Paris Aristotle AM is the Director of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc (also known as Foundation House), a position he has held since helped found the organisation in 1987. He was recently a member of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers and discussed the Expert Panel’s report in conversation with Michael Gordon, the National Affairs Editor of The Age, at a Castan Centre event last night.
In this 9 minute Q&A video, Mr Aristotle discusses his experience as an expert panel member, why he believes that Australia has an ethical obligation to prevent deaths at sea, and how he sees the “no advantage” policy working. He also talks about his optimism that regional cooperation will be forthcoming and his disappointment in the media coverage of the expert panel’s report.
This longer piece is the full video of Mr Aristotle’s conversation with Michael Gordon, plus the first question and answer from the floor. Unfortunately our camera stopped working at that point and we missed the remainder of the Q&A session.
Bio: Paris Aristotle AM is the Director of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc (also known as Foundation House), a position he has held since helped found the organisation in 1987.
For over 25 years Paris has worked to in the refugee resettlement and humanitarian field and has held many senior positions on government advisory bodies. Currently Paris is Chair of the Minster for Immigration and Citizenship’s Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention (MCASD). Paris is also a member of the federal government’s Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council (RRAC), the Residence Determination Reference Group (RDRG) and the Onshore Protection Consultative Group (OPCG).
Paris has extensive experience in the area of refugee resettlement and the provision of services to survivors of torture and trauma. He has been a regular presenter and contributor to UNHCR meetings and publications over many years.
In 2002 Paris was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal; both honours recognising his longstanding work with refugees and asylum seekers, in particular survivors of torture and trauma.
In 2012 Paris was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers alongside Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC (Retired) and Professor Michael L’Estrange AO to advise and provide recommendations to the Government on policy options to deter asylum seekers from risking their lives on dangerous boat journeys to Australia. The panel’s report was handed down on 13 August.