Headmaster’s Message – February 23, 2017

February 22, 2017

Dear Parents, Carers, Friends and Students of St Patrick’s College,

As you may be aware, as of August 1, 2016, all Victorian schools were required to meet the new- Ministerial Order No. 870 Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools, effective from the commencement of the 2017 school year.

Essentially, Ministerial Order 870 requires all schools to develop and embed a culture around child safety which meets the seven specified Child Safe Standards. These Standards are as follows:

  • strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety;

  • a child safety policy or a statement of commitment to child safety;

  • a child safety code of conduct;

  • screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse;

  • procedures for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse;

  • strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse; and

  • strategies to promote child participation and empowerment.

    The College must take account of the diversity of all children, including (but not limited to) the needs of:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children;

  • children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;

  • children with disabilities; and

  • children who are vulnerable.

    The staff of St Patrick’s College have been working hard at implementing the new Child Safe Standards. A number of important documents for Parents and Carers have been uploaded to the College Website including the EREA Commitment Statement to Child Safety, the Child Safe Policy and Child Safe Code of Conduct and the PROTECT Resources. These can be found under the Policies tab.

    As part of this implementation, the College has adopted the PROTECT Resources to assist us in responding to incidents, disclosures and suspicions of child abuse. Parents and Carers play a crucial role in ensuring we continue to keep every child safe.- Please click on this link– for- a copy of the PROTECT Resources,- for your consideration. I- invite you to read these through carefully to understand your responsibilities and how to respond to incidents, disclosures and suspicions of child abuse.

    Can I direct any concerns or questions that you might have in relation to these to our Child Safety Officer, Mr Gerard Sullivan, Deputy Headmaster Wellbeing. Gerard can be contacted via the College office or email: gsullivan@stpats.vic.edu.au

    In addition, can I draw your attention to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commission. The eSafety Commission provides online safety education for children and young people, as well as a complaints and reporting page for those who experience cyberbullying. The website also provides Parents and Carers with relevant and up to date information on the correct use of technology. It is also vitally important to stress that the College is committed to providing a safe and respectful online environment for all students. Parents should continue to contact Year Level Coordinators immediately if there are any concerns around online child safety and appropriate use of social media, or if you have any questions or queries.

    Finally, can I take this opportunity to congratulate all of the dedicated students involved in our rowing program. You have all been wonderful ambassadors for the Green, White and Blue, and we wish you well for the Head of the Lake on Sunday. On behalf of the St Patrick’s College community, I would like to formally thank all of our coaches for their hard work and commitment, particularly our Coordinator of Rowing, Mr Jamie Bobrowski, Senior Coach, Mr Brendan Scott, Ms Stephanie Parsons, Mr Alex Thompson and former Director Rowing, Mr Peter Joyce, the Rowing Committee and all parents for contributing significantly to this most successful season.

    Ecka Dora!

    Yours Sincerely,

    John Crowley


    St Patrick’s College