ACSL represented amongst large Australian delegation at 2024 International Safeguarding Conference 


Members of the Australian delegation
Members of the Australian delegation
From left: Bishop Greg Bennet, Dr Robyn Miller, Dr David Treanor and Ms Karen Mosley

Between 18 and 21 June 2024 Director of Safeguarding and Compliance David Treanor and Director of Professional Standards and Complaints Karen Mosley attended the International Safeguarding Conference in Rome. This year’s topic was Safeguarding and Disability. The Conference welcome speakers and delegates from across the world, and from varying roles within the Church, including Robyn Miller, CEO of MacKillop and Board Director for ACSL and Bishop Greg Bennet, Bishop of Sale a  nd Member Representative for ACSL.

During the Conference delegates heard presentations from speakers across the world, each focusing on what safeguarding and disability means to them, and how it has been implemented into their work, ministry and lives. The Conference also included the attendance at a theatre production, titled “Pardon?”, which depicts the life of a survivor of child sexual abuse and highlights the lifelong impacts and challenges that are faced in everyday life.

“The Conference reminded me of the disability rights philosophy outlined in ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ by James Charlton. The conference also used this theme, ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’, as a mantra for Church Authorities to truly focus on embedding those with disabilities into the conference as keynote speakers and delegates. The keynote speakers shared their lived experience which highlighted the relationship, impact and importance of safeguarding people with disabilities. National Catholic Safeguarding Standard 2, 3 and 4 are focused on the listening to the voices of children and adults at risk, including people with disabilities and moreover, ensuring they are given the opportunity to be active participants in safeguarding practices.

This concept and practice are one that ACSL will seek to further embed as we move forward.”

“A short presentation by Father Justin Glyn given on Day 3 of the conference particularly resonated with me. Father Justin opened an important discussion surrounding the definition of ‘vulnerable adult’, specifically the definition used within Vos Estis Lux Mundi. There have been many discussions regarding this definition, and Father Justin’s presentation assisted in the thinking around the definition and therefore the boarder application of Vos Estis Lux Mundi.

As a result of his presentation at the Conference, ACSL has asked Father Justin to take part in the regular webinar sessions hosted by ACSL to consider this topic further. More information about this session will be made available in the future.”

While different aspects of the conference resonated with Karen and David, there was an overall theme that was felt not just by ACSL delegates, but more broadly. This was simply the ability to meet and engage with a range of people working in the same roles and environments across the world. Both Karen and David (and other Australian delegates), despite many ‘virtual meetings’ were able to meet several Australian delegates face to face for the first time at the Conference. ACSL received a lot of feedback from Australian Delegates relating to the value of an Australian conference. In response ACSL is advocating for the establishment of an Australian National Safeguarding Conference.

Next year’s International Safeguarding Conference is scheduled for 17 to 20 June 2025, and the theme will be ‘Women of Faith, Women of Strength: A Safeguarding Conference’.

See also: Media release 5 July 2024 – Australia represented at International Safeguarding Conference –  Media Releases – Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd (