What does knowmore do?
knowmore provides free legal advice, assistance, information and referral for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
We can help you to:
- apply for compensation or other forms of action and redress
- lodge complaints with police, find old records and understand legal processes
- connect with specialist counselling and support services
You can speak to our specialist counsellors/social workers for free on the phone or face‑to‑face. They will help you to access our legal services and provide you with support along the way.
If we can’t help, we’ll refer you to a service that can.
Will I get to make my own decisions?
We are here to help you consider your legal options. We do not try to make your decision for you, or pressure you to make any particular decision. We’ll give you the information and advice you need so that you can make the choices that are right for you.
Will I have to pay anything?
No, all our services are free.
knowmore is fully funded by the government. You don’t have to pass a means test to use our services and you don’t have to pay.
Note: knowmore’s lawyers won’t charge any fees, but if we believe you have a strong civil case we might refer you to a lawyer outside of our organisation who would generally charge fees to represent you. Our staff will explain your options and it will be your choice whether you want to do this.
Who can get help from knowmore?
We help people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse, and anyone contacting us on their behalf. This means people who were sexually abused at school, in a sporting club, children’s service, orphanage, foster care, residential care, religious organisation, government organisation or any organisation that was involved with children.
You don’t have to have previously engaged with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to access our services.
Who runs knowmore?
knowmore is an independent legal service funded by a grant from the Australian Government, represented by the Attorney-General’s Department.
knowmore was 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.
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, our staff are accountable to the NACLC Board.
What if I have my own lawyer?
If you have your own lawyer, you can keep on working with them. You do not have to use knowmore’s lawyers. You can still access our legal advice and services for free.
Your rights and responsibilities
knowmore is committed to providing high-quality professional, ethical, safe and culturally secure services. To do that, we need you to acknowledge and respect that you have certain responsibilities, and we in turn acknowledge and respect that the people who come to us have certain rights.
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 you or any other person at risk, or compromise any person’s safety.
Who are the knowmore staff?
We’re a team of lawyers, counsellors/social workers, financial counsellors 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. We’re supported by office staff who have also had cultural awareness and trauma-informed training.
Does knowmore work with other services?
Yes, knowmore has 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 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.
Is my personal information kept private?
Your information is confidential and will only be shared outside of knowmore with your permission or in exceptional circumstances where we are compelled or authorised to do so by law. Read more about our commitment to confidentiality and privacy.
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 or 1800 605 765
We will respond to your complaint quickly, fairly, and in accordance with our Feedback and complaints procedure.
People engaging with the National Redress Scheme (NRS) can access a range of free services including counselling, case management, advice and support. For more information visit the NRS website.
Our latest activities and news
knowmore’s Executive Officer Warren Strange was interviewed by Samantha Donovan from the ABC regarding the delays in processing National Redress Scheme applications. You can read the transcript of the interview below. THOMAS ORITI: The National Redress Scheme...
Religious ministers in Victoria are now subjected to the same mandatory reporting laws as teachers, police, medical practitioners, nurses, school counsellors, and early childhood and youth justice workers. These laws require people who become aware of child abuse to...
This update has been republished from the NRS newsletter and provides an update on the National Redress Scheme, including support over the holiday season and application progress. For more information, call 1800 737 377 from Australia or +61 3 6222 3455 from overseas,...