As news of convicted paedophile George Pell losing his appeal against his sexual assault conviction spreads throughout the world, we turn our attention to the impact the decision will have in Ballarat.
Not only was Pell born and raised in the city, but Ballarat became the epicentre of child sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church.
The Courier now turns its attention to the impact the Court of Appeal's decision will have on Ballarat.
Below, we have spoken to the city's key stakeholders and those most closely associated with the case.
Parishioners at midday mass
Mass on Wednesday at St Patrick's Cathedral was subdued, with about 50 parishioners attending.
The focus of the sermon was on Pope Saint Pius X, who died on August 20, 1914, and who was known for reforming the church, rejecting modernism, and beatifying Joan of Arc.
He was also the pope who brought down the age which communion could be received from 12 to seven years old.
"God is kind, that is the sort of God we have," the priest said in his sermon, with readings from Judges and Matthew.
There was no mention of Pell.
Outside, there were murmurings of "terrible" and "awful" from parishioners.
One man, who said he had known Pell for 60 years since they attended seminary together, said he did not believe Pell was a paedophile.
"It was the mafia," he said outside the church.
"I knew Gerry Ridsdale, I was deeply surprised when that all came out ... he's a paedophile, but George isn't."
Phil Nagle, Ballarat survivor advocate
Phil Nagle, a Ballarat-based survivor of clerical sexual abuse, said he paused work to watch the verdict.
"I'm very relieved for the victim, and I'm thinking of other victim who's no longer with us and his family," he said.
"It's the right outcome - he's a convicted paedophile and he's in jail where he belongs."
He added the outcome may encourage more victims to come forward, but despaired that the Catholic Church would still not change direction.
"Hopefully it'll give other survivors courage to go forward to police or get some help for themselves," he said.
"They will be heard, and they will get justice."
Locally, he said survivors were in touch with each other, providing support.
"Some of the guys aren't as strong today, so we're making sure someone drops in on them, and some are watching (the verdict) as a group," he said.
"We can't change what happened to us, but the survivors can relate to each other about the stress and feelings, and the care and concern we need going forward."
Ingrid Irwin, Ballarat lawyer representing the 'Pool Case' survivors
The lawyer for the alleged victims in the Ballarat swimming pool case, Ingrid Irwin, cautioned that not every person will get their case heard in court.
The case, which alleged Pell touched the victims as children at the Eureka Swimming Pool in the 1970s, was dropped in February due to "problems with evidence", it was reported at the time.
Ms Irwin said the legal system needed wholesale improvement, as according to former Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls, now director of the Centre for Innovative Justice, said 99 per cent of sexual assault cases do not result in a conviction.
"Vicarious justice is all that 99 per cent of survivors get," she said.
"If you looked at a car sales place and everyone who said they want to buy a $30,000 car, they bring a bank cheque, no black market money or anything, and one person out of 100 gets a car for their money, you'd shut it down."
Having legal representation for survivors in court would be empowering and could improve the conviction rate.
"They're not even in the court often," she said, noting experiences with her own clients.
"They should be in court in the front row, with their lawyer at the bar."
ACU Ballarat Campus, where a building is named the Pell Centre
The Australian Catholic University says it will not yet be changing the name of the Pell Centre.
There had been previously been pressured heaped on the university to change the name of the building at the Ballarat campus, although it had resisted.
Its vice chancellor, Greg Craven, earlier this year wrote a letter that was published in NewsCorp media that brought into question the jury's unanimous guilty verdict.
It was titled 'George Pell: a case in which justice never had a fair chance'.
Although the appeal has now finished, the university says it will wait until all legal avenues have been exhausted.
"The university respects the judicial process and will not be making any comment until all legal avenues, including any further appeals, have concluded," a statement read.
Paul Bird, Ballarat Diocese Bishop
"The outcome of Cardinal Pell's appeal against his conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges is the culmination of months of uncertainty during which many people in our community have experienced conflicting emotions.
I recognise that the whole process of the trial, conviction and appeal have been distressing for many in the community, particularly for victims and survivors of abuse and their families.
Publicity and discussion of sexual abuse often causes pain for victims of any abuse and this will be an extremely difficult time for many.
There is a special impact on those of us who live in Ballarat because of Cardinal Pell's connections with this city.
This is also a troubling time for our Catholic community throughout the whole Ballarat diocese, not only because of Cardinal Pell's connections with our diocese but also because the entire Church community is again confronted by the terrible history of abuse of children and the breach of trust that that abuse involved.
I hope and pray that the finalisation of the legal processes will bring some sense of resolution to all those affected by the proceedings."
- Paul Bird, Bishop of Ballarat
Peter Blenkiron and Clare Linane, husband and wife survivor advocates
"It is so hard to put into words the relief we feel at today's decision.
Our thoughts are only with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, including the victim in the Pell case.
As kids, they were exploited and assaulted by adults with more power than them. Their abusers knew they were defenceless, knew they didn't understand enough about the world to speak up or fight back.
Most of these children kept their abuse a secret for a very long time, a ball of shame they pushed down as far as they could. But even as they moved into adulthood it was always there, undermining their sense of self, smashing their self-esteem and compromising their ability to trust anyone.
For some of them, life became too hard and they died prematurely, either by suicide or complications caused by a life of destructive self-medicating.
