Who we are

Catholic Parish of St Bernadette
367 Old Northern Road
Castle Hill, NSW 2154
Phone (02) 9634 2622 Fax (02) 9899 3511
E-mail: admin@stbernadette.org.au

Issued March 2004

The parish of St Bernadette’s Catholic Church, Castle Hill, (the parish) is part of the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Parramatta. The Church fulfils its mission of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ through the establishment and operation of parishes, schools, and welfare agencies. Each of these agencies, including this parish, collects personal information to enable the Church minister to the faithful, and to fulfil its canonical and civil law obligations.

The parish is bound by the 2001 amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Act), which include the National Privacy Principles.

This policy statement sets out how this parish deals with personal information.

This policy may be reviewed and updated from time to time to comply with all relevant legislation and to take account of changes in technology, changes to the operations of the parish and its practices, and to ensure that it remains relevant to the parish environment.

1. Application

This statement applies to:

* Members of the parish;

* Members of the general public;

* Volunteers, contractors and prospective employees of the parish; and

* Students in the parish primary school and the parish feeder secondary school.

This statement applies where personal information is collected and/or used by the parish.

Personal information means information or an opinion, whether or not true, and whether or not recorded in material form, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can be reasonably ascertained, from the information or opinion.

The Act also regulates the collection of sensitive information, which includes personal information about racial or ethnic origin, religion, sexuality, criminal record and union activity. Sensitive information is also health information about an individual.

This statement does not apply to records or information held or collected on behalf of or relating to existing or former employees of the parish.

This statement does not apply to personal information collected and held by St Bernadette’s Primary School. The school has a separate privacy statement, which is available upon request from the Principal.

2. Personal information collected

The type of information that the parish collects and holds includes (but is not limited to) personal information, including sensitive information, about:

* Children and their parents and/or guardians related to children receiving sacraments or pastoral care or enrolment at the parish school;

* Adults receiving sacraments or pastoral care and witnesses to sacraments;

* Staff members including paid staff, volunteers, religious, and contractors;

* Fundraising activities;

* Prospective employees;

* Other people who come into contact with the parish.

Where the parish is collecting information of this kind, it will ordinarily issue a copy of the standard collection notice (see below).

The parish will generally collect personal information about an individual by way of forms filled out either by the person or the parent/guardian, face-to-face meetings, interviews, and telephone calls. The Diocese also collects information of a ‘global’ nature through data transfer from parishes.

The parish will endeavour to collect an individual’s personal information directly from that individual.

3. Purpose of Collection

The parish will use your personal information for the primary purpose of collection, and for such other secondary purposes that are directly related to the primary purpose of collection, or to which you have consented.

4. Children and their parents and /or guardians

In many cases, the parish collects personal information about children for the primary purpose of administering the sacraments and pastoral care to children of the faithful, or if the parish offers after school care or social/sporting facilities and activities. This information is required so that the parish is able to provide care for the child while under supervision.

In some cases where a parish requests personal information about a child or parent and/or guardian, and disclosure of the information requested is not made, the parish may be unable to offer the child the sacrament, or enrol or continue the enrolment of the child in a parish programme.

5. Personal information provided by other people

In some circumstances, the parish may be provided with personal information about an individual from a third party; for example, obtaining a reference from a referee about a job applicant.

Often the parish is requested to include the names of individuals in prayers (for example, if a person is ill) or in the parish newsletter because of a significant event (for example a wedding anniversary or birthday). Such requests can only be met with the consent of the individual, except in specified circumstances that are contemplated by the Act. The parish will seek the consent of the individual concerned before publishing such information.

6. How Your Personal Information is used

The parish will use personal information in various ways including (but not limited to):

* Attending to pastoral care needs;

* To implement and maintain planned giving programmes;

* To contact you if you are a volunteer; or,

* If you are a job applicant, to assess your suitability for the position for which you have applied.

The parish uses personal information about children and their parents and/or guardians in various ways, including:

* Keeping parents informed about matters related to their child’s spiritual life, through correspondence, newsletters and magazines;

* Day-to-day administration;

* Looking after spiritual physical and social well-being of its students;

* Seeking donations for the parish;

* Contributing to aggregated data that the parish or the Diocese may require from time to time to meet reporting and planning responsibilities; and

* Satisfying the parish’s legal obligations so as to permit the parish to discharge its duty of care.

7. Job applicants, staff members and contractors:

The parish uses the personal information of job applicants, staff members and contractors primarily to assess and (if successful) to engage the services of the individual. The Parish will also use this information:

* To administer the individual’s employment or contract (as the case may be);

* For insurance purposes;

* To seek funds and marketing for the parish;

* To contribute to aggregated data that the parish and the Diocese use to meet their reporting and planning responsibilities;

* To enable the parish maintain necessary staff information for entitlements including long service leave, maternity leave, WorkCover and other necessary industrial or employment purposes;

* To satisfy the parish’s legal obligations (for example, in relation to child protection legislation);

* Other purposes that may arise from time to time.

8. To whom might the parish disclose personal information?

Each parish in the Diocese of Parramatta will, from time to time, share personal information with other parishes within the Diocese. This allows parishes to transfer information between them, for example, when a person changes address or is to receive a sacrament in another parish. It also allows parishes to transfer information to the Diocesan Chancery for planning and reporting purposes. The parish may disclose personal information (including sensitive information) held about an individual to:

* Another parish (within the Diocese or another Diocese);

* Catholic Church Insurances Limited;

* Government departments;

* The parish primary school or other Catholic school;

* People providing services to the parish;

* Recipients of parish publications, like newsletters and magazines;

* Parents and/or guardians;

* Anyone to whom you authorise the parish to disclose your personal information.

