• Catholic Clergy Claims
    Catholic Clergy Claims
    Dr Vivian Waller has acted in claims against Catholic Clergy since 1995.
  • 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.
  • The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
    Established in January 2013, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse investigated how institutions like schools, churches and sporting groups responded to allegations of child sexual abuse.

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

OVERVIEW

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 and the Department of Health and Humans Services. In Victoria, it is now known as the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH). 

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 who were sexually 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 sexual 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
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Testimonials
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • You are a wonderful warrior for truth and justice.

    Mary
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • It has been a long journey trying to get the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to be held accountable for how they looked after me as a child many years ago.  Words cannot express how grateful I am to Viv Waller and her team who work tirelessly behind the scenes in getting justice.  For others who are considering seeking remuneration again an organisation that failed to look after your safety and well-being, I have no hesitation in recommending Waller Legal. 

    DR
  • 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
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