Reportable Conduct

The protection of children and young people is the responsibility of everyone who is employed or engaged by the Uniting Church in Australia NSW ACT Synod to provide services, including its staff, officers, ministers, religious leaders, contractors and volunteers. We all share responsibility for promoting the wellbeing and safety of children, and we will do whatever is in our power to safeguard children from all forms of abuse.

Both NSW and ACT have reportable conduct schemes which are legislated under the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 (NSW) and the Ombudsman Act 1989 (ACT).

Employers must report allegations, offences or convictions relating to child-related misconduct by ‘employees’ of the Uniting Church.

Misconduct may be of a sexual, physical or psychological nature. All allegations of reportable conduct will be investigated and reports on the investigation made to the Ombudsman in the ACT or to the Office of the Children’s Guardian in NSW.

When considering making a report see our Guideline for Reportable Conduct NSW and Guideline for Reportable Conduct ACT for more information as the legislation and definitions differ between NSW and the ACT.

In NSW anyone required to hold a Working with Children Check falls under the definition of ‘employee’, while in the ACT an ‘employee’ is a minister of religion, religious leader or an officer of the religious body, a person engaged under a contract of employment or a person engaged to provide services other than under a contract of employment. You don’t need to be paid to be considered an ‘employee’.

Head of Entity’s Response to a Reportable Allegation

The General Secretary is the Head of Entity for the Synod of NSW and the ACT, which includes all UCA congregations in NSW and the ACT, and is responsible for responding to Reportable allegations under the Reportable Conduct legislation in both NSW and the ACT.

In responding, The General Secretary will:

  • Appropriately report all reportable allegations and convictions as appropriate for the
    jurisdiction

  • Plan and initiate an investigation of the matter. The investigation will be conducted
    according to the principles of natural justice. Employees will be advised of the allegation
    where this is deemed not to compromise the investigation, and in line with the
    requirements of the jurisdiction

  • Document a risk assessment to minimise any risk to:

    1. the child(ren) who are the subject of the allegation, and any other children

    2. the employee against whom the allegation has been made

    3. the church and congregation

    4. other people involved

    5. the proper investigation of the allegation

    6. Other investigations (e.g. Police).

The risk assessment will be reviewed as needed, and particularly at the end of the investigation.

The employment implications for the employee who is subject to an allegation will be determined in the risk assessment. This includes measures during the investigation, and after a finding is 
made. The measures will be considered so that all parties are protected, while taking the least interventionist approach to fully managing the risks.

Method of Contact

Email marked Reportable Conduct - Confidential to:  safechurch@nswact.uca.org.au

In writing addressed to the General Secretary marked Private and Confidential:
Uniting Church in Australia
PO Box A2178, Sydney South NSW 1235
By phone to the General Secretary advising you wish to report an allegation of reportable conduct:
(02) 8267 4300
 

If you have information of a reportable allegation involving the General Secretary you may notify the Moderator:
(02) 8267 4300
moderator@nswact.uca.org.au

 

For members of our church community who are unable to report directly to the General Secretary, should make a report using Speak Out, which is the Synod’s independent reporting system. The reporting through Speak Out is confidential and can be anonymous. Only those who need information to investigate and resolve a matter have access to the report. Call the Speak Out hotline 1800 951 145 or complete the Speak Out Form.

 

For more information on Reportable Conduct, please refer to the Reportable Conduct policy and the relevant guidelines for NSW and the ACT:

Reportable Conduct Policy

Reportable Conduct Guidelines - NSW

Reportable Conduct Guidelines - ACT

The Reportable conduct guidelines for NSW and the ACT outline all the background information required to make a report under the Reportable Conduct Scheme for your state or territory. All reports must be made to the General Secretary, NSW ACT Synod, as soon as possible but the maximum timeframe is 7 days in NSW and 30 days in the ACT.

Anyone who becomes concerned about any behaviour by an ‘employee’ of the Uniting Church as described in the guidelines for NSW and the ACT must make a report.

See our Guideline for Reportable Conduct NSW and Guideline for Reportable Conduct ACT for more information.

A report can be made using the link below at ‘make a reportable conduct claim’ or via a downloadable version and emailed to safechurch@nswact.uca.org.au.

To make a Reportable Conduct Report please complete the online form here or via a downloadable version and emailed to safechurch@nswact.uca.org.au.


Methods of Contact

Email marked Reportable Conduct to:  safechurch@nswact.uca.org.au

In writing addressed to the General Secretary marked Private and Confidential:
Uniting Church in Australia
PO Box A2178, Sydney South NSW 1235
By phone to the General Secretary advising you wish to report an allegation of reportable conduct:
(02) 8267 4300
 

If you have information of a reportable allegation involving the General Secretary you may notify the Moderator:
(02) 8267 4300
moderator@nswact.uca.org.au