Newcastle Compensation Lawyers

About Kelso Lawyers

There is a long, dark history of child sexual abuse in Newcastle, the Central Coast & the Hunter.

Some of Australia’s worst paedophile priests have served in the Newcastle Anglican Diocese. During the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2016, 40 claimants came forward against the church.

This is a small number compared to the 1,115 incidences of child sexual abuse which were reported to the Anglican Church between 1980 and 2015.

Newcastle victims had suffered at the hands of prolific paedophile priests like Peter Rushton and Stephen Hatley Gray – criminals with hundreds (if not thousands) of victims under their belts. However, the Anglican Church is just one of hundreds of offending institutions.

Kelso Lawyers is dedicated to fighting against these institutions and achieving compensation for survivors of child sexual abuse. Our founder, Peter Kelso, understands the lifetime of pain and emotional suffering that comes with child sexual abuse.

He is a survivor of abuse in foster care. He understands your experience intimately, and he’s here to help.

Our team in Newcastle

Peter Kelso founded Kelso Lawyers in Newcastle in 1986.

His life’s purpose is to help victims achieve justice against their abusers. It is his number one passion and priority in life, apart from raising and supporting his family, including Ashley & Lydia Kelso, our representatives in Sydney.

“I am passionate about it – I know that when I take my last breath, I will have helped thousands of people to achieve what they needed, in order to start healing. There is a lot of personal joy and reward in that.”

Peter represents victims of abuse who are making claims against churches, religious organisations, charities, state governments and other institutions. However, the Newcastle office also takes on a wide range of other cases.

Peter also works with Jodie Scanlon, a Partner with experience in nursing and social sciences. Her experience in social science has helped her negotiate the legal complexities of historical child abuse cases and bring compassion and understanding to her role.

“During the process I found myself quite anxious at times, however, a phone call to Jodie always resulted in easing my anxiety. There would be a detailed explanation of the process and where the claim was up to. I found Jodie, Peter and Kelso Lawyers to be very compassionate and supportive throughout the entire process.”

– Stephen*, clergy abuse. Name changed for privacy.

Our goal is to help survivors to move on and lead full, meaningful lives. Through compensation, our clients can achieve the financial aid to explore a life they never thought possible.

Get in touch with our experienced team in Newcastle for more information on making a claim against abusive institutions.

Latest Articles


Greg Scully

Shame, guilt and self-loathing is all I had experienced for over 30 years. Although I had made enquiries with a few different lawyers regarding the

Read More »

Jodi Dalbel

My brother was the victim of a vicious assault in 2011 and suffered a very serious head injury. He was in intensive care in hospital

Read More »