• 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.

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.

State Wards Claims

Waller Legal has extensive experience in representing former State Wards in seeking compensation and justice.

Many former State Wards experienced abuse and ill treatment during their time in care.

If you were a State Ward then the Government was your legal guardian and was responsible for making sure you were properly cared for.  The relevant Department went by many names including the Children’s Welfare Department, the Social Welfare Department and the Department of Community Welfare Services.  In Victoria it is now known as the Department of Health and Humans Services (or DHHS).

We have assisted many clients to pursue claims against the State of Victoria and receive compensation.  Sometimes the Department placed wards in homes and orphanages run by other organisations.  We seek compensation from those other organisations too, such as the Christian Brothers, who ran St Augustine’s Boys Home in Geelong and St Vincent’s Boys Home in South Melbourne.

We have successfully resolved many claims against the State, and other religious and non-government organisations, through a negotiated process.  Where negotiation does not deliver an appropriate result, we have also litigated cases against the State of Victoria.

In August 2015, Waller Legal represented two former State Wards who appeared as survivor-witnesses in the Child Abuse Royal Commission public hearing into State Run Youth Training and Reception Centres.  This hearing examined the experiences of former child residents at Turana Youth Training Centre, Winlaton Youth Training Centre and Baltara Reception Centre between the 1960s and early 1990s.

Waller Legal currently represents a large number of former State Wards in compensation claims in relation to abuse they experienced in these institutions. 

We also act for large numbers of men abused in children's homes run by the Christian Brothers – St Augustine's in Geelong and St Vincent's in South Melbourne, in particular.

Waller Legal has experience representing former State Wards in relation to abuse.  We have acted for care leavers from many institutions, including: 

  • Abbotsford Convent
  • Allambie
  • Anglicare
  • Ballarat Orphanage / Ballarat Children’s Home
  • Baltara Reception Centre
  • Bayswater Boys’ Home
  • Bendigo Training Centre
  • Box Hill Boys’ Home
  • Brophy Memorial Hostel
  • Burwood Boys’ Home
  • Glastonbury Orphanage
  • Good Shepherds Sisters Convent
  • Kardinia Children’s Home
  • Kent Town
  • Kildonan
  • Lyndon Lodge
  • Malmsbury Youth Training Centre
  • Menzies Home for Children
  • Morning Star Boys’ Home
  • Nazareth Boys’ Home
  • Nazareth House
  • Orana, the Peace Memorial Homes for Children
  • Royal Park Depot
  • Sandhurst Boys’ Home
  • St Aiden’s Orphanage
  • St Augustine’s Orphanage
  • St Catherine’s Children’s Home / St Catherine’s Orphanage
  • St John’s Home for Boys and Girls
  • St Vincent de Paul Girls Orphanage
  • St Vincent de Paul Black Rock
  • St Vincent’s South Melbourne
  • Tally Ho
  • Turana Youth Training Centre
  • Winlaton Youth Training Centre

 

 

If you wish to investigate a potential civil claim against the State Government, please call us on 03 9415 9999 to have a confidential discussion about your options.
In pursuit of justice
Testimonials
  • What Dr Waller has achieved for me is nothing short of a miracle.  At the age of 60 I was feeling very upset at the abuse that I had encountered as a very young girl at the hands of a Salesian Brother.  My dealings with the Salesians many years later to try and resolve the matter left a very bitter taste in my mouth.  In fact, they made me feel abused all over again.  Vivian Waller was referred to me by Broken Rites, and that was the day my life changed.  I am so grateful that my words feel a little trite.

    Vivian has a no nonsense approach, keeps you on track, is honest, and like a dog with a bone, she keeps you going to have the desired outcome.  The world needs more Vivians.  Myself and my family are forever grateful to you.  Thanks mate, you’re my hero.

    Cathie
  • Many thanks to you and your team for the positive outcome regarding the Anglican Church of Melbourne.

    Although nothing will erase the memories and feelings I still harbour, I at least now feel somewhat satisfied that I have had a win in all of this.

    Mark White
  • Thank you so much for your efforts in this matter, and your patience with my frustrations as well.

    BQ
  • 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
  • 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
  • I would like to thank you for all you have done for me. The steps taken thus far have helped me greatly. Without your help I am not sure where I would be today, on behalf of myself and my family THANKYOU SO MUCH.

    Garry
  • I feel so fortunate to have gone through this with you and your great team.

    The delicate way you approach very sensitive issues made this whole process a lot more comfortable than I would ever have imagined.  I will forever be grateful to you and your amazing team for taking my case.

    From me and all the other survivors, thank you so much.

    N,M,J
  • Yes indeed, thank you Vivian for your perseverance and dedication in doing whatever you can to bring about some justice in the absence of a full ecclesiastical council/court to judge publicly those who have violated not only the natural law, but the law of God in whose name these violations have taken place.

    Kathleen
  • 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
  • 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
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