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Scope of Complaints

An allegation may be made about the conduct of any person who is or was at any relevant time, in relation to a participating Church Authority:

•    a member of the clergy

•    a member of a religious institute

•    a lay pastoral minister

•    a seminarian or ordinand

•    a Church employee, office holder or volunteer

•    any of the above who are deceased.

What misconduct does the Pathways Model cover?

The process covers a wide range of  misconduct by Church personnel including:

•    sexual abuse of children or adults at risk

•    neglect or maltreatment, and physical or psychological abuse of children or adults at risk causing significant physical or psychological harm

•    other acts of a sexual nature which may be an offence under Victorian legislation, except for acts of a lay employee in their workplace

•    adult sexual misconduct

•    sexual misconduct, such as grooming or possessing child pornography, as defined in the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

•    ‘Inappropriate or unreasonable acts or omissions of Church personnel who had knowledge of conduct of another Church person involving child abuse.

Where an allegation is made against a current employee, the Pathways process will only apply if the allegation is not subject to another statutory authority or to a contractual employment relationship, unless the allegation is referred to Pathways by an employer.

If an allegation is made that is outside the scope of Pathways, it will be referred promptly to the relevant Head of Entity for appropriate action.


Pathways provides support to whistle-blowers in the Catholic Church by facilitating an allegation being made to the Response and Resolution Director rather than to the relevant Church Authority.

Who can report allegations to Pathways Victoria?

Pathways Victoria will hear allegations from any person reporting an incident that falls within the scope of misconduct as identified above other than in instances where:

•    The allegation has been heard through The Melbourne Response or Towards Healing processes (whether upheld or not)

•    The allegation has been resolved through The National Redress Scheme

•    The allegation has been resolved through civil litigation.

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