New director for the Catholic Church’s National Office for Professional Standards is well placed for challenges ahead

The National Professional Standards Committee (NOPS) has appointed former Christchurch lawyer and
mother of two, Virginia Noonan, to the role of Director, National Office of Professional Standards (NOPS).
Ms Noonan, most recently working as the inaugural Safeguarding Coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of
Christchurch, will take up this new role in January 2018.

NOPS is an agency of the Mixed Commission, a partnership between the New Zealand Catholic Bishops
Conference (NZCBC) and Congregation Leaders Conference of Aotearoa New Zealand (CLCANZ). It sets out
the strategic direction of the Catholic Church’s safeguarding policy for children, young people and adults at
risk. It is also responsible for monitoring and auditing the compliance of dioceses and religious orders with
these safeguarding principles and procedures. NOPS also responds to all complaints of abuse in the Church
and manages the complaints procedure.

Ms Noonan has been involved in a wide range of organisations, including private legal practice, directorships
on both local and national boards, as consultant for the government in both statutory management and
governance facilitation roles.Mr Phil Hamlin, Chair of the NPSC, commented on the appointment, “we are delighted that Virginia will take up the position, building on the good work done to date by the present incumbent, Bill Kilgallon. We’re
fortunate in that while Virginia is new to this role, she has a good understanding of the issues, having worked
previously with Bill in her capacity as a one of the six Diocesan Safeguarding Leaders. She has the relevant
experience necessary for this role, and brings with it a fresh perspective.”

On the announcement of her appointment, Ms Noonan said, “I am clear that safeguarding is not simply an
issue of compliance, but is an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church. As every person has been
created in the image and likeness of God, we have a duty to value and safeguard all people within our Church
community.”

Mr Hamlin also expressed his gratitude for the work carried out over the past five years by Mr Kilgallon. “Bill
has been a real asset to the Office, always with a considered, objective and compassionate approach to his
work. I acknowledge his tirelessness in seeking accountability, justice and forging a path for healing. I wish
him all the best for what I know will be a busy and fulfilling retirement.”

Media contact:  Amanda Gregan 021 611 052

 

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