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

Kindness

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

Optimism

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

Perseverance

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

Fairness

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.

Honesty

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.

Chair

Professor Emeritus Keithia Wilson

Professor Emeritus 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.

Director

Dr. Ian Mannion

Dr Ian Mannion (MBBS (UQ) DRACOG FRACGP) has been practicing 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.

Director

Robin Lonergan

Robin Lonergan is a corporate lawyer with more than 35 years’ experience acting for Australian and international clients in mergers and acquisitions and corporate advisory matters.

He has acted for many international clients setting up operations in Australia, advising about the Australian operations and assisting with the expansion of the business in Australia and in using Australia as a base for expansion into Asia. His clients include businesses in the manufacturing, tourism, aged care and resources industries, as well as acting for professional services operations including medical practitioners.

Robin’s expertise includes corporate governance and corporate structuring. He has been a member of the Management Committee, and now Board, of QPASTT since 2010.

Director

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.

Director

Dr. Pamela Douglas

Dr Pamela Douglas has practiced 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, and 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.

Director

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 non-profit sector and helping marginalised people and communities in Australia and abroad. Raziq currently works with Legal Aid Queensland

Director

Dr. Ignacio Correa-Velez

Dr Ignacio Correa-Velez holds a MBBS and a Postgraduate Degree in Family Medicine and Community Health from Colombia, working there as a medical practitioner and university lecturer for several years prior to arriving in Australia in 1996. He completed a PhD in Population Health at the University of Queensland in 2004.

Ignacio has worked as an academic at several Australian universities for over 20 years, including the School of Population Health (University of Queensland), La Trobe Refugee Research Centre (La Trobe University, Melbourne) and the School of Public Health and Social Work (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane). His teaching and research have focused on refugee and migrant health, mental health, social determinants of health, health inequities, and the intersection between health and human rights.

For 11 years, Ignacio was a member of the Management Committee of AMPARO Advocacy Inc, a not-for-profit community organisation that advocates for the rights of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds with a disability. He is currently an academic staff member at QUT’s School of Public Health and Social Work.

Ignacio has collaborated with QPASTT on research and evaluation initiatives since 2006, and was QPASTT co-CEO between February 2019 and January 2022. He is passionate about community-led initiatives to address the social determinants of health and mental health. Ignacio joined the QPASTT Board in February 2022.

Director

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

CEO

Jamila Padhee

CFO

Angela Ng

Senior Leader, Clinical Services

Amy Burkett

Amy is a Clinical Psychologist and leads QPASTT’s team of professional supervisors as well as overseeing clinical governance, supporting clinical incidents, systemic advocacy and stakeholder engagement. Amy also sits on a number of national working groups through the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT).

Amy has over 12 years’ experience working in both the public and private mental health and health sector and has worked with refugees and people seeking asylum for over a decade- including in clinical practice, clinical supervision and management roles.

Amy is passionate about supporting refugees and people seeking asylum in their recovery and supporting clinicians and other health care providers to feel confident in their work with survivors of torture and trauma.

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, Group & Community Based Recovery

Fernanda Torresi

Fernanda Torresi is the Group and Community based Recovery Senior Leader at QPASTT. Originally from Argentina, Fernanda has worked with QPASTT since 2005 across a number of roles, including as a counsellor/advocate, group facilitator, capacity building officer and training coordinator.

Fernanda has spent several years volunteering and learning about different cultural approaches to healing in Papua New Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2018, Fernanda was an Australian mental Health leaders Fellow, which enabled her to develop and share her knowledge and passion for recovery from torture and trauma.

Fernanda is deeply committed to working alongside communities, understanding that recovery through belonging, thriving, healing and finding a sense of justice can happen through building strong, meaningful relationships and working collaboratively.

Senior Leader, Individual and Family Recovery

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.

Senior Leader, People and Systems

Niyati Acharya

Niyati joined QPASTT in February 2020 and oversees Human Resources, IT, Facilities and Administration. Niyati has qualifications in Business Administration and biosciences and has worked in the settlement sector for over 8 years in high level administrative, executive officer and coordinator roles. Niyati is passionate about creating welcome and belonging for QPASTT’s clients, communities and staff.