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Australian Defence Force Abuse Claims   

Australian Outback | Shine Lawyers

Shine Lawyers’ Abuse Law Practice specialises in providing legal advice and guidance to survivors of physical and sexual abuse, standing as a voice for clients, and helping them to access justice and acknowledgement for the harm they have suffered.

At Shine Lawyers we collaborate closely with survivors and their families to ensure that the stress and inconvenience of a making a claim is minimised wherever possible.

Historical abuse within the ADF

Shine Lawyers have a proven record in assisting ADF abuse survivors and have represented clients from multiple Defence bases including HMAS Leeuwin (WA), AAS Balcombe (VIC), HMAS Cerberus (VIC) and Kapooka (NSW).

We have worked alongside the Department of Defence to create a framework to deal with matters in a respectful and dignified manner. The process has proved to be meaningful and transformational for many survivors, and lead to personal responses and apologies alongside the compensation and justice for abuse.

If you have been a victim of historical physical and/or sexual abuse while working in the Australian Defence Force, then you may have a claim.

Institutional Abuse Lawyers

We have had a large number of clients who experienced abuse as former Junior Recruits at HMAS Leeuwin. We also represented clients at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse which was examining abuse in the ADF - focusing on HMAS Leeuwin, AAS Balcombe and ADF cadets.

Historical and institutional abuse is a complex area of law, and there are many considerations to make before proceeding with a claim. You can find out more in the FAQs or by getting in touch with the team.

The Shine Lawyers abuse team have a collective experience of over 90 years in abuse law, and can provide guidance in dealing with your own particular situation.

See also

Our offer to you

  • Obligation-free consultation to assess your case confidentially

  • Claim assessment process where we will explain all of the options available to you

  • We can come to you - if you can't make it into the office we're more than happy to come to you

  • No Win No Fee arrangement

Common questions about Australian Defence Force Abuse Claims   

Laws across the States and Territories of Australia vary and change over time. As a result, the process of bringing a claim will be different depending upon the
circumstances of your case.

The first step is to make contact with a legal expert who has the experience in sexual and historical abuse matters as well as proven experience in Defence abuse claims.

The complexity of this area of law means that there are a number of considerations when assessing each case.

  • The circumstances that caused the harm
  • The evidence that is available to support your claim
  • The impact the abuse has had on your life
  • Whether the legal time limitation period has expired
  • The impact of any past or future DVA entitlements

All of the evidence will be taken into account so that we can assess the options available to you, and provide guidance on your individual situation.

In some states and territories there are time limits for bringing historical abuse claims. However, there is growing momentum for changes to be made to these laws that will allow childhood abuse survivors to bring their claims in the courts, regardless of when the abuse occurred. Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have now abolished time limitations in historic cases of child sexual abuse.

The Federal Attorney-General has also given direction that time limits are not to be relied upon in certain circumstances.

In some cases, we are able to approach defendants to engage in informal negotiations on behalf of abuse survivors, despite the claims being legally out of time.

If you think your claim is out of time, it is still worth seeking legal advice so you can be advised of your options.

If your claim is viable, the level of compensation that is available to you will depend upon the evidence available.

We are unable to provide reliable advice without first taking a look at the evidence available to support your claim. Once we have this information, we will be better placed to provide guidance on what you can expect.

We offer to work for you on a no win no fee basis, which means that you won’t pay any legal fees unless we are successful in getting you compensation.

Your fees will be determined by the amount of work required to bring your claim. We are transparent with respect to costs and undertaking work at highly competitive rates. We are also prepared to provide clients with an independent assessment of their fees.

Where you are located isn’t necessarily a barrier when it comes to obtaining the services of a lawyer. We’re experts when it comes to abuse related claims and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

It doesn’t matter if you are located close or far away from a Shine Lawyers office – we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.

Our compensation experts are in the following locations:



New South Wales




Western Australia

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