ASeTTS: 30 Years Supporting Survivors of Trauma and Torture

29 June 2022

Featured Post, News
30 years

Refugee Week 2022, June 19-25, marks a significant milestone for the Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS).

ASeTTS has been dedicated to helping those who have experienced torture or trauma in their country of origin, during their flight to Australia, or while in detention for three decades.

CEO Merissa Van Der Linden says it is fitting that an organisation devoted to supporting humanitarian and migrant refugees as they settle into Western Australia turns 30 during a Refugee Week with the theme ‘Healing’.

“Our clients have experienced significant trauma, as well as dislocation, loss and deprivation, all of which have far-reaching and long-lasting effects,” Ms Van Der Linden said.

“It can change the way they feel about themselves and others and shatter their sense of belonging and wholeness. A huge part of our support is helping them to heal.”

30 Years, 30 Stories

To mark its 30th anniversary, ASeTTS has published a 124-page book, 30 Years, 30 Stories, featuring interviews with clients, past and present, as well as those who support them.

Stories such as that of Moe, who was laying tiles to feed her family at just nine years of age. Or Ghulam, who is still waiting to be reunited with his wife and children 20 years after fleeing Afghanistan. Or Remza, who lost two brothers and her stepson in the Bosnian War. Or Safa, who spent four years in a refugee camp in the desert wondering if he would ever find sanctuary.

Ms Van Der Linden said it was impossible to do justice to the breadth and depth of experiences of the thousands of refugees ASeTTS has supported over the past 30 years.

“But we hope by sharing these stories, we can give the community some insight into what our clients have been through, as well as their incredible strength and resilience,” she said.

“We hope this book honours them, their families and their communities. We also hope it inspires conversation and action.”

Click the button below to read the book.

30 Years, 30 Stories was launched on June 23, during Refugee Week and ahead of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 26 June.

To find out more, or request an interview please get in touch via the contacts below.

Media contact: Karla Cerna  Phone: (08) 9227 2700

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