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FAQs

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What is knowmore and what services does it provide?
What is the focus of knowmore?
Will I have to pay anything?
Who will be able to get help from knowmore?
Who runs knowmore?
Is knowmore separate from the Royal Commission?
Will knowmore only help people who want to provide information to the Royal Commission?
What legal help can I have if I am required to appear before the Royal Commission?
What if I have my own lawyer?
What are my rights and responsibilities in dealing with knowmore?
Who are the knowmore staff?
Will knowmore be working with other services?
Why does knowmore collect personal information?
Is my personal information kept private?
Who will have access to my personal information?
What will my information be used for?
How does knowmore store my information and keep it secure?
How I can access my personal information?
Feedback and complaints

What is knowmore and what services does it provide?

knowmore is a free service providing legal advice and assistance, information and referral via a  free advice line and face‑to‑face services in key locations, for people considering telling their story or providing information to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. We have specialist counsellors/social workers to support people accessing our legal services.

Examples of the types of assistance that knowmore provides include:

  • information about the Royal Commission, its legal powers and procedures, the roles of the Commissioners and others involved, rights of representation before it and the Commission’s guidelines and statements about how it intends to proceed
  • legal advice for people considering providing information to the Royal Commission about their options and what they may mean, and on a range of other legal issues including witness and informant protections, the availability of compensation or other forms of action or redress, and the effect of confidentiality agreements in past proceedings
  • linking people with specialist counselling and support services and victims’ support groups
  • preparation of statements and assistance with preparing submissions about needed reforms.

knowmore does not provide legal representation but, if needed, will assist people giving evidence in formal hearings before the Royal Commission in finding suitable lawyers for representation and in obtaining funding for that representation. More information is available on our resources page.

knowmore has specialist lawyers and other staff trained and experienced in providing services to survivors of child sexual abuse and people who have experienced trauma.

knowmore has staff trained and experienced in providing culturally safe services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and employs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
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What is the focus of knowmore?

knowmore’s focus is you. We are here to help you decide whether to engage with the Royal Commission and, if you decide to, how best for you to do that. We do not try and make your decision for you, or pressure you to make any particular decision, but aim to provide you with information and advice so that you can make the right choices.

Will I have to pay anything?

No, all knowmore’s services are free.

Who will be able to get help from knowmore?

Any member of the public who is engaging or considering engaging with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, or someone who is calling on their behalf, can contact knowmore. In the event that knowmore is unable to assist you, we will refer you to an appropriate service provider.

Is knowmore separate from the Royal Commission?

Yes, knowmore is separate from the Royal Commission and will provide independent advice to people seeking assistance. Information provided to knowmore is kept confidential under rules governing the relationship between clients and their lawyers and in accordance with our Privacy and Confidentiality Policy. You can seek advice from knowmore and then choose whether or not you wish to provide your story or information to the Commission.
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Who runs knowmore?

knowmore has been established by and is a separate program of the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC). NACLC is a non-government, not-for-profit social justice organisation that is the national peak body of not-for-profit community legal centres in Australia. knowmore is funded by a grant from the Australian Government, represented by the Attorney-General’s Department.

knowmore is an independent legal service. Warren Strange is the Executive Officer of knowmore and he is responsible for its day-to-day operations. Prue Gregory is the Principal Lawyer responsible for the service’s legal practice. As knowmore is a program of NACLC, its staff are accountable to the NACLC Board.

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Will knowmore only help people who want to provide information to the Royal Commission?

No, knowmore is also available to assist members of the public to explore any other legal options they may have in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions and the institutional responses to child abuse, whether or not you choose to provide information or make a submission to the Royal Commission.

What legal help can I have if I am required to appear before the Royal Commission?

There is government funding available for legal representation for individuals who are appearing before the Royal Commission. This is a separate government scheme, and is not connected to knowmore. However, knowmore can help you apply to that scheme for access to funding and, if you do not have a lawyer to represent you, can help you to find suitable lawyers.

What if I have my own lawyer?

If you have your own lawyer, you will probably wish to keep on working with them. You do not have to use knowmore. If you are appearing before the Royal Commission and already have your own lawyer, you may be able to obtain funding for representation. knowmore can advise you how to access that funding scheme.
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What are my rights and responsibilities in dealing with knowmore?

knowmore is committed to providing high quality professional, ethical, safe and culturally secure services. In order for us to do that, we need clients to acknowledge and respect that they have certain responsibilities, and we in turn acknowledge and respect that the people who come to us have certain rights.

