Making a complaint

You are here:

We learn to make appropriate decisions with each other and not
always rely on authority to intervene on behalf of one or other of us.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to or about the Diocese, the services the Diocese offers, a diocesan worker or the handling of a complaint where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.

This webpage is designed to help the complainant make contact with the most appropriate part of the Diocese so that their complaint can be made to the people most responsible for addressing their complaint.  However, there is no ‘wrong door’ for complainants.

This webpage is NOT for reporting concerns for children or reporting allegations of abuse or neglect of vulnerable persons.  These concerns and allegations should be reported as allegations via the appropriate available pathways:

For reporting concerns for children (including allegations of abuse)

For reporting abuse of vulnerable persons


It is most effective to address complaints directly with the diocesan worker who is the cause or subject of the complaint and attempt to resolve the situation on a mutually agreeable basis.

If you are unable to resolve the issue with the relevant diocesan worker, you should discuss it with that worker’s supervisor. For example, in the case of a teacher in a diocesan school, discuss it with the school’s principal or assistant principal.

Dependent on the service or program in which the diocesan worker is employed, volunteers or ministers, there are particular complaints procedures to follow.

Making a complaint

CatholicCare Social Services

For CatholicCare Social Services, you are encouraged to provide feedback, including making a complaint on CatholicCare’s website. There is advice on how to make a complaint and how to follow it up if unsatisfied with the proffered resolution:

You are also able to make a complaint to the NSW Ombudsman if dissatisfied with the outcomes of your complaint:
P:   1800 451 524
Online complaint: 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcomes of your complaint related to a NDIS-funded service, you are also able to make a contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission:
P:   1800 035 544 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Online complaint:  

Catholic Schools Office and Diocesan Catholic Systemic Schools

For Catholic Schools Office and diocesan systemic schools, if you are unable to resolve the complaint locally in the school, you can access the CSO’s Complaints Resolution and Feedback process, including downloading an electronic complaints form from the website:

St Nicholas Early Education and OOSH Services

For St Nicholas Early Education and OOSH (Out of School Hours Care) Services the complaints procedure is centre-based, with each centre director responsible for addressing complaints from families. If you are uncomfortable making your complaint to the director, you are able to contact the St Nicholas general operations manager:
P:   02 4979 1197 available Monday to Friday during normal office hours.

If you are dissatisfied with St Nicholas’s response, you are entitled to make a complaint with the NSW Department of Education.

What you can complain about to the Department of Education

Parents and carers can complain directly to the Department of Education about a service not complying with the national law and regulations, including a service’s:

  • physical environment
  • quality of education
  • interactions between staff and children including inappropriate behaviours or inappropriate discipline.

You can also complain about services operating without approval.

NSW Government Early Childhood Education – feedback and complaints 

P:   1800 619 113

Parishes, Parish Leaders and Clergy

For issues related to parishes, the priest or appointed leader is the appropriate authority with whom to address your complaint.

You can obtain contact and website details for all diocesan parishes on the diocesan website:

If you are not satisfied with the parish leader’s response or you have a particular complaint about a member of the diocesan clergy and you have been unable to resolve directly with the particular cleric, you can refer the complaint to the Chancellor of Maitland-Newcastle:-

Via the diocesan website 

P:   02 4979 1111, available Monday to Friday during normal office hours

E:  (“Attention Chancellor”)

Office of Safeguarding

If you are unable to resolve an issue with the relevant worker or their supervisor for issues relating to the Office of Safeguarding, please address your complaint to the Director of Safeguarding. You can lodge a complaint on this website:

P:   02 4979 1383


If your concerns relate to the Director of Safeguarding and you feel unable to address the compliant directly with the Director or you believe your complaint was not properly addressed, you can refer your complaint to the Vicar-General:-

Via the diocesan website 

P:   02 4979 1111, available Monday to Friday during normal office hours

E:  (“Attention Vicar-General”)