• 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 - 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 - General

Overview

Waller Legal has acted in claims against Catholic defendants since our beginning in 2007.  Although our work commenced in Victoria, we now act in clergy abuse matters across Australia.  We have helped our clients recover compensation for abuse by Catholic priests, brothers, nuns and lay people working within a Catholic institution.

We have negotiated compensation and assistance for close family members badly affected by the abuse of their loved one.  These are known as “secondary victim claims”. 

We are experienced in progressing these cases in various ways, including Supreme and County Court litigation, alternative dispute resolution (out of court discussions) and the Church’s own internal processes – either “Towards Healing” or the “Melbourne Response”.

Where we can show that a previous settlement was unfair, we have achieved a further “ex-gratia” payment of compensation for clients from some Catholic defendants.  

We have successfully recovered compensation for clients in claims against many Catholic entities, including the:

  • Christian Brothers
  • Diocese of Ballarat
  • Salesians of Don Bosco
  • Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
  • De La Salle Brothers
  • Passionist Brothers
  • Marist Brothers
  • Marist Fathers (or the Society of Mary)
  • Vincentians 
  • Redemptorists
  • Jesuits

 

The Christian Brothers

We have recovered compensation for hundreds of clients abused at Christian Brother schools and orphanages in Victoria and throughout Australia.

Initially the majority of claims arose from schools in Ballarat, such as St Alipius and St Patrick’s College.  These cases related to sexual predators such as Christian Brother Robert Charles Best, Ted Dowlan (now known as Ted Bales) and Leo Fitzgerald.  

In more recent times we have acted and continue to act for a large number of clients who came to Australia as child migrants from the United Kingdom, Malta and other countries and who were then abused in Christian Brother run institutions in Western Australia, including Tardun, Bindoon, Clontarf and Castledare.

We have achieved compensation for former students of Parade College, St Leo’s Christian Brother College Box Hill, Therry College Broadmeadows (later known as Penola Catholic College) and other schools.  We have also successfully obtained compensation for clients abused by lay teachers in Christian Brother schools.

We have also run many successful claims for former state wards abused at St Augustine’s Boys’ Home in Geelong and St Vincent Boys’ Home in South Melbourne.  We have achieved compensation for clients abused in orphanages by various Christian Brothers including Brothers Eastmure, McGee, Hackett, Alford and Houston.

Top Ups

Where we are able to establish that a previously settled Christian Brother matter was resolved unfairly, or the Towards Healing process was flawed, we have been successful in obtaining a further “ex-gratia” payments for clients.

Secondary Victims

In some circumstances we can negotiate compensation and assistance for close family members badly affected by the abuse of their loved one.  Secondary victims can include a parent, partner or child of the person abused.

 

The Diocese of Ballarat

The Diocese of Ballarat includes fifty-one parishes that cover the western third of Victoria, extending from the Murray River in the North to the Southern Ocean in the South.

We act for victims abused by clergy of The Diocese of Ballarat including people harmed by notorious convicted child sex offender Father Gerald Ridsdale.

We currently act in cases issued in the Supreme Court of Victoria against Bishop Ronald Austin Mulkearns, former Bishop of the Diocese of Ballarat, on behalf survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by Ridsdale.

 

The Salesians of Don Bosco

We act for clients who were abused at Rupertswood Salesian College in Sunbury and St Joseph’s Regional College in Ferntree Gully.

Our clients’ claims relate to abuse by Father Frank Klep, Father Julian Fox, former Father David Rapson, Father Michael Aulsebrook and others.

 

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC)

We have recovered compensation for victims abused at Monivae College in Hamilton by different members of the MSC including convicted child sex offender Brother Edward Mamo.


The De La Salle Brothers

We have recovered compensation for victims abused at different De La Salle run schools including at St Joseph’s primary school and De La Salle College in Malvern, Victoria.

Allegations have related to Brother Anselm (Tom Hallam) and Brother Ibar (Frank Keating).

 

The Marist Brothers

We act for clients who were abused by different members of the Marist Brothers including convicted sex offender Brother Gerard McNamara.

 

Victims fear alleged 'cover-up' of sexual abuse will not be revealed - Gregg Borschmann, aired on Radio National Breakfast, 5 April 2016

 

If you wish to investigate a potential civil claim against a Catholic organisation, please call us on 03 9415 9999 to have a confidential discussion about your options.
In pursuit of justice
Testimonials
  • 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
  • It is with both great relief and admiration that I write this letter to you. A consummate professional and an amazingly beautiful human being you are. Thank you for doing such an exemplary job in resolving these issues for me, and supporting me with both compassion and instruction as my representative throughout this ordeal. I am painfully aware that no amount of retribution / compensation can replace what was taken, but I am hoping it can propel myself forward to achieve some sort of normality in my life. With respect and gratitude.

    JZ
  • 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
  • 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
  • I do not think that words can fully express my gratitude, but I will try.  It took me a number of years to decide to proceed with legal action for my abuse claim.  I had heard about Waller Legal from a friend and I must say that all he said was correct, in that they are awesome, sympathetic, etc.  But not ever what he told me prepared me for the experience that I had dealing with Waller Legal.  Firstly, Elisa.  You are a lovely empathetic soul who I truly felt comfortable dealing with.  You were even able to make me laugh on my down days of going through and discussing legal issues pertaining to my case.  It was a pleasure dealing with you. Thank you so much.

    Vivian Waller you too are amazing both as a person and as a legal representative.  I felt so comfortable with you from our very first meeting.  You spoke like a sister to me, not just as a lawyer.  Your legal ability is truly outstanding and you represented me with 110% effort always.  You made the hearing easy for me, as I had total confidence in you.

    For everyone who is hesitant to make a claim against an abuser, please do not hesitate to have Vivian and her staff represent you.  Truly amazing people.  Thanks so much again.

    JF
  • 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
  • Thank you Vivian, I really appreciate all your help, you have given me a second chance in life.

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

    Mary
  • 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
  • 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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