The High Court Appeal of George Pell’s conviction on Child Sexual Abuse conviction in March 2020 was described by the ABC as “one of the most closely watched hearings in Australian legal history. It’s one of the most high-profile and contentious High Court cases in recent memory – up there with Lindy Chamberlain.”
In December 2018, Pell was found guilty of sexually abusing two choirboys in a jury trial. A subsequent appeal to the Victorian Court of Appeal failed to overturn his conviction leaving the High Court as Pell’s final chance of establishing his innocence. As we all know, the High Court overturned Pell’s conviction with the unanimous verdict of seven judges stating, “rationally on the whole of the evidence, [the jury] ought to have entertained a reasonable doubt as to Pell’s guilt”.
The best action is prevention
The majority of child abuse claims never get to court. They are not prosecuted or even reported to the police. The first and most effective arm of defence concerning the abuse of children in our community, is prevention. Part of the community’s response to preventing the abuse of children is having a robust system of employment checks. Comprised of various State Working With Children Checks and the roll out of Reportable Conduct Schemes around Australia since the Royal Commission into the Institution Response to Child Sexual Abuse.
Reportable Conduct Schemes
NSW was the first state to establish a Reportable Conduct Scheme. It has been in place since 2001. However, recent and important changes to the scheme came into effect on the 1 March 2020, notably Religious Bodies are now included under the scheme where they were previously excluded. Additionally, responsibility for oversight moved from the NSW Ombudsman to the Office of Children’s Guardian (OCG).
MyKludo Webinar on Friday 29 May 2020 TIME: 11-12am
MyKludo is honoured to have one of the State’s child protection experts present on the changes to the legislation and what this means for investigators and agencies who must comply with the new requirements.
Eleonora De Michele has been working in the Welfare Services sector, specialising in child protection service delivery, for the past 40 years in both government and non-government organisations. Her extensive experience includes working in frontline statutory Child Protection work as a Case Worker, supervisor, senior manager; oversighting Child Protection and Out of Home Care policy development and implementation and as a Senior Child Protection trainer.
She is a skilled facilitator and trainer and a leading writer of curriculum covering all aspects of child protection service delivery. We are privileged to have Eleonora present this Webinar for our members and clients.
This presentation is suitable for staff and employers of relevant agencies and to investigators of reportable conduct in NSW.
The presentation will cover key changes to the legislation including:
Definition of an employee,
Agencies now covered,
Definitions of reportable conduct,
Child safe standards &