CamNews

Principal

A Safe Environment for All

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As Term 2 closes, I wish to extend my gratitude to all students and their families for your contribution to a wonderfully fulfilling Semester 1. Our strong sense of community has continued to flourish, both within the classroom and beyond, as we have continued to focus on purposeful learning and growth for each of the capable young people in our care.

Underpinning this has been the ongoing dedication and work of our teachers. At Camberwell Girls, the teacher-student relationship sits at the core of all that we do and what we value most. Throughout this semester, teachers have worked incredibly hard to shape their day-to-day interactions and pedagogical practice to meet the learning and wellbeing needs of students in a safe and inclusive environment.

Within this CamNews edition, our School Counsellor, Paula Kolivas, reminds us of the new Victorian Child Safe Standards that commenced on July 1 last year. I encourage you to read Paula’s article. The eleven Standards for schools require us as an organisation to embed a culture that prioritises the promotion of student wellbeing, has no tolerance for child abuse and takes action to prevent, identify and appropriately respond to student safety concerns.  They are:

  1. Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued.
  2. Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
  3. Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
  4. Families and communities are informed, and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
  5. Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
  6. People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
  7. Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.
  8. Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
  9. Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
  10. Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
  11. Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.

All our students have a right to feel safe on and off campus. We want our students, families and community to feel confident that Camberwell Girls is an organisation committed to the safety and wellbeing of all our students.

I extend my very best wishes to each and every family for the Term 2 holiday period ahead. I trust it will provide students, friends and families with the time to reconnect, rest, reflect and recharge.

I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday, and I look forward to welcoming everyone back for the commencement of Term 3 on Tuesday 11 July.

Davina McClure
Acting Principal

Child Safe Standards

In January 2022, the Victorian Education Minister mandated Ministerial Order 1359 – Child Safe Standards – Managing the Risk of Child Abuse in Schools and School Boarding Premises (MO3159). MO1359 implemented eleven new Child Safe Standards (Standards) that replaced the original seven Standards listed in the 2016 Ministerial Order 870. The new Standards commenced on I July 2022 and support greater consistency with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, which were developed following the 2017 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Standards, and their associated compliance documents, provide greater clarity regarding the requirements on the governance, systems and processes of a school to reduce the risk of abuse and enhance student wellbeing. Key changes include a greater focus on the safety of Aboriginal students, managing the risk of child abuse in the online environment, empowering students, respecting their diverse needs and involving families and the community in keeping students safe.

Further, the new Standards have emphasised the need to recognise, respect and respond to the diversity of children and young people. The compliance obligations explicitly state that schools are required to understand and make any necessary adjustments, and provide equal protection to all students, consider the needs of students who are unable to live at home, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex students, and those students who identify as non-binary and gender diverse.

Implementing the new Standards and complying with MO1359 is a complex and challenging process, involving the thoughtful consideration of our ethical and legal obligations, understanding the needs of our student and parent community, and respecting our School values and Anglican foundations. The CGGS leadership and wellbeing teams work diligently to assess all the relevant factors and fulfil these obligations. We have established clear procedures for responding to allegations or suspected child abuse, regularly update our school policies and HR procedures, review and adjust pastoral care and curriculum material and audit the School’s physical and social environment to ensure that our organisational culture reflects the CGGS commitment to student safety and wellbeing, and zero tolerance of abuse.

Relevant policies that parents/guardians may view via our School Website include:

  • Child Safety Policy
  • Child Safety Reporting Policy
  • Code of Conduct Policies – Staff and Students
  • Working With Children Clearance Policy
  • Gender Inclusion Guidelines
  • ICT Code of Conduct

We encourage our school community to access and read our policies and welcome feedback regarding our procedures and guidelines. Please feel free to send your comments via email to deputyprincipal@cggs.vic.edu.au.

One of the most effective strategies in reducing the risk of child abuse is educating all members of the community. At CGGS biannual training is mandatory for all teaching staff, professional service staff and maintenance staff to ensure that they develop their awareness and understanding of the Standards, to identify and appropriately respond to any suspicions or allegations of abuse, grooming or other misconduct. Staff failure to do so is a serious breach of their moral and legal requirements.

Also, all Secondary School and Junior School students receive age-appropriate presentations regarding how to identify inappropriate behaviour and most importantly where to seek help and support. Students are encouraged to identify the trusted adults in their private lives and at school, including the CGGS Child Safety Officers.

The responsibilities of the Child Safety Officers include consultation with the Principal and staff, offering support to the student, parents/carers and any person reporting concerns, clarifying the allegations or suspicions of abuse, and when required reporting the concerns to the relevant authorities – Child Protection Services, the Police and/or the Commission for Children and Young People. 

Our 2023 Child Safety Officers are:

Principal: Debbie Dunwoody

Deputy Principal: Davina McClure

School Chaplain: Rev Helen Creed

Head of Senior School: Kath Woolcock

Head of Middle School: Kate Giles

Head of Junior School: Paul Donohue

Deputy Head of Junior School: Nancy Robottom

Early Learning Centre Coordinator: Esther Wong

Head of Educational Operations: Kim Hepworth

Outdoor Education: Shane Maycock

School Counsellors: Beth Sarlos & Paula Kolivas

If you have any safety concerns regarding your child or any other student in our community, we strongly encourage you to contact the Principal, Heads of School, or the Counsellors to discuss the matter. We will respond to any concerns in a sensitive, confidential, and respectful manner.

Paula Kolivas
School Counsellor

 

 

https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/assets/resources/New-CSS/Whats-new-overview-of-the-new-Child-Safe-Standards.pdf

https://www.vrqa.vic.gov.au/Documents/MinOrder1359childsafe.pdf

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/about/programs/health/protect/ChildSafeStandard5_SchoolsGuide.pdf

https://childsafe.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-02/National_Principles_for_Child_Safe_Organisations2019.pdf

Principal

Today, Mrs Dunwoody will discuss how CGGS prioritises the wellbeing and safety of our students.

Secondary School

There was much to celebrate this week, including Lunar New Year and Galentine's Day!

Junior School

Ormiston is buzzing with excitement as students settle into their new classrooms and routines.

Connected Community

There are a lot of exciting events coming up this term, including the return of the Moonlight Movie Night!

Create Your Tomorrow