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About Us

A safe church is who we are called to be.

Being a safe church is the way we physically, emotionally and spiritually care for each other.

The National Safe Church Unit works collaboratively with Synods to support the Church in growing and sustaining a culture of safety, so all parts of our Church are places where people feel safe. Our work spans ministry and mission, including the Church’s congregations, agencies, hospitals and schools.

What we do

  • We guide and support the Church in living its commitment to be a safe church for all people.
  • We lead the Church’s approach to nationally consistent training to help keep children and young people safe.
  • We work to share knowledge and practice, to make connections and empower our Church community, as keeping people safe, especially children and young people, is everyone’s responsibility.
  • We develop frameworks, policies and resources for use across the life of the Church.
  • We promote the safety and welfare of children, young people and other vulnerable people, and work to raise their voices across the life of the Church.
  • We collaborate with and are guided by Synods and Assembly in all we do.

Our Team

Rev. John Cox

Rev. John Cox

National Director

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Erin Black

Erin Black

National Safeguarding Quality Assurance Lead

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Governance, roles and responsibilities

National Safe Church Unit

Established in 2019 by the Assembly Synod Standing Committee, the National Safe Church Unit works collaboratively with a network of representatives from all Synods and the Assembly. It leads and manages national child safe church policy, frameworks, training and resources.

The National Safe Church Unit reports to the Assembly General Secretary and is led by the National Director. Annual reports are made to Assembly and externally to the National Office for Child Safety.

The National Safe Church Unit was formed as part of the Uniting Church’s enduring commitment to being a safe church for all people and in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Synod Safe Church Leads

Safe Church Leads are a vital link between Synods and congregations and the National Safe Church Unit. They promote safe church practice in all Synod activity, provide guidance and support and are a local contact point for any safe church concerns and enquiries. They participate on various governance groups to share the particular views of their Synod with the National Safe Church Unit.

Governance Committee

This Committee oversees the National Safe Church Unit and provides support for strategic direction.

Consultation Advisory Group

These Synod and Assembly representatives inform and assist National Safe Church Unit to connect and work across the life of the Church.