Your rights and responsibilities

You have a right to…

  • be treated with respect and in a non-discriminatory way
  • have your privacy and confidentiality protected
  • receive appropriate and high quality advice, information, referrals and assistance
  • have a friend, family member, support person or advocate with you when you speak with us
  • have access to an interpreter if you need one
  • have access to your information at knowmore and to correct any details that are incorrect
  • complain if you are not satisfied with the service you receive.

You have a responsibility to…

  • treat staff and other service users with respect
  • provide us with correct information about yourself and your situation so that we can give you the best advice and assistance we can
  • let us know if your contact details change while you are receiving our services
  • act in a way that doesn’t put yourself or any other person at risk, or compromise any person’s safety.

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Who are the knowmore staff?

knowmore is staffed by lawyers, counsellors/social workers, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement advisors – all experienced and trained in working with survivors of sexual abuse and people who have experienced trauma. They are supported by office staff who have also had cultural awareness and trauma informed training. View our staff profiles here.

Will knowmore be working with other services?

Yes, knowmore has established strong partnerships with community legal centres and other legal assistance services, members of the private legal profession and a range of specialist counselling and support services across Australia.

knowmore is in regular consultation with survivors’ groups, the Royal Commission secretariat and the legal team assisting the Commission, and relevant government departments, to ensure that our information and advice services are as up-to-date and informed as possible, and that referral pathways and protocols work as smoothly as possible for our clients.

knowmore is committed, wherever it is practicable and possible to do so, to work in partnership with, and to support the work of, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and the Family Violence Prevention Legal Services. In some cases, these dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services may be unable to assist some clients and in those cases, we will do all we can to provide culturally safe legal assistance to any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person wanting our legal advice and support.

Why does knowmore collect personal information?

We need to know about you and your situation so that we can provide you with legal advice and information to help you navigate the Royal Commission. We also need to provide our funder, the Australian Government, with some information about the numbers of services that we provide and what client groups we are serving. We do not provide any information to government whereby you can be identified.

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Is my personal information kept private?

Your personal information is kept private to knowmore, a program run by NACLC.

Who will have access to my personal information?

Staff of knowmore will have access to your information and they owe you a duty of confidentiality in relation to protecting that information. Personal information will not be disclosed to anyone outside knowmore without your permission, save for exceptional circumstances where we are required or permitted to do so by law; for example, situations where a child or another person is at risk of serious harm. For more information, see NACLC Privacy and Confidentiality Policy.

What will my information be used for?

We will use your information in providing services to you, and to assist us in planning the most appropriate and effective delivery of services to the people who need them.

We will use data that we obtain from all our client contacts, amalgamated together so that no-one can be identified, when we report to our funder, the Australian Government. We may also refer to this data in discussions with the Royal Commission about where legal information needs are, and where the people affected may be, but again, never in a way whereby you can be identified, unless you have given your permission.

How we store your information and keep it secure

Your information will be stored at and by knowmore in written and/or electronic form. All records will be kept securely and for at least 7 years after we have finishing assisting you. There are legal requirements about how long client records must be kept. After the relevant period has expired, we may destroy your client records. For this reason, we prefer to only have a copy of any relevant personal documents, for example, medical records, and will want you to keep the original document.

To minimise the possibility of data loss, information is also kept in electronic form offsite in secure locations in Australia. knowmore data is located in either encrypted locations or in locations accessible only by knowmore staff and people such as our IT consultants, who have entered into a confidentiality agreement with knowmore.

How you can access your personal information

If you would like to access personal information we hold about you, you can contact our Principal Lawyer, Prue Gregory, by email: principal.lawyer@knowmore.org.au

If you have a complaint about the way we have dealt with your personal information, please contact our Principal Lawyer, Prue Gregory, by email: principal.lawyer@knowmore.org.au

Feedback and complaints

We are interested in your feedback about our service. If you have a complaint, we would like to know about it. If you are pleased with our service or have suggestions for improvement, we would like to hear about that too.

You can make a complaint or provide feedback by calling or emailing our Principal Lawyer, Prue Gregory:
Tel: 02 8267 7400
Email: principal.lawyer@knowmore.org.au

We will respond to your complaint quickly, fairly, and in accordance with our Feedback and complaints procedure.

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about
knowmore is here to give you free legal information and advice to help you understand your options. knowmore's goal is to help prevent child sexual abuse from ocurring in institutions.