Jorge G. Aroche is a clinical psychologist and the Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). Jorge has worked with migrants and refugee survivors of torture and organized violence since before 1989, when he joined STARTTS, where he helped develop the then fledging service in various clinical and community development roles. He has led the organization since March 1997, through some of the most challenging times for refugee services in Australia.Under his leadership the organization grew in size, scope and complexity, from an organization with a staff of 25 in one office to over 180 staff in 8 offices, providing highly specialized and innovative services to assist in the rehabilitation of traumatized refugees.
STARTTS has played a crucial role since 1988 in the development and implementation of innovative approaches in the context of a systemic and integrative model of service provision to assist survivors of torture and refugee trauma to overcome the consequences of their traumatic experiences and rebuild their lives in Australia. STARTTS has assisted close to 50,000 individual clients from over 70 nationalities through clinical interventions and psychosocial programs. STARTTS also played important roles in Operation Safe Haven assisting 4,000 evacuees from Kosovo and in the development of mental health services in East Timor. STARTTS continues to be actively involved in national and international networks of agencies providing services to torture and trauma survivors.
Jorge is a member of the Executive Board of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT), and held until the end of 2012 the posts of Secretary General of the International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR), and Vice President of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT).
In addition to his executive role Jorge continues to be actively involved in clinical and research activities at STARTTS and has presented widely on clinical and settlement issues for traumatized refugees on national and international platforms. He has also authored and co-authored several articles in refereed journals and book chapters on these topics.His contributions include a chapter titled “Ethno-cultural considerations in the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers”, Chapter 4 in, Broken Spirits: The Treatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees with PTSD. John P. Wilson and Boris Drozdek (Eds.) New York: Brunner-Routledge Press, 2004, and two chapters titled “The Search for Solutions: Programs, Services and Interventions to Facilitate Resettlement and Assist Refugee Families”(Ch.6); and “Culture, Family, and Social Networks: Ethno-cultural Influences on Recovery, Reconnection and Resettlement of Refugee Families (Ch. 10), in the four volume”Refugees Worldwide” (2012) Praeger Press, Ed by Uma A. Segal and Doreen Elliott; and The complex interaction between attachment, culture and refugee trauma: A challenge for clinical practice.(Ch. 7, pp 129) in Bindung und Migration (Atachment and Migration)(2016), K. H. Brisch(Ed), Klett-Cotta, Germany.