QPASTT values collaborative research partnerships, to explore, investigate and expand our knowledge about working with refugees and ensure we continue to improve services for our client group, advocate for their needs and help to raise awareness within the general public of the challenges that refugees must face. Engaging in research, also provides valuable information to other professionals working with refugees or trauma survivors.

QPASTT recently been involved in two collaborative research studies.

The meaning of rights across cultures:
an exploration of the interpretation of the human rights framework in refugee settlement

In partnership with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Centre for Refugee Research, a 3 year project, funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant examined the meaning of rights for refugees in Australia and explore how refugee communities culturally mediate these rights and the impact of this on the settlement process. The project was developed at the request of representatives of a number of recently arrived refugee communities who took part in a consultation held by AMES Victoria and the UNSW Centre for Refugee Research in 2010. The Consultation was about exploring solutions for the problems some families are experiencing as they settle into their new home in Australia. The research project has created tools on exploring and educating about human rights, which can be used throughout the settlement process. QPASTT will be using these tools in our work with refugee communities and people from refugee background in Queensland.

These tools called Human Rights in Australia Resource and are publicly available as a training package to assist newly arrived refugees understand how the human rights conventions are applied in Australia and what it means to family life.


For more information:
UNSW Centre for Refugee Research

Leaving family behind:
Understanding the irregular migration of unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors

In partnership with the School of Public Health and Social Work at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) the project developed an evidence base on the drivers and determinants of irregular maritime migration to Australia of unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors. The project was funded by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Irregular Migration Research Small Grants Program. The research report is available online here 

For more information:
Contact Dr Ignacio Correa-Velez –

Research Proposals

QPASTT is regularly approached to participate in research.  While we recognise the benefit of research in building an increasing body of knowledge about torture and trauma recovery, research is additional to our core work.  Additionally, QPASTT takes research extremely seriously, both due to the sensitive nature of our work and to the high vulnerability of our clients.  We need to understand what the potential benefits may be for our clients, staff and organisation, so that we can make a clear decision about supporting research projects.

For your information and research planning, please consider the following:

  • QPASTT rarely promotes research projects where our clients are the subjects or are research participants. For the projects we do promote, we require there to be clear support structures and minimal risk of distress or harm (i.e. not research about the client’s refugee experience or journey to Australia, not research about their detention experience or experience of applying for protection). Again, any project that involves client participation needs to have clear, direct individual benefits for the participants.
  • QPASTT is also not a crisis service; rather we are a long term trauma recovery service for people from refugee backgrounds. We frequently have waitlists for counselling and we do not have the capacity to provide immediate support people who are re-triggered or re-traumatised by research projects. Therefore we respectfully request you do not list QPASTT as an agency that can support people that become emotionally distressed as a result of participating in your research project.
  • QPASTT will not mandate client or staff participation in any research project. Participation in a research project will only occur on a voluntary basis.
  • Any research involving the participation of QPASTT clients must offer the option of a qualified interpreter, unless the client does not wish to use an interpreter. The researcher is responsible for the cost of interpreters.
  • Participants should be offered the opportunity to see the outcome of the research project, at no cost to themselves.
  • Any publications that name QPASTT should be submitted to the QPASTT Director for review prior to publication. This enables QPASTT to ensure that our work is appropriately publicly represented.

If you are interested in undertaking research with QPASTT, we encourage you to contact us sooner rather than later in your project development, so that there is possibility of working together to create a project that has benefit to our work as well as your research ambitions.

QPASTT has a research application process that we require any potential researchers to complete.  Your application will be reviewed by members of the QPASTT Senior Management Team and if agreed to have merit will be assessed by members of the QPASTT Management Committee. This process takes some time and we appreciate if researchers are open to modification of their project to accommodate our needs.

To commence this application process, please complete the research application form and submit to