Mazenod College, a Victorian Catholic Secondary Boy’s school administered by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all of its students. All community members have a responsibility to minimise the risks that students may be subjected to and should immediately act upon any issue that comes to their attention.
This Code of Conduct has a specific focus on safeguarding children and young people at Mazenod College against sexual, physical, psychological, and emotional abuse or neglect. It is intended to complement other professional and/or occupational codes.
All staff, volunteers, contractors, clergy, and board members at Mazenod College are expected to actively contribute to a school culture that respects the dignity of its members and affirms the Gospel values of love, care for others, compassion and justice. They are required to observe child safe principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children, as noted below.
All staff, volunteers, contractors, clergy and board members are responsible for supporting the safety of children by
- Adhering to the school’s child-safe policy and upholding the school’s commitment at all times
- Taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse
- Treating everyone in the school community with respect
- Listening and responding to views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child has been abused or that they are worried about their own safety or the safety of another child.
- Promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
- Promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (by having a zero-tolerance of discrimination)
- Promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability
- Ensuring as far as practicable that adults are not alone with a child
- Reporting any allegations of child abuse to the Deputy Principal Students and to the school leadership team
- If allegations of child abuse are made, ensure as quickly as possible, that the individual/s are safe
- Reporting to the Victorian Institute of Teaching, any charges, committals for trial, or convictions in relation to a sexual offence, by a registered teacher, or certain allegations or concerns about a registered teacher.
Staff and volunteers must not
- Ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse
- Develop any relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism
- Exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical
- Put children at risk of abuse (for example by locking doors)
- Initiate unnecessary physical contact with children or do things of a personal nature that a child can do for themselves (Unless that child is their own)
- Engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for example, personal social activities. Unless that child is their own)
- Use inappropriate language in the presence of children
- Express personal views on cultures, race, or sexuality in the presence of children
- Discriminate against any child in regards to age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability, sexuality, ethnicity or disability.
- Have contact with a child or their family outside of school without the school’s leadership knowledge (for example, unauthorised after-hours tutoring, private instrumental/other lessons or sports coaching); accidental contact, such as seeing people in the street, is appropriate
- Have any online contact of a personal nature with a child (including by social media, email, instant messaging etc.) or their family (unless necessary, e.g. providing families with e-newsletters, or assisting students with schoolwork)
- Use any personal communication channels/devices such as personal email accounts
- Exchange personal contact details such as phone numbers, social networking sites or email addresses with a current student in an inappropriate manner.
- Photograph or video a child without the consent of the parent or guardians
- Consume illegal drugs at school or work with children whilst under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Consume alcohol at school or at school events in the presence of students unless authorised by the school governing (e.g. Father Association events, Mothers Auxiliary events and Valedictory Dinner)
The Principal, the Deputy Principal of Student Wellbeing, the school governing authority and school leaders at Mazenod recognise their particular responsibility in ensuring that the school takes specific actions to protect children from abuse in line with the three new criminal offences introduced under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.) and in line with the PROTECT protocol, Protect: Identifying and Responding to All Forms of Abuse in Victoria. As stated in Mazenod College’s Child Safe School and Child Protection – Reporting Obligations Policy.
For more information about our Code of Conduct, please contact the College.