The Safeguarding Unit of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne will be hosting a series of webinars for clergy, parish leadership teams and safeguarding committees this April following the release of version 2.0 of the Archdiocese’s Safeguarding Children and Young People (SCYP) Framework.

The original Safeguarding Children and Young People Framework was released in 2019, and these new documents replace all the previous versions, including the Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy and the May Our Children Flourish Child Safety Code of Conduct.

Rachel Averbukh, director of the Safeguarding Unit, says the new suite of documents have been streamlined and redesigned with the aim of making them more accessible and of fostering a shared understanding of—and commitment to—safeguarding within the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

‘The updated version has been created following feedback from stakeholders and a review of critical incidents, and to continue to align with current and updated legislation. These documents are reviewed regularly as part of the Archdiocese’s commitment to continuous improvement, and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the most vulnerable members of our community.’

The newly released SCYP Framework documents include:

Four-part webinar series

The upcoming webinar series aims to guide parishes through each of the newly released Safeguarding Children and Young People (SCYP) Framework v2.0 documents and will be hosted by the regional officers of the Safeguarding Unit.

Safeguarding Children and Young People (SCYP) Framework v2.0 Webinar Series

Aimed at clergy, parish leadership, safeguarding committee members and volunteers, each 30-minute webinar will:

  • provide an overview of the new polices and key changes to existing versions of other documents
  • explore what this means for Archdiocesan parishes, agencies and entities at a practical level.

Please note that all webinars will be recorded and available for download.

Webinar 1
Safeguarding and Wellbeing of Children and Young People Policy

Tuesday 2 April
Register here.

Webinar 2
Safeguarding Children and Young People Code of Conduct

Wednesday 3 April
Register here.

Webinar 3
Safeguarding Children and Young People Reporting Procedure

Thursday 4 April
Register here.

Webinar 4
Safeguarding Children and Young People Record Keeping Policy
Safeguarding Children and Young People Antidiscrimination and Racism Policy

Friday 5 April
Register here.

Meet the team

Brech Burgess—Eastern Region

Brech is coming up to his third year as the safeguarding officer for the Archdiocese’s Eastern Region, where he supports parishes by helping them to implement and grow their safeguarding culture. He also assisted in risk management for World Youth Day Portugal 2023, where he worked alongside Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools to provide a framework to make Melbourne’s pilgrims as safe as possible. With a degree in criminology, Brech also worked in the aged care sector throughout COVID, and has volunteered for the Commission for Children and Young People within the Independent Visitors Program, where he visited juveniles in detention, formed relationships and reported on any concerns, giving him valuable insights into children and young people’s vulnerabilities to abuse.

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Brech Burgess.

Tamara Cugnetto—Southern Region

In a career spanning 26 years, Tamara has always placed the safety and wellbeing of children and young people at the centre of her work. Beginning her career as an early childhood teacher, Tamara moved into various educational leadership roles, eventually becoming a qualified trainer in the vocational education sector. Tamara also worked in educational advisory roles for non-profit organisations, before finding her way to the Archdiocese. A valued member of the Safeguarding Unit since 2020, Tamara serves as safeguarding officer for the Southern Region and is committed to the mission of providing safe environments for all children and young people to grow in their faith. She is proud to be walking with parishes on their journey of creating a culture of safeguarding.

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Tamara Cugnetto.

Hailey Elkington—Western Region

Hailey is safeguarding officer for the Western Region. Having started in this role in October, she has enjoyed meeting with parishes throughout the west. Previously Hailey worked in a variety of roles within the child welfare space, including with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care, in support roles at the Lighthouse Foundation and in child secure welfare, as a case manager at Child First, and in support roles within Child Protection. Last year Hailey completed her master of social work and completed placements at the Alfred Hospital and Territory Families (Northern Territory Child Protection).

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Hailey Elikington.

Tara McNamara—Northern Region

Originally from Ireland, Tara has dedicated more than 15 years to working with vulnerable populations. After completing her university education, she began working in the homelessness sector in Ireland before relocating to Australia five years ago, where she continued this work. Throughout her career, Tara has remained deeply committed to empowering individuals through a trauma-informed, person-centred and strengths-based approach. Tara brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her role as safeguarding officer for the Northern Region, and is deeply committed to creating safe environments for all vulnerable people. Recognising the pivotal role of Catholicism in nurturing community wellbeing, Tara strives to uphold the highest standards of safeguarding practices.

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Tara McNamara