Complaints

The aims

The complaints’ process adopted by legislation of the Synod of the Diocese aims –

  • to resolve matters by a just, quick and inexpensive process
  • to regulate the conduct of Church workers in the Diocese both to uphold standards and to protect the community.

The Kooyoora Office of Professional Standards manages the process.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse also reported on the Kooyoora process.

Who can complain?

Anyone can lodge a complaint of misconduct against a Church worker, including one deceased, with the Director of Professional Standards.

Church worker’ is broadly defined. It includes–

  • each member of the clergy and each lay minister; and
  • each lay person, remunerated or voluntary, holding a role office or position in a congregation or parish or in the Cathedral or in the Diocesan Offices or in the Cursillo movement or otherwise in the Church in the Diocese.
    This is a wide class covering many voluntary roles including a rostered reader, intercessor, welcomer, choir member, musician, pastoral care visitor or catering volunteer.

The Process

A Professional Standards Committee considers the complaint and may refer it to a Professional Standards Board.

The Board may uphold the complaint and recommend that action be taken against the Church worker or it may dismiss the complaint. The Committee or respondent may ask the Professional Standards Review Board to review the Board’s decision.

The Board and Review Board decide matters independently of the Church and must publish their determinations.

The Church authority (in the case of clergy, the Bishop of the Diocese) must give effect to the substance of the recommendation of the Board or Review Board.

Grievances

Grievances regarding the Professional Standards process should be directed to the Kooyoora Executive Director, Fiona Boyle, in the first instance.

If not satisfied with this outcome the Ombudsman, Hon David Harper AM, should be contacted.