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Support services

knowmore’s aim is to provide free legal advice and practical assistance in a confidential and supportive environment. Our specialist counsellors/social workers will support you in obtaining our services. If you require further support, we will help you to access the most appropriate services.

Where we are unable to provide legal assistance to you directly, we will assist you to access another lawyer.

Below is a list of national help and counselling services available to you.

Service Name
(click on name for website)

Description

Contact

1800 RESPECT 24-hour sexual assault and domestic violence support 1800 737 732
Blueknot Counselling and support for survivors 1300 657 380
beyondblue Mental health support 1300 224 636
Bravehearts Counselling for survivors and child protection advocacy 1800 272 831
 

Care Leavers Australasia Network

Support and advocacy for Forgotten Australians 1800 008 774
Child Migrants Trust Social work services, including counselling and support for family reunions 1800 040 509
Find and Connect Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants 1800 161 109
headspace Mental health support for young people – (website and drop in centres only) N/A
Lifeline 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention 1300 659 467

Australian Government funded community-based support services

Since the announcement of the Royal Commission there has been increased demand for support services. The Australian Government wants to provide support to those affected by the Royal Commission so the Department of Social Services (DSS) is funding a range of services, including counselling, case management, advice and support, to assist individuals and families affected through their engagement with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

For more information visit the DSS website

Financial assistance

Royal Commission assistance for witnesses

The Attorney-General’s Department is responsible for administering assistance to witnesses who are called, or given leave to appear, before a formal hearing of the Royal Commission. Information on this assistance is set out below.

Assistance for Witnesses

The Attorney-General’s Department is administering assistance for witnesses giving evidence at a hearing of the Royal Commission. There are two types of assistance available:

  • payment of witness expenses; and
  • legal financial assistance.

Payment of witness expenses

If you are a witness who has been called to give evidence at a hearing of the Royal Commission, you can apply for payments to cover your expenses to attend the hearing. Funding for witness expenses is provided by the Royal Commission.

Expenses covered include a daily appearance fee and may also include payments for travel, accommodation and lost income (note that this does not include private sessions).

You can get further information about funding for witness expenses by contacting the Witness Support team at the Royal Commission by emailing witnessinfo@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au or calling 1300 229 776.

Legal Financial Assistance

The Commonwealth Attorney Generals Department is administering legal financial assistance for the Royal Commission.

Legal financial assistance is a grant to cover the reasonable costs of legal representation and disbursements relating to the provision of evidence to the Royal Commission.

You are eligible to apply for legal financial assistance if you:

  • receive a letter from the Royal Commission requesting that you attend an interview, or
  • are called, or given leave to appear, as a witness at a public or private hearing.

Organisations are not eligible to apply.

More information on accessing legal financial assistance can be found at:   www.ag.gov.au  or by calling 02 6141 4770.

For more information

For the most current information on this assistance, including guidelines and application forms, please see the Attorney-General’s Department website
If you have any questions please contact the department by email to: RCfinass@ag.gov.au or call 02 6141 4770
For all other information on the Royal Commission please visit the Royal Commission’s website

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knowmore has links with survivor groups and other community bodies who can assist people who need support.