Collaborator Profile | Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) “Where the Door is Always Open”

Arts in Action is proud to introduce the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) as one of 2 guest presenters at The Last Survivor Screening 31st May @ Bella Union. Join Arts in Action in welcoming speakers Robyn Gould and  Jen Clarke and find out how we can support ASRC and take action to help the lives of asylum seekers.

Read on to find out how this truely remarkable organisation founded by Kon Karapanagiotidis has provided humane care, support and opportunities to  thousands of people seeking asylum. Discover how Kon’s simple vision to create a place of hope and welcome, where no one was turned away, has grown into Australia’s largest asylum seeker organisation.

 “By you just opening up your heart and offering your hand in support and solidarity, can change the world forever” Kon Karapanagiotidis CEO & Founder ASRC

About ASRC 

Since 2001 the ASRC has grown to be Australia’s largest asylum seeker organisation, with over 20 direct services, 30 paid staff and nearly 600 volunteers. In its first 9 years the ASRC assisted over 7000 people seeking asylum, provided more than 1 million hours of free help and turned no one in need away. All of this has been achieved with almost no government funding and more than 95% of funding coming solely from the community and philanthropy. The ASRC does it all – from direct aid, welfare and medical care, to strengthening families and communities through community development, to campaigning for social change. Click here for more information about ASRC’s programs and their 4 pillars of Aid, Justice, Empowerment and Community.

Despite the rapid and enormous growth since the centre opened – in the number of people the ASRC helps, the services the ASRC offers and the people who volunteer at the ASRC – the ASRC has not lost the ethos and spirit upon which it was founded. The ASRC still has the same multi-coloured walls that it had back in 2001 that make people feel at home. The mish mash of earthy recycled furniture is still at the ASRC too, where people can rest their weary bodies and spirits. Beautiful, exotic smells emanate from the ASRC community lunches every weekday and one is surrounded by the sounds of the rich mosaic of languages from across the globe.

Kon’s Message and Invitation

“When I founded the ASRC back on the 8th of June 2001 I started with a simple vision at the time. I wanted to create a place of hope and welcome, where no one was turned away. A centre that stood for justice and that was willing to be at the coalface when and where it mattered for people. Where dreams of freedom burned brightly in the hearts of all who entered.

Many years have passed since and some great changes have been achieved, yet there is still much work to be done to create true equality for asylum seekers. I ask you to join me in this journey. A journey where by you just opening up your heart and offering your hand in support and solidarity can change the world forever.” ASRC CEO and Founder – Konstandinos Karapanagiotidis OAM

Support ASRC & Become a Champion of Change

ASRC invites us to take action and make a difference to the life of a person who has experienced trauma and tragedy by suggesting..

10 THINGS YOU CAN DO

  1. Donate – to the ASRC general appeal and become a CHAMPION OF CHANGE
  2. Campaign – Join an ASRC campaign where direct targeted action helps improve the lives of those seeking asylum. Join a nation of ‘doers’ by writing a letter, signing a petition, attending an ASRC event or helping to spearhead a project.
  3. Volunteer – With over 25 different programs operating at the ASRC there are many ways that volunteers can get involved and make a real difference to the lives of asylum seekers.
  4. Use Catering Services – committed to ethical, sustainable business, and providing work opportunities for asylum seekers. A fusion of flavours from around the world, ASRC Catering specialises in hot and cold, finger food, main courses and sweet finger food.
  5. Asset Employment – (Asylum Seeker Service for Employment & Training) is a pioneer of asylum seeker employment and education services in Australia, supporting asylum seekers to contribute to their local community by utilizing their particular skills and knowledge, their resilience and ingenuity.
  6. Run a Fundraiser – Run your own fundraiser at school, home or at work, helping to generate valuable funds and having fun at the same time.
  7. Read the Blog Champions of Change an important resource for discussion and debate
  8. Material Aid – providing non food aid. Download the Material Aid Donations Checklist for a full list of what items the Material Aid Program can accept
  9. Donate FoodThe Survival Network helps the ASRC provide an entire weeks groceries to over 130 families 52 weeks of the year
  10. Stay informed – Sign up to the ASRC newsletter

Run For Refugees (and score free ticket to The Last Survivor!)

You can be part of providing hope from persecution by joining the Run for Refugees as part of the Melbourne Marathon on Sunday October 9th.

Sign up at www.run4refugees.org.au and let Arts in Action know you have registered to win a FREE ticket to The Last Survivor Screening 31st May @ Bella Union. Once you’ve signed up for the run send an email to angie@artsinaction.com.au with your registration details to score a ticket.

Click on Run For Refugees information video to check out a 3 minute video by George Clipp

Other Actions

Read the following resources that give you the human face and reality of asylum seekers and then share this with friends, family and work colleagues. Start a dialogue with people about what people think about asylum seekers and share these facts, stories and realities.

“The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is a place to come in out of the cold and receive sustenance. It shows what our country can be, at its best – a place that is based on the understanding that give or take a few generations, except for the indigenous peoples, we all come from elsewhere. It comes down to the basic understanding that with just one shift in the wind, we can all become strangers; and in need of a place where people are willing to welcome a stranger. We would have to knock on closed doors, and hope that the doors will be opened. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is a place where the door is open.”

Arnold Zable – ASRC Ambassador, Writer, Storyteller, Educator, and Human Rights Advocate

Vist his website http://www.arnoldzable.com/

 

 

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