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Safeguarding and Protection Policies

Introduction to SVD Safeguarding Policies

The Society of the Divine Word, also known as the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD), is an international religious-missionary congregation of men and women with more than 8000 members worldwide. The Australia Province includes Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Myanmar. We are present in the following states of Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

This document sets out essential policies and procedures to safeguard and protect all children, young people and vulnerable adults, who are under the care of, or who come into contact with, any members of the Divine Word Missionaries, their associates and employees, in the Australia Province.

Commitment to Child Safeguarding

Compliance. The Australia Province of the Society of the Divine Word is resolutely committed to ensuring that all Province members and associated personnel comply with the child safeguarding laws and norms of the States, Territories, Dioceses and Archdioceses wherein we live and work. 

Safeguarding Statement. The Divine Word Missionaries commit to providing a safe environment for all children, young people and vulnerable adults, especially their cultural safety and wellbeing, and proclaim Zero Tolerance for all forms of abuse and neglect, particularly of a sexual and/or physical nature.

We commit to safeguard and protect all persons entrusted to our care in the houses and communities where we live and work, and in the pastoral ministries in which we are involved. This responsibility of care is extended also to our conferes who are retired, receiving medical treatment, or who are living with a disability.

Healing and Redress. The Province resolves to assist in every way possible any persons who have suffered sexual, emotional or physical abuse through the wrongdoing of SVD Province members or personnel.  The Province endorses the National Redress Scheme, and has been accepted as a Participating Institution in the Scheme. 

Purpose and Scope of this Policy

Upholding Article 34 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the overall purpose of our safeguarding policy is to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults who come in contact with the members of the Society of the Divine Word (the Divine Word Missionaries), their associates and employees, from harm and abuse of all kinds. This includes physical, mental and sexual abuse whether by intention, omission or neglect.

Our safeguarding policy achieves its purpose through protocols and procedures which ensure compliance with the child safe legislative frameworks of Australian States and Territories, with the National Principles for Child Safe Organizations (2018), and with the Church standards set out by Catholic Professional Standards Limited (2019).

To whom does the policy apply? This safeguarding policy applies to all members of the Society of the Divine Word in the Australia Province, to our employees,  and to those who associate with us in our ministries and activities. The policy applies to students in formation, to SVD overseas visitors whether staying in one of our communities or living externally, and to those who are permanently or temporarily resident in our houses and communities.

Report a Concern:  Contact the Divine Word Missionaries Professional Standards Office on 02 9868 9002 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Policy Documents

Click here for:  pdf Safeguarding Policy (67 KB)

Click here for:  pdf Policy on the Use of Social Media (68 KB)

Click here for:  pdf Procedures for Reporting a Concern (65 KB)