The Presbyterian Church of Australia in New South Wales would like to acknowledge and thank those who gave of their time in helping to put this document together. A special thanks to Pauline Coulton, Marion Smith, David Burke and to the staff of the Presbyterian Social Services for their tireless efforts in researching and producing the first document by the Presbyterian Church on the important issue of sexual abuse.

We would also like to acknowledge the following publications which have been used in compiling this document:

  1. "Suffer the Little Children?" Equip #4, Christian Education Committee, 1992, p.8

  2. "Child Abuse Protection - A Parent's Guide" The Scouts Association of Australia, Ambassador Press, February 1993

  3. "Child and Youth Protection Policy for St David's Presbyterian Church, Strathfield" St David's Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.

  4. "Community Services Manual" The Salvation Army, Chapter 5(h) Sexual Harassment Policy. chapter 9(j) Child Abuse Notification.

  5. "Understanding Child Abuse and Its Management" The Scout Association of Australia, NSW Branch

  6. "Sexual Molestation of Children by Church Workers". Richard R. Hammar, Ministry, January 1991

  7. Child Protection Policy, Part 1 "Notification of Disclosures of Child Sexual Assault", Presbyterian Social Services, NSW.

  8. "Re: Child Molestation, Use of Church Halls and Fidelity Guarantee" Indemnity Fund Committee, Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW. August 1993

  9. "Pastor's Report on Child Sexual Assault Seminar". Institute of Contemporary Church Leadership, part of Wollongong Church of Christ ministry

  10. Sex Discrimination Act 1984 Division 3, Section 28 (Amendments to 1992)

  11. "Workplace Approach to Sexual Harassment". Fay Marles. Affirmative Action Agency. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra 1990.

  12. "Child Abuse and Neglect Australia 1990-91" Graham Angus and Katherine Wilkinson. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1990-91. Health and Welfare: Child Welfare Series No.2 AGPS, Canberra.


Further Recommended Reading

  1. "When Child Abuse Comes to the Church", by Bill Anderson (Bethany, 1992)

  2. "Breaking Through" by Cathy Ann Matthews (Southdown Press, Australia, 1986)

  3. "When Ministers Sin" by Neil and Thea Ormerod (Millennium Books, 1995)


Steps for Action

In the interests of protecting children and others against perpetrators of sexual abuse, and in an effort to prevent false allegations against the Church, we would suggest the following courses of action:

  1. That the Session adopt the screening forms in appendix 1 & 2 and prescribe that they be used when taking on workers within ministries of the local church.

  2. That the Session adopt the policies and procedures in appendix 3 & 4, and that the policies be publicised within the local church.

  3. That Ministers are urged to develop their own ethical guidelines using the appendices in this document as a basis and then have them sighted by spouses, Sessions and Presbyteries for the purpose of being held accountable.



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