About the Synod Risk Team

The Uniting Resources’ Risk Team has resolved to focus on partnerships with our communities to build a strong risk aware and safe culture that protects the people of our Church.

In order to accomplish this important mission, it is vital for the Risk team to partner with Presbyteries, Congregations and other Synod entities to help create this safe and risk aware culture.

We want to listen to your stories, identify risks early on, recognise areas of great practice and opportunities for improvement. Through working together we will learn from each other and share great systems and processes.

 

For Congregations and Presbyteries

Our team is committed to identifying and growing healthy Churches. Part of this involves encouraging a culture of safety: one of physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing for everyone. To do this, we are working closely with Presbyteries and Congregations to build a strong risk aware and safe culture that protects the people of our Church. To do this, we are committed to helping you with:

  • Training. Training is integral to the development and implementation of a safe system of work. We are continually working to expand the training opportunities we can provide to Congregations and Presbyteries. Whether you are an employee or volunteer, there are a number of training and induction activities that may be important for you. Get in touch with our team to learn about the opportunities we currently have that may apply to you, or visit our Workplace Safety Services page for more information.
  • Compliance. What are the legal requirements in relation to risk and safety in the workplace? Do they differ for volunteers versus employees? What are the minimum standards for which you need to comply? Knowing where to get the most up-to-date knowledge about best practices for keeping our people and spaces safe can be difficult. Luckily, we have a team of individuals who are happy to help you find this information.
  • Health Checks. Our team is committed to supporting you with questions and concerns you might have about risk and safety. This often involves visiting our Congregations to help you identify, assess and manage risks that are specific to your Church. Whether you’d like us to complete a risk assessment, provide a risk workshop to your members, or simply sit down for a cup of tea and help you work through some issues you are facing, we are happy to come see you!

Visit our Risk page for more information about these areas of service.

 

For Synod Employees

Work Health and Safety. Health and safety are a priority. As an employer, the Church is required to ensure the physical and psychological health and safety of our workers so far as is reasonably practicable. This includes helping you ensure your work environments are safe for both employees and volunteers.

Workers Compensation. Part of keeping our people safe means dealing with incidents that occur in the workplace. Our team looks after workers’ compensation claims for all employing entities within the Synod and can help you plan your return to work after an injury or incident has occurred.

Visit our Workplace Safety Services page for more information about these areas of service.

 

Brigid Trevaskis

Risk Manager

Brigid is the friendly face who leads our team as the Risk Manager. Brigid is passionate about supporting our communities to carry out their ministry and mission confident in the knowledge that our people are protected. She has spent many hours engaging with our UCA community to help members identify and monitor their risks. Brigid believes the best part of her job is being able to meet people, see our wonderful Churches and identify areas of great practice.

 

 

 

 

Gemma Margiotta

Operational Risk Officer

Gemma is a familiar face to many as she has been working within the UCA for over 7 years. In her previous role with the Insurance team, Gemma developed many great relationships with Congregation members and supported them in achieving peace of mind that their people and property were protected. Having now transitioned to the Risk team as an Operational Risk Officer, Gemma spends most of her time in the community meeting our members face-to-face and helping them identify and manage risks. She is also our Workplace Health and Safety expert, having recently completed her WHS Certificate 4 training.

 

 

 

 

Jessica Carmichael

Risk Associate

Jessica works hard behind the scenes as a part time Risk Associate, supporting the Risk team to carry out their day-to-day tasks. Occasionally, you will see her out with Brigid and Gemma visiting our sites. Coming from a psychology background, she is passionate about helping others improve their self-care practices.

 

 

If you have any questions, concerns, or would simply like to let us know about some of the great work you are doing in your Church, please feel free to contact any of our team members.

The Risk Team understands that Church members are the experts of the day-to-day activities of their congregation, providing invaluable insight into the needs of your community. The Risk Team wants to work collaboratively to build a strong culture of risk management and safety where care for each other and protection of the people and children of the Uniting Church is paramount. We would love to hear from you!

Contact

Email

Phone

Brigid Trevaskis

brigidt@nswact.uca.org.au

0436 667 066

Gemma Margiotta

gemmam@nswact.uca.org.au

0476 807 643

Jessica Carmichael

jessicac@nswact.uca.org.au

02 8267 4340

Workplace Safety Services*

wss@nswact.uca.org.au

 

*for all Workers Compensation and WHS matters

 

Our WSS unit helps you, as a Presbytery, Congregation or any other Synod entity to provide a safe location and safe work processes to meet your requirements under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation. Work time takes a significant part of everyone’s day and health and wellbeing is a valuable asset.  People and their organisation’s prospective futures depends on Health and Safety.

An extensive WHS Toolkit  is available to Congregations, Presbyteries and other entities.

According to the prevailing WHS legislation Persons Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU) has a primary duty of care to ensure workers and others are not exposed to a risk to their health and safety.

As a member of the Church Council you may be deemed to be an Officer (as defined in Section 4 of the WHS Act 2011) and the Officer is required to exercise due diligence to ensure that the PCBU fulfils their legally prescribed health and safety obligations. Due diligence requires an Officer to concentrate on managing WHS risks.

PCBUs, Officers, Workers, Volunteers, Visitors, Contractors and all other involved individuals are responsible for Work, Health and Safety.

As an employer, the Church is required to ensure the physical and psychological health and safety of our workers so far as reasonably practical. Reasonable refers to something at a particular time was reasonably able to be done to ensure health and safety, taking into account the relevant matters including:

  • The likelihood of the hazard or risk if the harm is more likely to occur, then it is reasonable to expect more actions taken to reduce or eliminate the hazard.
  • The degree of harm that might result from the hazard or risk.
  • If the resulting injury is severe rather than a minor injury, more would be expected to reduce or eliminate the hazard.
  • What the person concerned knows or to reasonably know about either the hazard or risk and the ways of either eliminating or reducing this.
  • This includes the knowledge about a risk, how to minimise or eliminate it as well as what a reasonable person would be expected to know.
  • The availability and suitability of ways to eliminate the risk. This includes a consideration of what is available and also what is suitable to either eliminate or reduce risk.
  • The cost associated with ways of eliminating the risk.

Further information on the legal definition of these terms Person Conducting Business or Undertaking, Due Diligence and Reasonably Practical is available.  Additional information and National Guidelines are available from the Safe Work Australia website.

Our custom-made WHS Toolkit is available.