“We started in 1987 with one small house and a pile of dreams. There was an incredible and sometimes naïve belief in what we were going to accomplish. We made a decision about our service model that kept the clients at the core. The rest followed and we have never shifted from that path” – Paris Aristotle AM, CEO, Foundation House.
The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc. (also known as Foundation House) provides services to advance the health, wellbeing and human rights of people of refugee backgrounds in Victoria who have experienced torture or other traumatic events in their country of origin or while fleeing those countries.
The organisation was established in Melbourne in 1987 and is non-denominational, politically neutral and non-aligned. It is constituted as a not-for-profit organisation managed by an elected Board of Management. Our work is funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments, charitable organisations and donations from private individuals.
The main areas of our work are:
• Providing services to clients in the form of counselling, advocacy, family support, group work, psycho-education, information and complementary therapies
• Working with client communities to improve their capacity to access the services they need and to enable them to support recovery
• Offering professional and organisational development, consultancy and resources to assist health, education, employment and other community service providers, to enhance the responsiveness of their services to the needs of people of refugee backgrounds
• Working with the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments to ensure that policies and programs have proper regard to the needs of people of refugee backgrounds
• Conducting and contributing to research about the needs of people of refugee backgrounds and the best possible ways of meeting those needs
Working throughout Victoria, Foundation House is a state-wide agency offering services in metropolitan, regional and rural areas. We have approximately 200 staff across our three offices in in Brunswick, Sunshine and Dandenong, with an outpost in Ringwood. We also provide services in partnership with other agencies in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Shepparton, Swan Hill and the Latrobe Valley.
Foundation House is a member of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma. FASSTT is a network of Australia’s eight specialist rehabilitation agencies that work to reduce the impact of torture and trauma on individuals, families and communities.
Foundation House provides direct services to clients in the form of counselling, client advocacy, family support, group work, psycho-education, information and complementary therapies. Each year Foundation House delivers services to approximately 4,000 survivors of torture and other traumatic experiences who come from more than 60 countries of origin. The model used by Foundation House in all of its delivery of services is described in the Integrated Trauma Recovery Service Model.
The Foundation House Professional and Organisational Development program provides a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and knowledge in working with survivors of torture and trauma. Each year over 250 sessions with over 4,000 participants are delivered.Our calendar of workshops includes specialist programs for people working in educational and health settings, as well as sessions open to anyone working with refugees and asylum seekers.
Foundation House uses its specialist expertise to produce a wide range of resources. These assist health, education and other providers to enhance the responsiveness of their services to the needs of people of refugee backgrounds. Many of these are available for download from the Foundation House website.
Since its inception, Foundation House has had a committed network of individuals and families who support us in a range of ways including talking to people in their communities about our work, attending our events such as the Max Charlesworth Oration and end of year celebration, and contributing financially.
4 Gardiner Street, Brunswick, 3056, Victoria, Australia
Telephone: 03 9388 0022
Fax: 03 9277 7871
155 Foster Street, Dandenong, 3175
Telephone: 03 8788 3333
Fax: 03 8788 3399
161 Harvester Road, Sunshine, 3020
Telephone: 03 9300 8670
Suite 5/45-51 Ringwood Street, Ringwood, 3134
Telephone: 03 9879 4638
Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc.
ABN 52 783 974 656