• Catholic Clergy Abuse - General
    Catholic Clergy Abuse - General
    Dr Viv Waller has acted in claims against Catholic Clergy since 1995. Waller Legal has recovered compensation for the victims of Catholic Priests such as Frs Baker, Ridsdale, Kevin O'Donnell, D'Cruz, Gannon, Glennon, Gubbels, Frank Klep, Bernard Day & Pidoto.
  • Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response
    Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response
    Melbourne Response is an alternative dispute resolution process designed to provide redress to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests, religious and lay persons who fall within the jurisdiction of the Melbourne Archdiocese.
  • Civil Litigation
    Civil Litigation
    Civil Litigation in the County And Supreme Courts of Victoria. In our pursuit of justice for sexual assault survivors Waller Legal has run common law cases for compensation against; Individual offenders such as family members, teachers, doctors, psychologists and religious figures;
  • Claims for Indigenous & Travel to Remote Communities
    Claims for Indigenous & Travel to Remote Communities
    If you have been the victim of a crime of violence or sexual assault then please contact our office so we may assess your application and obtain financial assistance, counselling, medical or other expenses that may help with your recovery.
  • Royal Commission & Redress Schemes
    Royal Commission & Redress Schemes
    Established in January 2013, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how institutions like schools, churches and sporting groups responded to allegations of child sexual abuse.
  • Sentencing Act Applications
    Sentencing Act Applications
    If you have been the victim of a crime for which the offender was convicted please contact our office urgently. Any Sentencing Act Application for compensation must be made within 12 months of the date of the conviction.
  • State Ward Claims
    State Ward Claims
    Dr Viv Waller has acted for former wards of the state of Victoria since 1997 when she commenced group litigation on behalf of many former residents of the Ballarat Orphanage who were abused in care.
  • Victim of Crimes Assistance Tribunal
    Victim of Crimes Assistance Tribunal
    If you have been the victim of a crime of violence or sexual assault then please contact our office so we may assess your application and obtain financial assistance, counselling, medical or other expenses that may help with your recovery.

Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response

Melbourne Response is an alternative dispute resolution process designed to provide redress to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests, religious and lay persons who fall within the jurisdiction of the Melbourne Archdiocese.

Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response

OVERVIEW

In 1996 the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne established an internal complaints and compensation scheme called the Melbourne Response.

The Melbourne Response is an alternative dispute resolution process designed to provide redress to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests, religious and lay persons who fall within the jurisdiction of the Melbourne Archdiocese.

WALLER LEGAL HAS EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE IN ASSISTING VICTIMS THROUGH THIS PROCESS AND ADVOCATING ON THEIR BEHALF.

We have recovered compensation for many people in claims progressed through the Melbourne Response.  We help clients prepare their case to maximise their entitlements. We accompany them to meetings with the Independent Commissioner and appear on their behalf before the Assessment Panel (formerly the Compensation Panel)

We do not always recommend that clients progress a claim through the Melbourne Response.  It’s important to get independent legal advice before deciding to participate.  Clients may have a viable common law claim that could be worth much more than the current Melbourne Response cap which, as of 1 January 2017, is $150,000.00.

We strongly recommend that you do not sign away your legal rights without first obtaining independent and experienced legal advice.

Historically, civil claims against the Catholic Church have been notoriously difficult, with strict limitation periods and the existence of technical legal arguments, such as the “Ellis” defence. However, the legal landscape is transforming and claims in negligence are increasingly becoming a realistic option.

Further Compensation Payments

On 4 April 2014, the Melbourne Archdiocese announced that it would conduct an internal review into the Melbourne Response process.

On 18 November 2016, the Melbourne Archdiocese announced that that the cap of $75,000.00 will be increased to $150,000.00, with effect from 1 January 2017.

The Melbourne Archdiocese further confirmed that it would revisit matters that have previously settled through the Melbourne Response process with a view to providing a further compensation payment.

If you have previously settled a claim through the Melbourne Response, you are eligible for a further compensation payment.

If you are eligible for a further compensation payment, your additional payment will be calculated, as follows:

  1. If your matter proceeded through the Melbourne Response process after April 2014, the additional monetary payment will be the difference between what you would have received if a cap of $150,000.00 was in place at the relevant time less payments already received.
  2. If your matter proceeded through the Melbourne Response process before April 2014, the additional monetary payment will be the difference between what you would have received if a cap of $150,000.00 was in place at the relevant time less payments already received, adjusted for inflation.

The Melbourne Archdiocese have indicated that applications received now are anticipated to receive payment by 30 June 2017.

