Sustainable Rehabilitation for Survivors and their Communities

Delivered by
Mr Paris Aristotle AM


Wednesday 8 June 2016

6.00 - 7.15pm

Podcast available HERE

Within Syria alone, an estimated 18 million people are currently displaced as a direct cause of the terrifying war and ongoing conflict within that region. The Australian government has responded with a commitment that 12,000 places will be made available for Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing persecution, in addition to the 13,750 places available under Australia’s annual Humanitarian Programme intake.

Paris Aristotle AM will speak about how Australia can most effectively respond to this growing humanitarian crisis, which has been cited as being one of the worst in human history. Paris is the Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House), Chair of the Settlement Services Advisory Council, and advisor to the Australian Government on refugee and asylum seeker policy.

Paris will explore current government policy, existing challenges to service providers, and how we, as global citizens, can support this projected intake of refugees, ensuring their settlement into Australia is a success.


Mr Paris Aristotle AM

Mr Paris Aristotle AM is the Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc. (VFST), also known as Foundation House.  The VFST is a specialised service for people of refugee background. Paris has over 25 years’ experience in the field of supporting refugees and asylum seekers, particularly the provision of services to survivors of torture and trauma.  Throughout this period, Paris has worked closely with the UNHCR in the field of refugee resettlement and served on a wide range of state and federal government bodies advising on refugee and asylum seeker policy, and multicultural affairs.  These bodies include the Refugee Re-settlement Advisory Council and the Immigration Detention Advisory Group.

In 2012 he was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers.Paris is currently the Chair of the two federal government councils, the Settlement Services Advisory Council (SSAC) and the Minister’s Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention (MCASD).  He is also an executive member of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT). In 2002 Paris was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal; both honours recognising his longstanding work with refugees, in particular survivors of torture and trauma.

More information

Foundation House
Paris Aristotle AM: Statement regarding the settlement of refugees in Australia
The Conversation: Guest Post, 'Paris talks asylum seekers at the Castan Centre'
ABC Lateline: Interview with Paris Aristotle 
Blog: World Without Torture 



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Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and STTARS (Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service)

 Photo credit: UNHCR


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