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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Working With Children

In New South Wales, child-related employment requires a Working with Children Check. Some charges or convictions may disqualify you from working with children without a Tribunal order. Serious convictions may automatically disqualify you.

Before you can be employed to work with children, most employers will require you to pass a Working With Children Check from the Office of the Children’s Guardian. This check will consider:

  • Any charges or Police investigations involving you;
  • Any convictions (including cases where no conviction was recorded or you were acquitted on appeal); and
  • Any other legal proceedings or government information which relates to your behaviour around children or young people.

A Working With Children Check does not need to establish facts beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, it is a risk assessment where the priority is the safety of children. This means that even if you successfully defend a matter, you are not guaranteed to pass a Working With Children Check. It may be necessary for you to have legal representation to advocate on your behalf through the assessment process.

If the Children’s Guardian can grant you a clearance, but does not, you may be entitled to seek a review of their decision in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. We can prepare and present a review application for you.

When considering whether or not to seek a Working With Children Clearance, it is important to have an understanding of your chances of success before you start. This is because a refusal from the Children’s Guardian also generally results in a five-year disqualification period on seeking another clearance.

We can provide you with guidance on your chances of success and the types of expert and supporting evidence that will be relevant in proving your suitability for a Working With Children Clearance.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.


If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


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