CEO and Founder

“When I founded the ASRC back on the 8th of June 2001, I started with a simple vision: I wanted to create a place of hope and welcome where no one was turned away. A centre that stood for justice, that was willing to be at the coalface when and where it mattered for people. Where dreams of freedom burned brightly in the hearts of all who entered.

Many years have passed since and some great changes have been achieved, yet there is still much work to be done to create true equality for all asylum seekers. I ask you to join me in this journey. A journey where by you just opening up your heart and offering your hand in support and solidarity can change the world forever.”

Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM is the CEO and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Kon is proudly Greek, growing up in a working class family in a small country town in Victoria. Kon’s personal experience of racism and witnessing the exploitation of his parents in factories planted the seeds for his passion for human rights.

Kon went on to become a lawyer, social worker, and teacher. He has been recognised as an Australian of the Year (Victoria) finalist in 2007, was invited to participate in the 2020 Summit in 2008, was voted one of Australia’s 20 Unsung Heroes as part of the launch of the new Portrait Gallery in Canberra in 2008, and was voted as one of Melbourne’s 100 most influential people in The Age Melbourne Magazine. Most recently, Kon was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2010 and an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2011.