Vale, the Hon. Geoffrey Giudice AO, former CPSL Board Chair
The Board and staff of Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd (ACSL) have been greatly saddened at the death of the Hon. Geoffrey Giudice AO, the former Board Chair of ACSL’s predecessor company, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL).
The Board of ACSL paid tribute to Geoff at its recent board meeting.
In 2016, Geoff, as he was commonly known, took on the responsibility of leading the Church’s first ever national and independent safeguarding body in the wake of the devastating findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
ACSL Board Chair Professor the Hon. Michael Lavarch AO, who served with Geoff for three years on the CPSL Board, observed that Geoff was a “remarkable man”, who led the company with “dignity, compassion and perseverance”.
“With years of experience as a federal court judge and having served as President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and later of Fair Work Australia, Geoff was approached by the Church to take on the role”, the Hon. Michael Lavarch said.
“Along with CPSL’s Deputy Board Chair Patricia Faulkner, Geoff was responsible for setting up the company, recruiting board members, and getting the key staff in place. He also oversaw major initiatives, including the first edition of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards and the development of the audit regime.”
“As a new entity, it was, at times, a bumpy road for CPSL, bringing the Church on a journey of change. Through it all, Geoff remained absolutely committed to the mission of a safe Church.”
“He was a lovely man to deal with, a gentle soul, but with quite a lot of steel in him too,” the Hon. Michael Lavarch said.
Current ACSL Board Director Dr Robyn Miller, who also worked with Geoff on the CPSL Board, described him as an “intelligent yet humble man, with a big smile”.
“Geoff was known for his bow ties and he had an elegance about him that belied a ferocious intellect. He had a capacity to engage with different layers of the Church, but to hold the heart of people who had suffered there always,” Dr Miller remarked.
“We have been very fortunate to have had his acumen and his wisdom. Geoff was very empowering of the board and staff of CPSL. He was very inclusive, and he had the common touch.”
“Geoff was deeply committed to work of CPSL and of structural change. I think Geoff paved the way for our journey ahead and I’ll always remember him as graceful, yet strongly dogged to achieve the mission,” Dr Miller said.
“On behalf of all of us at ACSL, I would like to pass on our sincere sympathies to his wife Beth, his children Barnaby, Charlotte, Edward and John, and whole family at this time,” the Hon. Michael Lavarch concluded.