"Without the counselling I would not have been able
to build a new life for myself in Australia"
"There is hope for everyone, if they get support,
to build themselves a new life"
"We will be forever thankful for helping us and treating us with respect and kindness"
"We are living in a better place. We have the opportunity
to reach our goals, and we are together"
"That was the first time anyone believed in me. It was special that they did not give up on me. That’s the only thing that kept me going. I don’t feel the anger anymore – I’m free"
The Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) is a network of Australia’s eight specialist rehabilitation agencies that work with survivors of torture and trauma who have come to Australia from overseas. Most clients of FASSTT agencies have come to Australia as refugees or humanitarian entrants. FASSTT agencies also work with survivors of torture and trauma who have come to Australia as asylum seekers. There is one FASSTT member agency in each state and territory of Australia.
Witness to War will be operating during its scheduled hours over the 2023/2024 Christmas/New Year Period including public holidays.
Witness to War is a free, confidential multilingual telephone hotline for people in Australia affected by overseas conflicts.
When you call Witness to War, bicultural support workers and mental health practitioners will listen to your concerns, provide information about available support and help you connect with services to assist you and your family.
Witness to War staff can talk to you in Arabic, Hebrew, Dari, Ukrainian, English and in other languages with an interpreter.
Witness to War Flyer (Arabic)
Witness to War Flyer (Dari)
Witness to War Flyer (English)
Witness to War Flyer (Hebrew)
Witness to War Flyer (Ukrainian)
Comprehensive independent evaluation of the PASTT program completed
The 2022 evaluation commissioned by the Australian Government found that PASTT demonstrates high levels of appropriateness in meeting client needs and improving outcomes for refugee communities.
Australia ratifies major anti-torture treaty
On 15 December 2017 Australia took the final step necessary to ratify and implement a major international treaty that combats torture and other forms of mistreatment. This is an opportunity to protect the rights of people who are detained in Australia for generations to come.
Never Turning Away
Never Turning Away (2017) is a report marking 25 years of the FASSTT network.
The Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide
The Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide can be used by doctors, nurses and other primary care providers to inform on-arrival and ongoing health care for people from refugee backgrounds, including people seeking asylum.
FASSTT’s statement of support for people from the LGBTIQ+ community
People across the world experience discrimination and persecution on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation.
Many countries have capital or criminal punishment for homosexuality, and increasingly countries are adopting laws and policies condoning harm and persecution of transgender and gender diverse peoples. State and government supported political forces have used gender and sexuality to polarise populations.
FASSTT believes that this experience or fear of persecution is an abuse of human rights, that causes people to flee their home country in search of safety.
FASSTT recognises efforts within the humanitarian, trauma and settlement sector to provide protection and welcome of LGBTIQ+ identifying peoples. We call for recognition of the specific vulnerabilities and needs of LGBTIQ+ peoples throughout all stages of the refugee determination and settlement process.
We also recognise that many LGBTIQ+ people do not feel a sense of safety and belonging within their own community while experiencing prejudice and lack of understanding within a wider LGBTIQ+ community. FASSTT commits to working with this complexity on all levels of social systems to create safety, belonging, recovery and realisation of human rights and dignity.