2018 Symposium


The Healing In Exile – The Challenges in Context Symposium was held at QUT on 28 March 2018.  Feedback about the day has been extremely positive, particularly in terms of the valuable content of the presentations and the panel session.

Thank you to our speakers, facilitators and sponsors for helping QPASTT to achieve our aim of starting a conversation amongst delegates on the many challenges encountered by people from refugee backgrounds as they recover from trauma and resettle in a new country.      

 Dr Ignacio Correa-Velez

Host Community’s Role in Supporting Healing Among Survivors of Torture and Trauma, Dr Ignacio Correa-Velez, Associate Professor, Public Health Postgraduate Course

Coordinator, School of Public Health and Social Work, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology   

Dr Ignacio Correa-Velez is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology. He has a background in Family Medicine and Public Health. Between 2004 and 2011, Ignacio was Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the La Trobe Refugee Research Centre in Melbourne. He has been chief investigator in a number of cohort studies documenting the health and settlement of people from refugee backgrounds, and has collaborated with QPASTT over the last 10 years in research and program evaluation. Ignacio’s research interests include refugee health and settlement, mental health, health inequalities, human rights and social determinants of health.

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Dr Araceli Garcia del Soto

Learnings of Psychosocial Approach when Working with Torture Victims  Dr Araceli Garcia del Soto, Professor, Master on International Cooperation, Institute for Migration, Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Madrid, Spain. 

Dr Garcia del Soto is an expert on international humanitarian work and psychosocial interventions with populations affected by violence. She holds a degree in psychology, a masters in social sciences and a Ph.D in sociology. She has lectured worldwide on humanitarian and human rights interventions including implementing protection and psychosocial projects with victims of conflict.  She supports applied work on community well-being, gender and SGBV (sexual gender based violence) and migrant and refugee women´s networks within Europe.

Araceli is affiliated with the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University.  Currently living in Spain, she has worked with victims of war and structural violence since 1993. She has implemented work on trauma, harm assessments for trials on gender based violence, psychosocial support, mapping of internally displaced people and design of tools to deepen our understanding on the impacts of violence.  Araceli also has collaborated with EQUITAS-Colombia, working with the families of the disappeared.

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John Bosco Ngendakurio

The Legacies of Refugee Journeys for Health and Wellbeing within the Congolese Refugee Communities in Australia  John Bosco Ngendakurio, Researcher, School  of Humanities, Language and Social Science, Griffith University, Brisbane

John Bosco Ngendakurio was born in Burundi in 1980. He lived, studied and worked in Norway until 2010.  He published his first book in 2009. This prize winning book highlighted the journey of Burundian refugees from Burundi to Norway via the refugee camps in the neighbouring countries, particularly Tanzania.  John arrived in Australia with his family in 2010.  In Australia, he has completed a Bachelor of International Relations (IR), a Master of International Relations (MIR), a Master of Arts Research (MAR) and he is due to start his PhD in February 2018. His Master’s thesis examined “the Legacies of Refugee Journeys for work market readiness within the Congolese Refugee Communities in Australia”. Health and wellbeing are the most significant components of this study.  John is currently a policy advisor in the office of the Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

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Grace Samuel Oryem

Recovery – the Role of CommunityGrace Samuel Oryem, Community Member, Brisbane

Grace Samuel Oryem was born in South Sudan and lived in Kenya, Uganda and Khartoum, Sudan before moving to Australia in 2006. She has extensive community development experience both in Australia and overseas. Currently Grace works for Multicultural Development Australia Ltd (MDA) and is President of the Arise Women Support Group.  Grace provides support to the newly and emerging communities with relevant information that empowers people within these communities and enables them to improve their life and health. Working with communities and enabling people to discover their potential is Grace’s passion. She has a Bachelor of Human Services from Queensland University of Technology and Certificate IV in Primary Health and Community Care Multicultural.

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Tracy Worrall

The Role of Specialised Torture and Trauma Services in the Recovery of Refugee Survivors, Tracy Worrall, Chief Executive, Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma Inc.

Tracy Worrall has been the Chief Executive of the Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) since 2007. QPASTT is one of 8 specialist agencies across Australia working with refugee survivors of torture and trauma. QPASTT sees over 2,500 clients from approximately 70 different ethnic groups each year including asylum seekers and new arrivals along with people who have been in Australia for many years.  The service has a presence across Queensland. Tracy has worked in the community services sector for over 30 years across a range of roles from direct service delivery to management. Her current role enables her to mix her passion for social justice, her interest in refugee and asylum seeker issues and her interest in the management of community based organisations.

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The Panel

Facilitator:  Mr Ivan Frkovic, Mental Health Commissioner, Queensland Mental Health Commission
Panel:  Dr Araceli Garcia del Soto, Dr Ignacio Correa-Velez, John Bosco Ngendakurio, Grace Samuel Oryem, Tracy Worrall

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