Dear Stephen,

I would like to thank you and all your staff at Schembri & Co Lawyers for all the effort you went through to help our son Allem Halkic who passed away on 5th February 2009. Coming to terms with losing our only child is something I really cannot explain and I would not want anyone to try to understand the pain and grief we face every day. Under the extreme circumstances which Allem lost his life we knew that a criminal act had been committed, Allem could not defend himself. We knew that the task ahead to get justice for Allem seemed impossible to face.

We approached two other law firms and pleaded our case and they advised that they could not help us due to the way Allem had passed away, which to us only contributed to the everyday suffering. As a family we had to keep looking to find someone who would be a voice for our beautiful child. His suffering had to be acknowledged, to send a message that we as a society cannot accept abuse in any form, which was an important part of our closure. Schembri & Co Lawyers looked at our case and advised us that there had been no other similar case that had been successful prior to us making an application to VOCAT to get Allem recognized as a victim of crime, rather than a victim of suicide. However, Schembri & Co Lawyers believed in our case and in our son Allem and proceeded with the application on our behalf.

On 20th April 2011 we attended a hearing at the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal and the claim was successful. Allem was the first victim of suicide to be recognized as a victim of crime in Australia. That moment the judge acknowledged Allem’s suffering as a crime is something that will forever be with me. You must understand that reinstating Allem’s dignity was something that we had to do, as our son deserved to have a voice and Schembri & Co Lawyers were his voice on that day and helped us to work towards closure. Not only was this a victory for Allem but also a victory for so many others who suffer at the hands of cowards. You have opened doors for other families to come forward and not suffer in silence and get justice for their loved ones.

And a special thank you to Julia and her team. Julia’s understanding about what Allem meant to us is something that played such an important part. Her compassion is something that we as a family appreciated so much. Once we had the VOCAT decision ruled in Allem’s favour, the follow up with counselling and support was amazing and continues to this day.

‘Thank you’ are not fitting words and we feel there are no real words we can say to acknowledge what you have done for our son, but know that we and all our extended family will be forever grateful to you and all your team at Schembri & Co Lawyers. I would like to use a quote that would be fitting to us all.
What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal”

Blessing to you and all your team.

Allem, Dina & Ali Halkic