The Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS)
The Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS) has a proud history of serving humanitarian entrants and refugees settling in WA since 1992.
ASeTTS provides services to people who are humanitarian entrants or are from a refugee type background and who have experienced torture or trauma in their country of origin, during their flight to Australia, or while in detention.
United Voices (UV)
In 2001 ASeTTS established a client reference group, which was later renamed ‘United Voices (UV)’. The group was born out of the recognition that ASeTTS needed to listen to the voices of their clients in order to improve and maintain the relevance of its services.
UV was modelled on similar groups within the mental health sector. The group can have a maximum 12 members. UV’s input into the life of ASeTTS – its services, policies, strategies and procedures – is central to fulfilling its desired role as a client reference group.
UV is represented on the ASeTTS board with full voting rights. UV members get involved with the planning and implementation of various ASeTTS activities. ASeTTS invests in the learning, development and mentoring of UV members and provides access to opportunities such as ASeTTS training. UV members are also investing their time and energy into ASeTTS.
If you are interested in joining United Voices please contact; Chairperson United Voices by email here or Community Development Coordinator on 92272726. Please refer to the link for more information.
ASeTTS provides holistic services for refugee survivors of torture and trauma to rebuild their lives.
Is for a more peaceful and just world where human rights are recognised, violations of human rights are challenged, and where there is support for people who have endured torture and trauma, and for their families.
ASeTTS aspires to provide holistic services that assist refugee survivors of torture and trauma to rebuild their lives.
Aims of ASeTTS
The objectives of ASeTTS as described by our constitution may be summarised as:
To establish, develop and maintain services:
Which respond to the specific cultural and spiritual needs, as well as the gender-related, linguistic and age specific needs of torture and trauma survivors (who are often refugees and may be from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations) and their families living in Australia;
- Which facilitate the ability of torture and trauma survivors to heal themselves;
- Which promote overall well-being of all torture and trauma survivors in whatever way is appropriate to the individuals concerned;
- Of a professional standard which are affordable and accessible to all torture and trauma survivors and their families regardless of age, sex, race, religion, political beliefs or lifestyle;
- Guided by the expressed needs of the service users arising out of the constitution as identified by the service users themselves and developed with input from those service users.
To carry out training, advocacy, and awareness raising and in doing so:
- Work with other organisations to carry out and encourage research and collect information, based on sound ethical guidelines, about the needs of torture and trauma survivors and their families in the community
- Educate, train and sensitise service providers and promote public awareness on the needs of and difficulties experienced by torture and trauma survivors and their families;
- Inform and to reinforce the rights of the service users as members of Australian society;
- Act as a human and material resource.
ASeTTS Clients are people living in WA who were tortured or traumatised in their country of origin or whilst fleeing that country. It is estimated that state sanctioned violence occurs in over 100 countries. This experience is not confined to adults, with many child and adolescent refugees having witnessed horrific events and suffered the effects of dislocation and deprivation. Fear does not end with arrival in a safe country.
Trauma has far reaching effects – like an earthquake, it can shake the very foundations of our client’s lives. The impact can disrupt or damage the relationships that individuals have established with partners, parents, children, family and friends. It can change the way clients feel about themselves and others. In many cases, traumatic events can be internalised as ongoing anxiety and accompanied by unresolved grief and depression. For some survivors, assumptions that are central to human existence, such as trust, have been challenged by their experiences.
In addition to the above, a new arrival under the humanitarian program is faced with the daunting task of settling in a new country and dealing with the challenges of learning a new language, adapting to a new culture, arranging housing, employment and children’s schooling often without a support network of family and friends.
Our clients come from a range of countries and ethnic backgrounds and present with a variety of symptoms and issues. The effects of trauma are not always the same, even for those who have shared the same experiences. We are all individuals and therefore unique in many aspects. Our reactions and the processes we engage with towards healing are as unique as we are. ASeTTS endeavours to work alongside clients as they seek to find happiness and peace in their lives
ASeTTS Board, staff and volunteers are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds.
Mr Antonio Giometti
Antonio Giometti is the Chairperson of the ASeTTS Board. He has been a member since October 2010 and has extensive experience in leadership, stakeholder engagement, project and change management, and business re-engineering.
Dr. Bernadette Wright
Dr. Bernadatte Wright is the Vice Chairperson of the ASeTTS Board. She has been a member since October 2013 and has extensive experience in Transcultural Mental Health including community development, stakeholder engagement and research.
Mr Tim Blackburn
Tim Blackburn is the Treasurer of the ASeTTS Board. He has been a member since October 2014 and has a wealth of experience in taxation, financial accounting and business management.
Ms Pratthana Hunt
Pratthana Hunt has been a member since November 2018 and has experience working in the public sector, and has volunteered in programs that provide support to youth from refugee backgrounds.
Ms Raissa Kundwa
Raissa Kundwa has been a Board member since August 2019. She is a YouthCare Chaplain and has refugee specific knowledge.
Mr Hossein Nezhad Amrei
Hossein Nezhad Amrei is the United Voices (UV) Delegate. He has been on the Board since March 2019 and is a passionate Human Rights activist originally from Iran. He has been a member of UV since 2016 and has been a volunteer with RUAH for over 4 years.
Ms Lynda Folan
Lynda is an Organisational Development expert with over 30 years experience, including board-level executive roles in a number of organisations.
Mr Vince Ianni
Mr Peter Walton OAM
Peter has many years experience in executive management and has experience as a Board Chair and member with other NFP agencies in WA.
ASeTTS currently has an Interim Chief Executive Officer while a recruitment process takes place.
Should you wish to contact any member of our Board or the CEO:
C/- ASeTTS, 286 Beaufort Street, Perth, Western Australia 6000.
Telephone: (08) 9227 2736 / Fax: (08) 9227 2777
ASeTTS employs over 25 staff and enjoys the support of many WA volunteers. ASeTTS staff are all experienced professionals with formal qualifications in psychology, social work, counselling, the social sciences or administration. Ongoing professional development and supervision ensures staff are up to date with current trends and able to provide professional and relevant services to our clients.