Members Lunch with Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM

Manus and Nauru The impact of political agendas on human lives

Members Lunch with Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM
14th September 2017

The Australian community prioritises freedom, fairness and safety over political games. We know the power in sharing a vision for alternatives to the current treatment of people seeking asylum and refugees, one that uphold decency and respect for people seeking asylum.

The Government is trying to send people who are now firmly part of our community, back to harm on Nauru and Manus Island.We’re talking about people who had to be brought to Australia for medical attention, and have since been living in the community here rebuilding their lives. This includes babies who have been born here, mums with children in school, and men living here in safety after experiencing the horror of Manus Island prison.

The Government is:

- issuing ‘final departure’ visas, telling people to go back to Nauru, Manus Island or the countries they’re seeking protection from

- cutting off financial support, forcing people to scramble for a job after they’d been denied the right to work for years;

- evicting people from their homes with only three weeks’ notice.

Any one of us would be shaken by living with the intimidation of returning to a place that denies safety, while having to suddenly find both a job and home with no financial support.

Who is on their side? 

Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM is the CEO and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and has been a human rights advocate for the past 25 years. As a lawyer, social worker and teacher Kon has worked at the coalface with communities experiencing inequality and oppression, from people seeking asylum to Indigenous Australians; survivors of sexual abuse to the homeless.  Kon’s commitment to social justice comes from his parents’ experiences of discrimination and exploitation and his own personal experiences of racism whilst growing up.

At 28, Kon founded the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC). Established in the space of eight weeks as a class project whilst Kon was a TAFE teacher, the ASRC has gone on to become Australia’s largest organisation helping people seeking asylum.  Over 12,000 people have now been helped via a team of over 1300 volunteers and 90 staff who deliver 30 life-changing programs, all without a cent of Federal Government funding.

Kon holds six degrees in the fields of law, social work, psychology, business, education and international development and his work has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal, a Churchill Fellowship, La Trobe University Young Achiever Award, Victoria University Alumni of the Year, AHEPA Humanitarian Award, Citizen of the Year by the Maribyrnong City Council and recently voted one of Australia’s 25 most influential people in the social sector by Pro Bono Australia.

Join us for lunch on Thursday 14th September to hear how Kon has made such a huge difference to the lives of those seeking asylum in this beautiful country. 


Venue: Papa Goose

91-93 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

14th September 2017, 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Tickets: $77.00

Ticket Price includes GST

Bookings Close: 12th September 2017