Looking Back, Looking Forward | ASRC 20th Anniversary

Today, June 8th 2021 marks 20 years since the ASRC first opened its doors.

For two decades the ASRC has stood as a force for change for people seeking asylum and as a beacon of hope and decency. 

When the ASRC began as a community-run food bank in 2001, our aim was simple – to prevent refugees and people seeking asylum from going without food for their families. Now, 20 years on we have built a ‘Home of Hope’ for people seeking asylum and a legacy we can all be proud of with over 25,000 lives transformed and a future built on safety, independence and freedom.  And today, this work continues.

The ASRC is Australia’s largest independent organisation delivering holistic support to people seeking asylum. In our first ten years of existence, the ASRC helped over 7,000 people seeking asylum – now in our 20th year we are welcoming more than 7,000 people to our doors for support each year. 

Together with our community, we have never wavered in our commitment to support and empower those who came here in search of safety and freedom and to do so with compassion and dignity. Our 20th anniversary provides an important moment to pause and acknowledge all that we have achieved together in the fight for justice for and with people seeking asylum.

Because the reality is while we are proud to exist, we really shouldn’t have to.

While we know the challenges ahead are significant, we know that with the incredible support of our community of compassion we can continue to do good, make an impact and help drive the refugee movement forward. Today is a reminder of the power of community and what can be achieved when we lead with compassion, decency and love. 

We recognise people seeking asylum for their strength, resilience and capability to thrive in Australia – when given the opportunities to access what they have a right to, and a place where they are welcomed.

Our shared vision is that when people come to Australia seeking protection they find sanctuary and freedom, are afforded permanent protection and have the support and opportunities to participate in life here as they rebuild and realise their dreams.

We have come a long way on this journey and must continue to push forward.

Together with our community of compassion, the ASRC will continue to lead with our shared values and centre ourselves in kindness, fairness and love. 

It’s why, 20 years on, we’re launching a new strategic plan that will be more ambitious and courageous than ever before – centred in the voices, experiences and needs of the people we support.

With our community by our side, we’ll never tire in our fight for a better world.


Thank you.

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