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Who We Are

We have been providing services to torture and trauma survivors in Queensland since 1995 and we welcome all people regardless of their ethnicity, culture, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, language or religious beliefs.

QPASTT is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation with no political or religious affiliations providing culturally responsive services to promote the health and wellbeing of people in Australia who have sought safety from persecution, torture and war related trauma.  

We have been providing services to torture and trauma survivors in Queensland since 1995 and we welcome all people regardless of their ethnicity, culture, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, language or religious beliefs.

Our Vision

Our vision is for people from refugee backgrounds to live lives liberated from the harms of torture, trauma and human rights injustice.

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to nurture meaningful futures by assisting people from refugee backgrounds to heal, belong and thrive in our community.

Our Commitment

We are committed to supporting survivors of torture and trauma and their families and communities in Queensland.

Our Guiding Values for Supporting our Clients


We care. In all our work, survivors of torture and trauma come first.


We believe in meaningful futures. We are committed to healing being a journey of recovery across mind, body and spirit.


We don’t give up. We understand that healing requires time, patience and courage for individuals, families and communities.


We believe that recovery from trauma is about justice and that to heal is a human right. We strive to build opportunities so that survivors of torture and trauma are able to belong and thrive in the community.


We act openly and ethically. We are committed to delivering impactful services.

Connected Nationally and Globally

QPASTT is a member of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT), a network of eight specialist rehabilitation agencies that respond to the needs of survivors of torture and trauma who have come to Australia from overseas.  There is a FASSTT member agency in each state and territory in Australia.

QPASTT is a member of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), a global membership fighting to eradicate torture and offer health-based rehabilitation services to help torture victims rebuild their lives.

Our People

Our Board

QPASTT’s Board of Directors consists of people from refugee communities, human rights workers, financial specialists and health and welfare workers who have experience in providing services to people from refugee backgrounds.


Professor Emerita Keithia Wilson

Professor Emerita Keithia Wilson has extensive experience as both an academic psychologist and tertiary educator at Griffith University for 26 years, and a practising psychologist in the areas of counselling, organisational and community psychology in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors for 37 years.

She has been nationally recognised for her effectiveness as an educator having received the Prime Minister’s Award for the 2007 Australian University Teacher of the Year, and a National Senior Teaching Fellowship in 2010. Keithia also has extensive experience in leadership roles in management consultancy and professional training and development

Her key areas of professional practice include the design and facilitation of change management processes, conflict management, strategic planning, professional supervision, interpersonal skills, group facilitation, and loss and grief counselling. In the not-for-profit sector, Keithia has served in voluntary leadership roles since 1984 on the Boards of 5 community organisations as President, Vice-President and Director, and is currently in her 15th year as the President of QPASTT and 20th year as a Board member.


Dr. Ian Mannion

Dr Ian Mannion (MBBS (UQ) DRACOG FRACGP) has been practising medicine for over thirty years, and currently owns and manages the General Practice in Highgate Hill.

He has a broad range of experience which includes extensive hospital training, rural practice and emergency medicine. He has clinical expertise in refugee health with twenty years’ experience in Brisbane and a stint with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). He has been a lecturer at the University of Queensland, teaching medical students in the field of general practice, and has helped to run early GP refugee training sessions in Brisbane. He has helped to set up refugee counselling services as well as the state’s first refugee health clinic at the Mater Hospital.

Following QPASTT’s incorporation in 1995, Ian became the inaugural Chair of the QPASTT Management Committee. After serving as Chair for a number of years, he handed the reins to Professor Wilson. Ian returned as a member of the Management Committee in 2014.


Dr. Pamela Douglas

Dr Pamela Douglas has practised as a GP since 1987. She is also a researcher, holding positions as Adjunct Associate Professor with the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, as well as Senior Lecturer with the Primary Care Clinical Unit, The University of Queensland.

Pam is founder and medical director of the charitable organisation Possums for Parents with Babies, and has for the past ten years specialised clinically in the care of parents with babies.

She is honoured to serve as a Director on the Board of QPASTT, and has done so since 2012.


Raziq Qasimi

Raziq is a former refugee from Afghanistan who graduated with a Bachelor of Law and Justice (Honours) from the Queensland University of Technology in 2019. He joined the Board of QPASTT at the beginning of 2017.

Raziq has volunteered with numerous organisations within the refugee sector. He was President of the Youth Voice Committee, an initiative of QPASTT, which explores ideas and educates peers and the broader community on issues of social justice, social policy and government processes which affect young people. He also currently serves as a steering committee member at the National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG).

Raziq intends to practise law while continuing his work within the nonprofit sector, helping marginalised people and communities in Australia
and abroad. Raziq currently works with Legal Aid Queensland.


Adele Rice AM

Adele Rice AM is a nationally recognised expert in multicultural education.

She was the Founding Principal of Milpera, Brisbane’s state high school for refugee and migrant students, from when it opened in 1984 until she retired from the role in 2012, and was instrumental in establishing a study program that equipped the next generation of specialist ESL teachers who continue her legacy.

Adele’s current positions include Board Member of the Global Learning Centre, Advisory Board Member of Asylum Circle, Member of the Global Citizenship Education Network, and Board Member of St James College. Adele joined the QPASTT Board in 2021.

Adele’s contribution to education and multiculturalism has been recognised with many awards, including a Member of the Order of Australia, a Churchill Fellowship, a Save the Children White Flame Award, a Paul Harris Fellowship (rotary), a Queensland Multicultural Achiever Award, and the inaugural Director General’s Award for Individual Contribution to Education. She was also named joint winner of the 2011 Professor Betty Watts Memorial Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Teaching. She was made an honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders in 2011 and received an Honorary Doctorate from the Queensland University of Technology in 2020. In 2023, Adele was honoured as a Queensland Great, an award recognising extraordinary people and institutions who have made a meaningful contribution to Queensland.


