Building a culture of safety within the Archdiocese – indeed the Church – requires a shared understanding of the key responsibilities of all parties involved. To facilitate this, the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne has organised the translation of key safeguarding and child safety documents into 11 of the key languages spoken in Victoria.

The Archdiocese is home to more than 20 different language groups, making it one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse areas of the country, thus necessitating a nuanced approach to building a culture of safety across parishes. The safeguarding documents have been translated into Arabic, Burmese, Croatian, Simplified Chinese (Mandarin), Traditional Chinese (Cantonese), Italian, Malayalam (Syro-Malabar Indian), Polish, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

‘The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne maintains an unequivocal stance with regard to the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults,’ said Dr Katherine Levi, director of PSU.

‘We recognise that our parishes strive to create a culture of inclusion, ensuring all persons including those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities can participate in the spiritual and pastoral life of the parish,’ she said.

‘Providing CALD communities with safeguarding information in community languages acts as a protective factor and simultaneously promotes the participation of CALD communities in safeguarding efforts within parishes.’

The translated documents form part of the Safeguarding Children and Young People Framework and include translated version of the following information:

  • Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy
  • Code of Conduct
  • Code of Conduct Declaration
  • Parish, Agency and Entity Safeguarding Responsibilities
  • Working with Children Check guidelines
  • Criminal Record Check Guidelines.

Deacon George Piech Meat, Chaplain to the South Sudanese Catholic Community, said his community ‘finds it very helpful to have the documents translated’. He is keen on making them available widely and will begin by discussing the documents with his fellow chaplains at their next monthly meeting.

Over at St Joseph’s Parish in Springvale and Dingley, a predominantly Vietnamese community, Fr Joseph Truong Xuan Nguyen OFMConv expressed his gratitude for the translated documents. Fr Joseph said that having these translated documents would ensure expectations and compliance requirements could be communicated more effectively.

‘These can be helpful in fostering the sense of safeguarding awareness with the 16 Vietnamese communities across the Archdiocese,’ he said.

View the translated documents and other safeguarding resources