For others, they still survive today but shame and fear still prevent them from speaking up about what was done to them.
Then there are those, like the victim in the Pell case, who have found the strength to stand up and fight back - to say, this is not my shame, it is yours. What you did was wrong, and you must be held accountable.
So to know that in this case, justice has prevailed - the message this sends to survivors cannot be under-estimated.
It tells them to keep speaking. It tells them they do have power. It builds their self-esteem and helps to heal their fragile sense of trust in the people around them.
We know only too well that criminal cases trigger difficult feelings and here in the Ballarat region, we have lost several victims to suicide around the time of criminal cases - even when perpetrators were found guilty.
If you know a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, please reach out to them today. It doesn't matter who the perpetrator was, it doesn't matter what context the abuse happened in.
Please reach out to survivors and ask them if they're ok. Ask them if they need your help. Ask them if they want a cup of tea. Tell them you believe them. Tell them to keep speaking.
Survivors, today our justice system succeeded. Many times, it does not. But regardless; please; do not give up.
This is just one round in a very long fight for the safety of children, and we are stronger together."
- Peter Blenkiron and Clare Linane
St Patrick's College, Pell's former school
St Patrick's College has been at the forefront of healing in terms of past sexual abuse in Ballarat.
The college had already removed Pell's name from its honourboard and changed the name of one of its historic wings.
Cardinal Pell attended the school from 1949 to 1959 and is the colleges most famous alumnus.
The college has issued the following statement:
"Edmund Rice Education Australia, the College Board, the St Patrick's College Old Collegians Association and the executive of St Patrick's College accept the decision by the Court of Appeal to dismiss Cardinal Pell's appeal regarding his conviction for child sexual abuse."
Stephen Woods, Ballarat survivor advocate
One man who survived sexual abuse at the hands of three paedophile priests while he was at school in Ballarat, Stephen Woods, was in the court room for the verdict.
He described it as being completely silent.
"I was expecting a gasp, and there wasn't - I thought, my God, these people must be stunned," he said.
"The guy next to me was doing his rosary beads."
Mr Woods was one of the Ballarat survivors who went to Rome to hear Pell give evidence for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and said the media scrum outside the Supreme Court in Melbourne brought back memories.
"It reminds me so much of that," he said.
"This time, instead of Pell being the hero he played himself in Rome, he's now the convict.
"It's really amazing."
Dr Vivian Waller, the lawyer representing Pell's victims
The lawyer representing the man abused by Pell, Dr Vivian Waller, said other survivors should remember they have options.
The other Pell case, involving alleged victims in Ballarat, did not proceed to trial.
"It doesn't mean they weren't believed, it means that for one reason or another, it wasn't possible to establish what happened beyond reasonable doubt - it's quite difficult to meet that standard in a criminal case, but I want to send an encouraging message to those survivors, as they'll still have a civil claim to compensation," she said.
"There are survivors in Ballarat whose matters did not proceed - my client made a point of mentioning them in his statement, his heart goes out to them."
Dr Waller's firm currently has 650 clients, and many of them are from the Ballarat Diocese.
"We continued to be contacted by survivors, and that work will continue," she said.
"I would encourage any person who's been abused to come forward and get advice about their options ... so they can make informed choices about what they want to do."
Samantha McIntosh, Ballarat Mayor
"The Court of Appeal has reached its decision after following due process and this needs to be respected.
Our focus needs to be on the survivors and families affected by clergy sexual abuse in our community.
The impact of abuse has been far-reaching in Ballarat and has caused so much hurt to many people and their families.
We need to respectfully, and with compassion, be prepared to talk about these serious matters so that those directly affected know that as a community we believe them, that we will support them and will commit to changing our culture for the better.
We now focus on being a truly compassionate city and the actions we can take to all heal together as a community.
Through the Compassionate Cities Charter we are working with other leaders and agencies in Ballarat to change the culture of our city, to focus on kindness, vulnerability, health and care for people.
I would encourage anyone who is affected by today's proceedings to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14."
Catherine King, Federal Member for Ballarat
"Today's decision will bring relief for many in our community. It could not have been reached without the bravery of survivors across Australia.
Justice had been reached because of their courage.
While convictions are important, our support for survivors in not dependent on court verdicts.
The Ballarat community supports all survivors, those who have come forward and those who have not.
With this decision now behind us, it is time once again for our community and leaders to turn their attention to supporting survivors and ensuring the National Redress Scheme fulfils its promise.
We know that the National Redress Scheme is not perfect - that it is not the scheme the Royal Commission recommended.
Survivors need our ongoing support, and we must deliver for them.
The Royal Commission recommended a $200,000 maximum for redress claims, and that is what the Redress Scheme should have delivered. Reducing the maximum to $150,000 was a mistake that can and should be rectified.
I have long been vocal in my concerns regarding the opt-in nature of the Scheme.
There are more than 60,000 survivors of institutional sexual abuse in Australia. It does not matter where that abuse took place - all survivors are deserving of the same level of support.
All institutions where abuse took place must immediately take part in the scheme - to refuse to do so is shameful, arrogant, and perpetuates harm.
This verdict is important, but it is just one verdict. Our support for survivors must be strong and ongoing."