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, an R-12 co-educational Catholic school in the Marist tradition, deeply inspired by the method of College patron Joseph Cardijn with a foundation built on the three pillars of his teachings; to See, Judge and Act. Educating and inspiring students in the beautiful Southern Vales region of Adelaide since 1984, Cardijn has grown to encompass three schools, each with distinct offerings. Cardijn College Galilee at Aldinga offers Reception to Year 7, expanding to include Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 in 2023. Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs offers Years 7-12 and is renowned for academic excellence and a vibrant extra-curricular program. Cardijn College Marcellin at Christie Downs provides a wide variety of vocational education and training opportunities for students in Years 10 – 12 and beyond, with relationships that extend well into their careers. With a current enrolment of 1750 students and 240 staff, Cardijn College is an institution which strives to be a beacon of faith in the community, with students who have enormous influence and impact on both a local and global level. 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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