We’re thrilled to announce that our move is complete, and the doors are now open at our new premises in Footscray. The move is both a step forward and a homecoming for the Centre: from the windows of Reception we can look out on to the first home of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, which opened 13 years ago. It’s an amazing visual reminder of how far the ASRC has come since those early days.
The move into bigger and better premises comes at a time of great need for asylum seekers, and CEO Kon Karapanagiotidis highlights that the move brings new hope and opportunities.
“This opens so many things for us. On the one hand it allows us to help more asylum seekers than we could in the former building; secondly it allows us to create the asylum seeker innovation hub, a world first, a one-stop-shop hub that focuses entirely on freeing asylum seekers from poverty, unlocking their potential and enabling them to work.”
As always, we will provide asylum seekers with essential services in health, legal matters, counselling, material aid, training, and education. Our beautiful new home will allow us to assist more people than ever before, offering these services to over 4000 asylum seekers a year.
We will expand our foodbank and community meals programs, providing our members with groceries and 100, 000 hot lunches across the year. The new premises will also serve as a base of operations for the new Food Justice Truck, supporting local farmers, and providing affordable food to asylum seekers across Melbourne.
The 10-year lease with a further 10-year option ensures the Centre is here to stay, providing a firm bastion of hope and advocacy for those who come to Australia fleeing from persecution. From this strong base, the ASRC will continue to fight for the rights of asylum seekers in Australia. CEO Kon also believes that in doing so, the Centre has an opportunity to serve local communities in the Footscray area.
“We want to look at reaching out and working with the communities here, link back in and complement each other. This part of Footscray has been struggling and we want to be part of the revitalisation as well. We might even look at a night market in the area, who knows?”
The move and the hope it brings would never have been possible without two things: the tireless and cheerful help of our volunteers, and the generosity of our sponsors. We cannot thank them enough – not only for the very real support they have provided to people in need, but for the example they provide. It is these actions of kindness and compassion that give us hope for the Australian community, and for the people who come seeking its protection.
Watch this space, as we are planning a grand opening ceremony in the near future!Leave a reply →