Child protection at Cardijn College

The past two weeks have seen many reports about the Catholic Church from the media whose attention has been drawn to the Vatican and the special Council that Pope Francis called to focus on an institutional response to dealing with the matter of sexual abuse within the Church. This was amplified last week with the conviction of Cardinal Pell on historical child sex abuse. As a school community we need to ensure our compassionate approach towards survivors of child sexual abuse and their families. We continue to pray and support all victims of abuse.

Catholic schools join all schools in a commitment to the safety and protection of all children in their care. I am deeply committed to the safety and protection of all children at Cardijn College. Nationally, within Catholic Education South Australia, and at this school, we condemn the abuse of power that leads to so much pain, suffering and loss.

We have learned from past failings and for many years now have been proactive in making our schools safe. Our policies, processes and procedures for child protection are robust and we are vigilant in our duty to make our school safe. We fully support reporting of abuse, historically or otherwise. As a parent, I would expect nothing less from the school my child attends.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at the College if you have any concerns or queries.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a Catholic secondary co-educational school (7-12) in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 1120 students and 140 staff. Marcellin is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 10 to 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 155 students and 30 staff. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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