The Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC) provides emergency and ongoing support for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. During the process of seeking protection in Australia, most asylum seekers have no access to support of any kind from government or other NGOs. The ASRC turns no asylum seeker in need away and is supported by over 700 volunteers and 35 staff. It operates on a budget of $2M of which 95% is from non government sources.
Over 10 years they have helped over 7000 people. Presently they are supporting over 1000 asylum seekers with 23 programs including routine health serivces, counselling, legal support, provision of weekly groceries, housing and employment.
Founder and CEO, Kon Karapangiotidis OAM, is a human rights lawyer and activist. Kon grew up proudly working class and Greek in a small country town in Victoria. Kon's personal experience of racism, and the exploitation her parents were subjected to in factories, planted the seeds of his passion for human rights.
Igniting Change, (formerly Pilotlight Australia), first
visited ASRC in 2002 when they were in a rented shop front in Footscray. A long term supporter of ours joined us on this visit and was so moved by their initiative that she offered support to enable the organisation to establish itself. Igniting Change is still involved as the organization continues to rely on the community (and not government) for 95% of its funding. In the last two years we have inspired and enabled over $215,000 for the ASRC. Through our visits we have provided an opportunity for people to see what we see – in many cases traumatised people fleeing horrific circumstances, through no fault of their own, desperately in need of humanitarian support.