Waller Legal can assist you with your application for your further compensation payment.

You will not need to have any direct communication with the Melbourne Archdiocese. You will not be required to attend any meetings with the Independent Commissioner or appear at any hearing before the Assessment Panel (formerly the Compensation Panel).

Waller Legal can monitor the progress of your application and ensure that you are paid the correct sum.

 

IF YOU WISH TO MAKE A COMPLAINT THROUGH MELBOURNE RESPONSE OR INVESTIGATE A POTENTIAL CIVIL CLAIM AGAINST THE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE, PLEASE CALL US ON 03 9415 9999 TO HAVE A CONFIDENTIAL DISCUSSION ABOUT YOUR OPTIONS.
In pursuit of justice
Testimonials
  • Dear Vivian,

    I wish to thank you for everything you have done to enable me to feel some justice has been achieved with the hope that the Catholic Church recognises it’s failings and addresses them.  In doing so, the Catholic Church can continue in the future, without public cynicism and to keep alive the central message of all religion, “to love thy neighbour as you would love yourself”.

    Essentially, this is asking us to step into another’s shoes before we judge them.  I feel that you did this for me during my conversations with me, and this made it easier for me to go through the whole process.  I also won’t forget the thoroughness and delightful manner of your staff.

    JA
  • I would like to thank you for acting on behalf in regards to the Christian Brothers.  Your logo “in pursuit of justice” says it all.  I didn’t know what to expect and very nearly withdrew from the whole process, but I am happy I didn’t.

    The most rewarding aspect for me was the sensitivity and warmth shown by you in relation to a very complex and emotional matter.  Also the knowledge that there are people willing to stand up on behalf of people like me has a healing effect.  I would also like to thank your staff for their warm and professional matter in this whole process.  You said to me during the phone appointment that you counted it a privilege to act for people like me.  Well Dr Waller, the privilege was all mine.  I wish you all the best in the future.

    JC
  • Six years after the settlement:

    It has been a long and well-travelled road for our girl, but I never thought I would see the day when she is as happy as she is now.  I was so happy when she decided to study nursing!  The settlement that she received enabled her to study full time over the past three years without having to worry about working while studying.

    What happened to our daughter, and to us as a family, will never go away, however, our daughter has managed to pick up the fragments of her life and move on. The horrors of what have happened will not disappear, perhaps just fade as more joyful occasions occur in her life.

    I want all of you to know what a tower of strength and support you were to all of us and that without you, our daughter’s life would have turned out very differently.

    You are always in our thoughts with gratitude for what you achieved.

    TJ
  • Viv Waller spent many hours over months gathering, sorting and preparing our evidence and my statement - a statement which was webcast around Australia and the world. 

    Viv Waller has spent her professional career solely helping and assisting people who were sexually assaulted as children by those in religious organisations.  In so many cases she had taken the power from the perpetrator and given it back to the survivor.

    Viv Waller’s work is essential.  Her guidance, abilities and professionalism lead me through a most overwhelming and daunting task which I can only thank her for.

    Chrissie Foster
  • As a mother, I write to express my gratitude to you and your team for the support of my daughter following her sexual assault three years ago.  Although the bloke who assaulted her was not charged the dollars being awarded to her following your intervention certainly acknowledges the wrong that was done – and will I hope, help her to move on.  Thank you for the work you do.  With much gratitude and appreciation.

    PS
  • Thank you for what you did, what you said and who you are, your thoughtfulness will always be remembered with more gratitude that you could ever know.

    Cheryl
  • Thank you so much for all of your hard work this year getting my VOCAT application together, and for the fantastic outcome. While I am still dealing with the emotional ramifications of what happened to me, I now feel like I have the means to continue rebuilding myself and my life. Thank you.

    CC
  • Dear Viv and Staff, thank you so much. You are all wonderful.

    E, L & J
  • Again we cannot thank you enough for all your dedication and hard work over the past few years, we would not have made it without your persistence and dogged determination to get this to settlement stage, many others would have settled for less. We now have a girl who has beaten the odds, and whose self esteem has rocketed, is confident, and especially is calm!

    We wish you all good things in life, as without lawyers like yourself who will take the risk of taking on the "untouchables" we would not have kept our girl on track or most importantly, alive. The road for her is still to be traveled, but this will assist in making the journey less troubled, and we hope with time and continued therapy she will see herself as a complete person and not as a shadow of who she could be.

    You will be forever in our thoughts.

    TJ
  • You are a wonderful warrior for truth and justice.

    Mary
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