oversees the implementation of the Child Protection Policies and Procedures for Quakers Australia and all its activities.
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Child Protection Committee
The Child Protection Committee, with assistance from the AYM Secretary, is responsible for:
- Providing support to RM Child Protection Contact Friends in carrying out their roles;
- Bringing to the attention of the Society the need for changes to the AYM Child Protection Policy and Procedures;
- Ensuring that the AYM Child Protection Policy and Procedures is up-to-date and consistent with the Handbook of Practice and Procedure;
- Developing and updating the template for the annual audit of child protection practices conducted by Regional Meetings and organisers of all activities authorised by or under the control of the Society;
- Reviewing the annual audits of child protection practices and reporting to Standing Committee and/or Yearly Meeting on compliance with the AYM Child Protection Policy and Procedures, as well as legal and insurance requirements at all activities authorised by or under the control of the Society.
Our Meetings value their children. A child who is an active participant in our Quaker communities may be listed as a 'child or youth of the meeting'.
Child Protection in Quaker Meetings
Quaker Meetings have Child Protection Policy and Procedures and a Child Protection Friend is appointed in each Regional Meeting.
Resources and Forms for Working with Children
You can find helpful resources for regional meetings, as well as forms for camp/outings (i.e., medical history, risk assessment, and incident reports, etc.) here.
As part of the Child Safe Organisations project, the Australian Government commissioned the National Children’s Commissioner to lead the development of National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The Principles respond to recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. These were adopted by Friends at YM2021 and can be found here. We hope Friends will print off this poster and display it at meeting houses and other places where they meet.
The National Principles aim to provide a nationally consistent approach to creating organisational cultures that foster child safety and wellbeing in all organisations. The National Principles were endorsed by members of the Council of Australian Governments in 2019.
To find our more about Child Protection in your Meeting, contact the Regional Meeting Clerk in your state.
NOTE: National Redress Scheme
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) joined the National Redress Scheme. The Scheme allows for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse to access redress. More information can about this can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Religious Society of Friends have Child Protection Policy and Procedures?
Yes, please find them here.
Why does it have such a policy?
To fulfil its moral duty of care to keep children safe, to fulfil the legal requirements relating to children in the relevant State or Territory and to comply with the insurance requirements for the Religious Society of Friends.
When does the policy apply?
Whenever the Religious Society of Friends formally accepts responsibility for the care of minors (children and young people under the age 18 years) from parents or guardians, for activities specifically authorised by Yearly Meeting or Regional Meetings as ‘Quaker’ events. (It does not apply to informal gatherings of Friends or outside the authorised activities, during which time the care of children remains a parental responsibility).
Are there eSafety Guidelines for children and young people?
Yes, please find them here.
What requirements need to be met for those caring for minors?
Individuals on the Regional Meeting Approved Child Carer Register are responsible for caring for minors and they must have a current Working with Children Check or equivalent and have been through a selection process under the auspice of their Regional Meeting. They can be assisted by “helpers” who work under the direct supervision of Approved Child Carers. (In some Australian jurisdictions “helpers” need to have a current Working with Children Check or its equivalent).
What is the role of the Regional Meeting Child Protection Contact Friend?
(a) To maintain an up-to-date and accurate Regional Meeting Register of Approved Child Carers;
(b) To provide the Yearly Meeting Secretary with an annual audit of the Regional Meeting Register;
(c) To be available to the Meeting for questions and concerns related to child protection.
(d) To give advice on the implementation of the YM Child Protection Policy and Procedures, and on any legal requirements specific to the relevant jurisdiction;
(e) To be available to members of the Meeting to consider questions and concerns around the safety of a specific child in the Meeting in relation to the child protection concerns.
(f) To provide policy and procedural advice in situations where a minor may have been subjected to abuse, including the legal obligations which may exist in relation to reporting alleged abuse in the relevant jurisdiction; and
(g) To inform the Yearly Meeting Secretary, without delay, of any alleged or suspected abuse of a minor while under the responsibility of the Religious Society of Friends.
Who is my Child Protection Contact Friend?
If you are concerned about any issue to do with Child Protection in your Meeting, consult your Child Protection Contact Friends :
Canberra: Kerrie Smyth (2021)
New South Wales: Linda Page (2021) & Alison Irving (2024)
Queensland: John Beattie (2021)
South Australia/Northern Territory: Kenise Neill & Yarrow Goodley (2024)
Tasmania: Maddy Walker & Ron Frey (2024)
Victoria: Kyrstie Crane (2024) & Maxine Cooper (2023)
Western Australia: Lesli Grant & Bronwen English (2024)
Young Friends: vacant