About the conference

The 2nd Australia and New Zealand Refugee Trauma Recovery in Resettlement Conference will be held in Brisbane, Queensland Australia in 2019!

Assisting recovery from the scars of torture and refugee trauma is a crucial component of successful refugee resettlement. The Australia and New Zealand Refugee Trauma Recovery in Resettlement Conference explores the complementary role and challenges of specialist torture and trauma agencies, health services, settlement services, English and employment programs, education institutions, the community sector and policy makers, in promoting trauma recovery and successful cultural transition and integration in the context of high income Western countries.

Innovative individual and community based refugee trauma recovery interventions are showcased by presenters from around Australia, New Zealand and the world, in plenary and themed oral paper presentation sessions, and pre-conference workshops. The unique conference format also gives delegates the opportunity to discuss important issues with expert panels in themed round table discussions focused around key topics of interest, and hear from people from refugee backgrounds who have rebuilt their lives in a resettlement country. The inaugural conference was held in Sydney, Australia, 29-31 March 2017.

This conference is an initiative of FASSTT – the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT). FASSTT is a network of Australia’s eight specialist rehabilitation agencies that work with survivors of torture and refugee trauma. There is one FASSTT agency in each state and territory of Australia.

The FASSTT Agencies

FASSTT agencies provide crucial assistance to around 15,000 people seeking asylum and resetting in Australia every year, from around 120 countries to heal the scars of torture and refugee trauma and rebuild their lives in Australia, in a way that is healthy and productive.

FASSTT agencies work from an understanding that people from refugee backgrounds can face complex challenges rebuilding their lives in Australia and integrating into the new society. This can include coping with the traumatic impacts of persecution, torture, organised violence and forced displacement; seeking asylum; resettlement; integrating into a new culture and society; and ongoing conflict in their country of origin.

For this reason we move beyond simply assessing and treating the presenting psychological symptoms associated with refugee trauma. FASSTT agencies use an innovative model of service delivery that integrates clinical and community development approaches; together with building capacity in the service sector and policy work, to foster a positive recovery environment for refugee resettlement.

Association for Services to to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS), WA

Companion House, ACT

Melaleuca Refugee Centre, NT

Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT), QLD

Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (STTARS), SA

Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), NSW

Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (VFST), VIC

Other Key Partners

Refugees as Survivors New Zealand (RASNZ),
Auckland, New Zealand


Refugee Trauma Recovery,
Wellington, New Zealand


Overseas Services to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (OSSTT), Nauru and Manus Island, PNG


The 2019 conference is being organised by QPASTT – the Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma provides flexible and culturally sensitive services to promote the health and well being of people who have been tortured or who have suffered refugee related trauma prior to migrating to Australia. QPASTT aims to provide services which address the range of physical, psychological and social needs that survivors of torture and trauma have.