The parish will ordinarily seek the relevant individual’s consent to disclosure or use of that individual’s personal information. In other cases, consent may be implied. Where consent cannot be obtained, the parish will have regard to the provisions of the Act prior to using or disclosing the individual’s personal information.

The parish will not send personal information about an individual outside Australia without:

* Obtaining the consent of the individual (in some cases this consent will be implied); or

* Otherwise complying with the National Privacy Principles.

9. Fundraising:

Fundraising is important for ensuring that the parish is able to continue to provide pastoral care and to maintain and develop the parish church building and other property. Personal information held by a parish may be disclosed to an organisation that assists in the parish’s fundraising, for example, Catholic Fundraising.

Parishioners, staff, and contractors may from time to time receive fundraising information. Parish publications, such as newsletters and magazines, which include personal information, may be used for fundraising purposes.

10. How will sensitive information be treated?

Sensitive information will be used and disclosed only where the individual has consented to such use and/or disclosure, for a directly related secondary purpose, or where the use or disclosure of the sensitive information is allowed or required by law.

11. Management and security of personal information

Parish staff must respect the confidentiality of personal information and the privacy of individuals. The parish has taken steps to protect the personal information that it holds from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by use of various methods, including locked storage of paper records and restricted access to computerised records, requiring the use of a secret password.

The parish engages contractors to perform some of its functions. In some circumstances, these contractors have access to the personal information that the parish holds. In most cases, the parish has confidentiality agreements with the individual contractors, requiring that the information that they come into contact with remains confidential.

12. Updating personal information

The parish endeavours to ensure that the personal information it holds is accurate, complete and up-to-date. A person may seek to update their personal information held by contacting the Parish Priest at any time. The National Privacy Principles require the parish only store the personal information for as long as is necessary.

13. You have the right to check what personal information the Parish holds about you

Under the Act, individuals may seek access to any personal information that the parish holds about them and to request that any perceived inaccuracy is changed. The Act sets out some exceptions to this right. Children will generally have access to their personal information through their parents and/or guardians.

To make a request to access any information the parish holds about you or your child, please contact the Parish Priest in writing.

The parish may require you to verify your identity and specify what information you require. A fee may be charged to cover the cost of verifying your application and locating, retrieving, reviewing and copying any material requested. If the information sought is extensive, you will be advised of the likely cost in advance.

14. Consent and rights of access to the personal information of children

The parish respects every parent’s and/or guardian’s right to make decisions concerning their child’s religious upbringing and care.

Generally, a parish will refer any requests for consent and notices in relation to the personal information of a child to the child’s parents. A parish will treat consent given by a parent and/or guardian as consent given on behalf of the child, and notice to a parent and/or guardian will act as notice given to the child.

There will be occasions when access is denied; for example, where release of the personal information would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others, or where the release may result in a breach of the parish’s duty of care to the child.

The parish may, at its discretion, on the request of a child grant that child access to personal information held by the parish about them, or allow a child to give or withhold consent to the use of their personal information, independently of their parents and/or guardian. This would normally be done only when the relevant child has reached 18 years of age, but a parish may do so in other circumstances where the maturity of the child and/or the child’s personal circumstances so warrant.

15. Enquiries and Complaints

If you wish to make an enquiry or complaint about the manner in which the parish has handled your personal information, in the first instance please contact the Parish Priest:

Reverend Fernando Montano
367 Old Northern Road
Castle Hill NSW 2154
Telephone (02) 9634 2622 Facsimile (02) 9899 3511
E-mail admin@stbernadette.org.au

If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may then wish to make a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, who is responsible for the enforcement of the Act.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s contact details are:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner
GPO Box 5218
Telephone 1300 363 992 Facsimile (02) 9284 9666
Email: privacy@privacy.gov.au

16. Implementation of this Policy

This policy has been adopted by the Parish Priest of St Bernadette’s, Castle Hill Parish, on18th March, 2004, after approval by the Trustees of the Diocese, and may only be amended by the Parish Priest or his successor(s), following upon approval of such amendment by the Trustees of the Diocese.



1. The parish collects personal information, including sensitive information, about members of the faithful. The primary purpose of collecting this information is to enable it to administer the sacraments and pastoral care to the faithful, and to the children of the faithful. Information may be required to allow the parish to meet some of its legal obligations, provide care for the child while under supervision and discharge its duty of care. If you reside in the parish or otherwise continue to use its services, the information may also be used to solicit donations and/or request your services as a volunteer from time to time.

2. The parish discloses personal and sensitive information to others for administrative purposes. This includes other parishes, the Diocese, and people providing services to the schools including volunteers.

3. If we do not obtain the information requested, we may not be able to administer the sacraments.

4. Personal information collected from children is disclosed to their parents or guardians. parents or guardians may seek access to personal information collected about them and their son/daughter by contacting the parish.

5. Adults may also seek access to information collected about them in the same manner.

6. As the parish is largely relies upon locally raised funds and local effort for its continuation, information received from those who reside in the parish or avail themselves of its services may be used to solicit donations and other forms of support from them. On occasions it uses the resources of the Diocese to support this process and in the course of this, information is made available to those people. We will not disclose your personal information to other third parties for fundraising purposes without your consent.

Note: A copy of the parish privacy policy is available from the parish office.