• 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
  • Everything is different now.  My journey is over now.

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

    RF
  • 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
  • I have thought of you often and the journey and the process of the last couple of years.  As a survivor you can think that every end step will be closure—arrest, guilt, sentencing, criminal case finished, civil case complete.  But there is never really an end.  Each part of the process is just a step closer to healing and closure.  You and your staff did a fab job of walking me through the civil case.

    For six months the money has sat idle in an account I can’t touch.  It feels as though if I touch it I am accepting it as silence money and once again feeling gagged.  But I am getting there.  It will be used towards a fresh start.  Hope for a more whole and healed future.  Thank you for being part of the process.

    Thank you for your professionalism, support, and persistence.

    KD
  • 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
  • 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
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