With nearly 1 in every 100 people worldwide now displaced from their homes since the end of 2015, NFP agencies like Settlement Services International (SSI) are needed now more than ever. Voted by Pro Bono Australia in 2014 and 2015 as one of the top 25 most influential people working in the not-for-profit sector, we were honoured to get an insight into the kind of work that CEO Violet Roumeliotis does to ease hardship and restore human dignity to societies’ most vulnerable; refugees, asylum seekers and people living with disability.
According to a report commissioned by the Pew Research Center, ‘Key Facts about the World’s Refugees’ (Connor et al 2016), since the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees began collecting data on displaced persons in 1951 nearly 1 in 100 people worldwide are now displaced from their homes.
The UNHCR Global Trends Forced Displacement Report says by the end of 2015, 65.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide due to persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. On average 24 persons were displaced from their homes per minute in 2015. 51 percent of children below 18 years of age constituted approximately half of the refugee population of this percentage – 98,400 were unaccompanied or separated children.
The top four host countries for refugee intakes are Turkey (2.5 M), Pakistan (1.6 M), Lebanon (1.1 M) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (979K).
Since the end of 2015, 11,776 refugees were resettled in Australia.
Apart from CEO Violet Roumeliotis’s role with Settlement Services International, an NFP that provides a range of services in the areas of refugee settlement, migrant support services, asylum seeker assistance, housing, multicultural foster care, disability support, employment services and youth support in NSW (and as the state-wide umbrella organisation for 11 Migrant Resource Centres and Multicultural Services across NSW) Roumeliotis sits on the NSW Government’s Justice Multicultural Advisory Committee, the Federal Government’s Settlement Services Advisory Council, and Co-Chairs the NSW Joint Partnership Working Group coordinating the NSW component of the additional intake of 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Born in Bankstown in the late 1950s to economic migrants from post-WWII, fleeing civil war in Greece, Roumeliotis’s family arrived in Australia in the mid-
Violet Roumeliotis – on Restoring Dignity
With nearly 1 in every 100 people worldwide now displaced from their homes since the end of 2015, NFP agencies like Settlement Services International (SSI) are needed now more than ever. Voted by Pro Bono Australia in 2014 and 2015 as one of the top 25 most influential people working in the not-for-profit...
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