Law firm urges Neerkol residents to come forward

TOUGH TIMES: A nun at Neerkol Orphanage with children in the care of the Sisters of Mercy.
TOUGH TIMES: A nun at Neerkol Orphanage with children in the care of the Sisters of Mercy. Contributed Rokneerkol

LEGAL action may not help Neerkol's victims of child abuse see justice but it can help make the world a safer place.

That's the belief of Porters Lawyers associate Taso Nicholaidis, who last week started encouraging former residents of St Joseph's Home to come forward to start the litigation process against the Catholic Church.

The Sydney-based law firm has dealt with hundreds of cases from Beaudesert Boystown and has now started appealing to residents of the Neerkol orphanage to come forward in light of the recent Royal Commission.

"We know that these victims probably won't find justice or closure by going through this process but since we have been dealing with cases from Boystown we have seen new measures taken by institutions to ensure the safety of children," Mr Nicholaidis said.

"The Catholic Church's blanket response is to deny all these allegations but when we have 300 victims, who have not spoken to each other for decades, saying they experienced and witnessed similar acts of abuse, it's very hard for them (the church) to keep saying it didn't happen."

Mr Nicholaidis said the firm was not looking to take a class action, but was interested in pursuing individual cases.

"Some people understandably just want to forget about their experiences, but we know things like Royal Commissions can bring things up again, so we are just advising people of the litigation process available to them if they are interested."

Porters Lawyers can be contacted on (02) 6247 3477.

Blue Knot Day 2015

WHAT: Adults Surviving Child Abuse is holding an event for Blue Knot Day to show survivors that they are not alone

WHERE: Lotus Place Swan Building, cnr Denham and Denison Sts, Rockhampton

WHEN: 3pm-5pm, October 26

Topics:  child abuse neerkol neerkol orphanage

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