Kerrin Benson AM

Kerrin Benson AM is a social worker with 35 years’ experience in the not for profit sector and government, both in Australia and internationally.
Her experience includes work in child protection, community development, homelessness and domestic violence.

Kerrin has spent the last 20 years in executive roles in the settlement sector, with 17 years as CEO of Multicultural Australia. She is passionate about values-driven leadership.

In 2019, Kerrin joined Peter Shergold AO and Margaret Piper AM on an expert panel reviewing settlement in Australia. Kerrin sits on the Refugee and Migrant Services Advisory Council advising the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs. Kerrin is also a Director of the Board of Welcoming Australia.

In her spare time, Kerrin indulges her passion for the arts, most recently as Executive Producer of Brothers Book Club.

In 2021, Kerrin was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).


Fraser Power

Fraser Power is legally trained in addition to holding qualifications in Business and Human Resources and is a specialist in the field of external affairs and stakeholder engagement, advocacy and relationship management to assist organisations to achieve their business outcomes.

He is currently the Stakeholder and Advocacy Manager for Australia Pacific LNG having worked on this large project since 2012. Fraser works across community investment, advocacy, stakeholder and government engagement, issues management and communications. He was previously the Customer Advocate at Ergon Energy and General Manager, Service Quality at Queensland Rail where he managed business improvement, complaint management and reporting functions. Prior to that, Fraser worked in the office of the Queensland Ombudsman.

Fraser has extensive experience in the refugee settlement and non-profit sector having worked with the UNHCR in Cambodia on refugee assessment and resettlement programs. Fraser has served on the board of QPASTT since 2012.

Our Leadership Team

Co-CEO of Practice Leadership and Service Delivery

Liz Gordon

Liz Gordon has worked with QPASTT since 2005 in various counselling, clinical supervision and leadership roles.

Liz is an accredited Mental Health Social Worker and is currently completing a Masters of Child Play Therapy. Prior to joining QPASTT, Liz worked in social work roles in hospitals and child and adolescent mental health.

Liz is passionate about trauma-informed leadership, workforce development and the application of expressive therapies for trauma recovery in children from refugee backgrounds.

Co-CEO of Partnerships and Opportunity Development

Sally Stewart

Sally Stewart has worked with families and young people of refugee backgrounds for more than 10 years at QPASTT and at Multicultural Australia.

Sally has worked in community development, systemic advocacy, business development and senior management roles, often at the interface of community health service, research and government policy.

Sally is passionate about creating inclusion and weaves together people and opportunities to build responsive and sustainable services. She has a Masters of Public Policy and Bachelor of International Business.


Angela Ng

Senior Leader, Individual and Family Recovery

Tanya Van Bael

Tanya Van Bael is a Social Worker who has worked with QPASTT since 2012 in a variety of roles including counselling, supervision and leadership.

Prior to joining QPASTT, Tanya worked in social work positions in hospitals, older persons mental health, settlement and community development. She has worked internationally with refugee communities providing recovery focused counselling and community engagement.

Tanya is passionate about bringing together trauma healing at the individual and collective level, practice development and is interested in the intersection between racism, gender, collective trauma and the refugee experience.

Senior Leader, Capability and Governance

Vickie Pastellas

Vickie has worked at QPASTT since 2011 across a number of roles and oversees capability and governance. Vickie holds a law degree from the University of Queensland and before joining QPASTT, worked as a primary school teacher and a teacher of English as a Second Language in government and private schools.

Throughout her teaching career, Vickie combined classroom teaching with resource development and leadership roles. Vickie also has an interest in English language testing generally, and has extensive experience in writing, delivering and assessing the International English Language Testing System (IELTS Test).

Senior Leader, Youth Engagement and Community Partnerships

Beny Bol OAM

Beny holds two masters degrees (Master of International Law from Griffith University, and Master of Governance, Public Policy and Development from University of Queensland) and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Politics and Government from Griffith University.

Professionally, he’s been a Program Manager at Youth Off The Streets Ltd for more than 9 years. Until COVID-19 hit, he was also managing Youth Off The Streets’ program in Victoria.

Beny is President of the Queensland African Communities Council (QACC) – an umbrella organisation representing more than 70,000 people and organisations of African descent in QLD. Since assuming the QACC’s leadership in 2019, Beny’s has established many specialised departments within the QACC, including the African Youth Support Council (AYSC) which currently runs programs inside the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, West Moreton Youth Detention Centre, and School-based early intervention’s programs across Greater Brisbane LGAs, and African Youth & Community Centres at Redbank Plains, Moorooka and Geebung. They also run Correctional Support program, Court Support and Community Outreach Program, Multicultural Women’s Health and Wellbeing, Department of Research and Evaluation, African Languages Department, Community Social Enterprise, and Sports Department, Law and Employment Department.

Beny is an author of a book titled The Ambition and Determination of an Orphan: God in Firm Hope. He sits on the Ministerial Youth Justice Strategy Advisory Group, and Cohesive Communities Coalition. Beny also sits on the Queensland Strategic Settlement Committee.

Beny is a recipient of several government and community’s awards including Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), Queen’s Birthday COVID-19 Honours List 2021, Minister’s Multicultural Award, 2021, Afroshine Australia, Local Legends Awards, Victoria Police Community Award and many more. In 2022, Beny’s name was added to the wall of Australia’s National Monument to Migration in recognition and honour of his contribution to Australia.

Senior Leader, People and Systems

Regina Hamilton

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