In Carson v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd (1992) 178 CLR 44;  HCA 31, Brennan J said:
“The chief purpose of the law in creating a cause of action for defamation is to provide vindication to counter the injury done to the plaintiff in his or her reputation … .”
The principal remedy for a person who has been defamed is damages. The court awards money as compensation for the harm done to a person's reputation and injury to her or his feelings.
As at 1 July 2020, damages for non-economic loss are limited to a maximum of $421 000. They are indexed annually. It is quite possible for people to show that they have been defamed but still not receive substantial damages.
The state of mind of the respondent generally is not relevant in awarding damages but an apology or correction are factors that can be taken into consideration.