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Supporting asylum seekers through the prolonged uncertainty in their claim for protection

Event Details
Date: 6th Jun 2019
Venue: Sydney, NSW
CPD hrs: 7

Concession: $199

Standard: $249

Organiser: STARTTS

Event date has passed

Asylum seekers need to cope with prolonged uncertainty and the fear of being sent home associated with their protection claims, while dealing with the impact of persecution, organised violence, torture, forced displacement, a sometimes dangerous journey to Australia, and detention in Australia; all in the context of an Australian political and media environment that can be unsupportive of asylum seekers. This workshop will discuss the global situation of displaced people, the history of asylum seeker policy in Australia, the legacy caseload and the situation of offshore detention on Nauru and Manus Island. It will explore the complex challenges with seeking protection in Australia, and help participants understand how they can support asylum seekers to be able to contain their emotions and feelings, cope with what they are going through in Australia, and prepare for what may come in the future, whether that means obtaining a protection visa or being returned.

Workshop program

  • Asylum seekers globally and their journey
  • Australia’s asylum seeker policy
  • The impact of torture and other traumatic experiences including detention
  • The complexity of issues facing asylum seekers
  • Services available
  • How to support asylum seekers
  • The impact of the work on you and self care

Learning objectives

  • To understand who are asylum seekers and the context of political conflict, organised violence and human rights violations
  • To understand the impact of torture and other types of refugee traumatic experiences on the asylum seeking process
  • To understand the history of asylum seeker policy in Australia
  • To understand what is meant by a refugee trauma informed approach and how this translates to the workplace
  • To understand cultural competence
  • To be able to apply the key principles above to the workplace of the participant
  • To understand how to prepare asylum seekers to be able to cope with what may happen in the future
  • To know how to recognise and manage symptoms of vicarious trauma and burnout

Presenter details

Dr Joshua Bird is a STARTTS Training Officer and has over fifteen years’ experience working in international development, human rights and academia—with a particular focus on ethnic minorities and vulnerable groups in the Asia-Pacific. He has worked in this capacity across Asia - including China, Vietnam and Thailand. He is a qualified lawyer, with degrees in Law and Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Master of Asia-Pacific Studies from the Australian National University. In 2016 he became the first graduate from the University of Sydney's China Studies Centre PhD program. His first book 'Economic Development in China's Northwest: Entrepreneurship and Identity Along China’s Multi-ethnic Borderland' was published by Routledge in 2017. His past roles include positions with the University of Sydney, AusAID, the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law, the Fred Hollows Foundation and ChildFund Australia.

Location and date


6 June 2019


Concession: $199

Standard: $249



AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers