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

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

    Mary
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • Thank you so much from me personally.  This decision has actually turned my life back around.  I didn’t realise how much my heart was hurting from anger and disbelief in the system.

    My heart is lighter and more at peace thanks to you all.  As a family we are unable to find suitable words on how much your efforts, consideration and concern means to us.  At last someone fought and believed in us.  Truly you have given us all so much peace.

    WK
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