Victims of Crime Assistance

If you have been a victim of an act of violence we can help you to obtain financial assistance which you are entitled to through the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT). This includes expenses incurred as a direct result of the crime. We will guide you through the application process and should your claim require a court attendance we are happy to appear on your behalf.
We are also happy to appeal determinations from the Tribunal to VCAT should the merits of your claim exceed the amount entitled.
VOCAT is a scheme which grants financial assistance to victims of crime. These are people who have been a primary, secondary or related victim of a crime and have suffered an injury, either physical or psychological, however does not include property damage. This assistance includes reasonable counselling and medical expenses, safety and security, loss of earnings, funeral costs and other expenses to assist with recovery.
VOCAT may also grant ‘special financial assistance’ to primary victims for pain and suffering.
Reasonable legal costs in making an application are usually covered by VOCAT.
Matt grew up and completed school in Casterton in Victoria’s south west. He completed a Bachelor of Laws at Deakin University in Warrnambool in 2017 and was admitted to the Supreme Court in March 2018. While studying Matt worked in hospitality before obtaining a position at Brown McComish Solicitors in March 2017. After he was admitted Matt then joined the team as a solicitor working closely with Pat McComish on Magistrates’ Court criminal and personal injury matters as well as VOCAT and intervention orders. He is also a member of the Law Institute of Victoria. His office hours are 9:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.
Pat hails from Belfast Northern Ireland where he studied at Christian Brothers Secondary School before moving to Australia in the 1980s. Pat’s interest in personal injury law was influenced by his own personal experiences. Before becoming a solicitor Pat had a variety of manual occupations including but not limited to taxi driver, a painter and decorator at Lord’s Cricket Ground and a security guard. After suffering a workplace injury as a porter in 1988 Pat gained an intimate appreciation of the battles of injured workers during his own struggle for compensation. He returned to complete his secondary education at Box Hill studying part-time as a means to self-improvement but it was his crippling back injury that provided the motivation for a career in law. After realising that his injury would prevent him from a life of manual work he enrolled at Melbourne University where he went to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology and History) and then switching to also complete a Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the Supreme Court in 2000. Pat joined Tony as a founding partner of Brown McComish Solicitors in 2005. He maintains a strong empathy for his personal injury clients and is widely known for successfully representing Irish victims of sexual and institutional abuse throughout Australia under the Irish Redress Board Scheme. He is one of the most experienced lawyers in Australia with assisting Irish victims of abuse and he intends to use his experience with the upcoming Australian National Redress Scheme. He is also a proficient advocate in indictable and summary crime having represented clients from pleas in the Magistrates’ Court to trials in the Supreme Court and everything in between. He is a current member of the Victoria Legal Aid summary and indictable crime panels. Pat is always willing to pass on his knowledge and personal experiences to new practitioners and students. This compelled him to become a seasonal lecturer and tutor at Deakin University in Warrnambool focussing on criminal procedure. In his spare time Pat enjoys fishing, watching as much soccer as humanely possible, particularly Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. His office hours are 9:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.

Pat McComish