The General Synod:
(a) commends the National Council of Churches in Australia for organising Safe as Churches? A national ecumenical consultation on sexual misconduct and abuse in the Australian churches and recommends that the National Council of Churches in Australia facilitate where feasible joint action by member churches and other Australian churches to promote the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all people within their communities that includes:
(i) the preparation of a safe ministry charter for adoption by member churches and other Australian churches;
(ii) the sharing of resources between churches; and
(iii) the reciprocal disclosure between churches of the names of, and other relevant information about, clergy and church workers who are known to have abused children or other vulnerable people
and that the General Secretary conveys this resolution to the National Council of Churches in Australia;
(b) recommends that State and Territory Governments enact uniform laws that provide for:
(i) the reporting of child abuse to the police and the government child protections authorities;
(ii) the screening of all persons seeking to work with children in a paid or voluntary capacity; and
(iii) the protection from liability of persons who report misconduct by a member of the clergy or a church worker to a church authority in good faith
and that the General Secretary conveys this resolution to each such Government;
(c) recommends that the Commonwealth Government, the State Governments of South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia and the Northern Territory Government each establish a children’s commission or an equivalent office to promote the protection of children similar to that in the States of New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania and that the General Secretary conveys this resolution to each such Government;
(d) recommends that the State and Territory Governments each provide funding and training for a programme for the reintegration of sex offenders within the community on their release from prison (similar to Circles of Support and Accountability operating in Canada, the United States of American and the United Kingdom) and that the General Secretary conveys this resolution to each such Government;
(e) recommends that the Commonwealth Government convene a national summit on child protection to which representatives of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, child protection authorities and organisations working with children are invited as the first step in establishing a national strategy for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and that the General Secretary conveys this resolution to the Commonwealth Government; and
(f) recommends that the Anglican Consultative Council establish a Safe Ministry Task Force to promote the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all people within member churches of the Anglican Communion by action that includes:
(i) the preparation of a safe ministry charter for adoption by member churches;
(ii) the sharing of resources between member churches;
(iii) the reciprocal disclosure between member churches of the names or, and other relevant information about, clergy and church workers who are known to have abused children or other vulnerable people;
(iv) the establishment of a network of interested people; and
(v) the preparation of resources for the Anglican Gathering and the Bishops’ Conference to be held in Cape Town in 2008;
and that the General Secretary conveys this resolution to the Anglican Consultative Council and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
(g) recommends that child protection and the prevention of abuse (including child pornography) and relevant law enforcement issues by made an item of discussion and action for the Council of Australian Government (COAG) and that the General Secretary conveys this resolution to the relevant authority.

Garth Blake – 4 Oct 04