Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 14, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2017 - PAGE 17
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n Weight Management
n Dietary Advice (Dietician co-located service)
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THE Catholic Bishop of Sale Pat O’Regan
responded to figures released last week about
the Diocese of Sale by the Royal Commission
into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse.
He said that at this particular time, his first
thoughts and prayers were with the many vic-
tim survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by
members of the Catholic clergy.
He said he had no doubt that the next few
weeks would be a time of distress for them in
the recollection of their stories and the mem-
ories that would be invoked.
“ We can only pray that this public drawing
together of the tragic and disgraceful history
of abuse in the Church assists in a tangible
way to lead the survivors to some sense of
peace and healing. ”
Bishop O’Regan said the Diocese of Sale,
like every other Diocese in Australia, had its
share of perpetrators of sexual abuse.
“Nothing that we say about statistics can di-
minish the suffering of even one person.
“We cannot pretend that the vagaries of sta-
tistical analysis somehow makes us less cul-
pable for the harm that has been done. ”
He said to suggest, as some media outlets
had done, that the Diocese of Sale was the
epicentre of the abuse crisis was to simplify
a very complex and tragic piece of our collec-
He said that what was needed was to take
a whole and collective responsibility for the
abuse that had occurred and to take a whole
and collective part in the redress of the issue.
Bishop O’Regan said the statistics quoted
in the Royal Commission data needed further
analysis and explanation.
“To have a single priest abuser was one too
many and to have a single claim against a Dio -
cese was also one too many. ”
He said the Diocese of Sale did not have
15.1 percent of the 4500 claims made in Aus-
tralia over the past 35 years as some may
have read into the figures.
“The report brought adverse attention on
the Diocese of Sale which actually had a total
of 20 claims.
“Given the 1880 perpetrators, of which
384 were Diocesan priests, the total number
of priests alleged to have been perpetrators,
using the 15.1 percent figure, would be 12
which was consistent with data held by the
“On these figures the 12 from Sale repre -
sented 3.1 percent of the total alleged perpe -
trators Australia-wide. ”
Bishop O’Regan said the Diocese of Sale
had, over recent years, been working with
victims, their advocates and legal advisors to
reach both pastoral and financial agreements.
This has occurred through the work of the
current and previous Bishops and Vicars
The Diocese would continue to work pasto -
rally in this way.
He said that from the perspective of preven-
tion, a Professional Standards Officer had
been appointed to work across parishes and
schools to ensure that all proper processes
for the protection of children and vulnerable
adults were in place and actively promoted,
resourced and monitored.
Bishop responds to Royal Commission
COMMUNITY organisations enhancing op-
portunities for women and girls in rural and
regional Victoria are invited to apply for grant
funding from a pool of around $150,000.
General manager of the Victorian Women’s
Trust, Carolyn Munckton, said that the trust
works to support projects that address the
needs of refugee and migrant families, as well
as women or girls experiencing socio-economic
disadvantages, lack of education or training op-
tions, or those living with disability or illness.
“The rural and regional focus of the 2017 gen-
eral grants round continues the trust’s proud
tradition of targeting significant disadvantage
or lack of resources affecting women and girls
and their communities,” Carolyn said.
“It’s vital that we are reaching out to rural and
regional Victoria with our 2017 grants.
“Supporting initiatives that specifically re-
spond to the needs of rural or regional women
and girls will deliver positive, impactful out-
comes for local communities.
“Last year we supported organisations that
applied for $2000 as well as $30,000. We en-
courage applicants to look at previous grants to
see what was approved.
“The trust has previously funded many out-
standing projects across regional Victoria
including research and support services de-
livered by the Ballarat Centre Against Sexual
Assault (CASA), Wimmera Uniting Care’s ca-
pacity building program for women with dis-
abilities and Gippsland Women’s Health Ser-
vice’s program to support teachers and nurses
working with family violence,” Carolyn said.
The Victorian Women’s Trust has provided
almost $7 million in grants for more than 560
projects in 31 years.
Applications for the 2017 general grants close
Friday, March 24.
For more information about the grants or
to apply, visit the website at www.vwt.org.au/
Rural women’s grants available
FOLLOWING much community interest
at the recent South Gippsland Shire Council
elections, publicity in the local press call-
ing for community members for a residents
and ratepayers received an enthusiastic
After several meetings a steering commit-
tee has been formed with members from all
wards, and the name South Gippsland Ac-
tion Group chosen.
“The name South Gippsland Action Group
reflects the group’s desire to see action on
issues affecting the South Gippsland com-
munity and to that end to work with our new
councillors,” the group’s Steve Finlay said.
“Issues currently on SGAG’s agenda are
our high rates, the proposed municipal pre -
cinct, council accountability and transparen-
cy, as well as the situation with our caravan
parks and the future of HACC. ”
The steering committee has members with
accounting, technical, business and profes-
sional expertise but, really the only require -
ment for being involved is an interest in
South Gippsland matters.
SGAG welcomes any enquiries, for further
information contact: Korumburra
515 682, Venus Bay 0410 043 948, Mirboo
North 0455 365 527, Leongatha 0413 966
603, Foster 0400 572 505.
for the shire
Terry Aeschlimann and Steve Finlay are among the members of the new South
Gippsland Action Group. M130517
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