towards Healing in relation to a matter which may be of a criminal nature are strongly advised to take their case to the police.
The Archdiocese of Melbourne has established its own process for responding to such complaints, known as 'The Melbourne Response'.
For information about Towards Healing in your state or territory or for a confidential discussion about the process, please contact the ISMAPNG Professional Standards Office on 1800 019 625 (Australia).
Complaints – Papua New Guinea
If you reside in Papua New Guinea please contact the ISMAPNG Professional Standards Office in Australia +61 (0)2 9572 5400.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia)
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how institutions like schools, churches, sports clubs and government organisations have responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse.
From April 14 - 22, 2015, the Royal Commission held a public hearing for the purpose of examining the experiences of children at St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol, Queensland. The Orphanage was managed by the Rockhampton Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy until 1978. The Commission also examined the conduct of priests attached to the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton who carried out duties there. In 1997, the former Rockhampton Congregation (which is now part of ISMAPNG) issued an unreserved public apology to the former residents. (Read Here).
ISMAPNG endorses this apology and is continuing to walk the important journey of healing and reconciliation with the former residents.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Sister Berneice Loch rsm, the Leader of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea and Most Rev. Michael McCarthy, Bishop of Rockhampton, issued a joint statement. (Read Here)
On April 21, 2016 the Royal Commission released the Report of Case Study No. 26 - The response of the Sisters of Mercy, the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton and the Queensland Government to allegations of child sexual abuse at St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol. (Read Here)
With the release of the Report, Sister Berneice Loch rsm, Institute Leader and Papua New Guinea and Most Rev. Michael McCarthy, Bishop of Rockhampton, issued a joint statement. This Statement can be READ HERE.
To contact the Royal Commission, please call 1800 099 340 or for further information please visit the Commission website - www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au
ISMAPNG Professional Standards Office - 1800 019 625 (Australia) or +61 (0)2 9572 5400 (PNG).