Victims demanding compensation for abuse by a De La Salle Brother

  • By a Broken Rites researcher, article posted 14 February 2019

Brother Anselm Hallan was a member of the Catholic order of De La Salle Brothers. For years, he behaved indecently against boys at Catholic schools in Melbourne and Sydney. Brother Anselm is dead now but his victims have not forgiven him. Some of his victims have already extracted compensation from the De La Salle Brothers. In 2019, a Canberra legal firm (Porters Lawyers) is acting on behalf of another group of Brother Anselm's victims who wish to demand compensation.

Brother Anselm Hallam was born as Tom Hallam. He adopted the "religious" name Anselm (sometimes also spelt Anselem), which was the name of a medieval "saint".

"Brother Anselm" Hallam taught in the late 1960s at St Joseph's parish primary school, Malvern, in Melbourne, and also taught middle-school students at the neighbouring De La Salle College. According to numerous victims, he was a notorious molester. He invasively mauled the genitals of his pupils. He gave "sex lessons" (really just "dirty talk"), while masturbating under his clerical frock.

A female lay teacher, who knew what Anselm Hallam was doing, complained to the school's senior Brothers but they were not interested.

Brother Anselm's other schools included one in Revesby, Sydney.

Anselm Hallam died in the early 1990s, aged 92. One of his victims, who became a successful professional, has contributed an interview to the oral history collection at the National Library of Australia about his own professional career, and he included an account of his experiences at the hands of Brother Anselm Hallam.