Session 15 -Restoring connections: trauma-informed therapeutic groups with people from refugee backgrounds.

Date: Monday 19 October 2020                    Time: 2pm                        Length: 2 hours

Victor Kollie and Noémie Rigaud

This session is designed for:
Emerging facilitators                     Still developing                   Wisdom Keeper             Everyone

Will this session be recorded?              Yes

Session Outline

People from refugee backgrounds have often experienced many forms of trauma, persecution and oppression prior and during their refugee journey. Once resettled in Australia, the cultural adjustment can be equally traumatic due to the impact of trauma, grief and loss and the challenges of settlement for individuals, family and communities.

The experience of trauma and settlement can have an isolating effect on individuals as their ability to trust others is shattered, and their sense of belonging and connection to their culture, community and habitual resources of healing is disrupted.

Group work offers a unique opportunity to support children, young people and adults to heal collaboratively while in exile, through restoring a sense of equality, safety and connection.

This session will cover:

  • The impact of refugee related trauma on individuals, families and communities;
  • Ways group work can be used to engage therapeutically with people from refugee backgrounds
  • Specific considerations to working with people from refugee backgrounds in terms of skills and challenges.

The session will use different modes of delivery and interaction to support online learning and promote mutual learning between participants, within the constraints of group size and online delivery.

Key Learning Objectives

  • Increase participants understanding about the impact of refugee related trauma on individuals, families and communities
  • Develop participants’ skills in working across cultures.
  • Identify core processes and values in working with people from refugee backgrounds in a group context.
  • Discuss challenges that arise in the facilitation of such group, and strategies to overcome them.
  • Develop participants’ confidence in working flexibly with people from refugee backgrounds.

How this session contributes to the AFN Community of Practice

QPASTT is committed to working collaboratively with survivors of torture and trauma, their communities and all stakeholders who, in working together, can support their healing. There is limited research available on group facilitation with people from refugee background in Australia, and facilitating such session is a way for QPASTT to contribute to what matters to the AFN, through the sharing of knowledge, collaboration and learning.

Toolkit takeaways

Cross-cultural awareness in facilitation.

Copy of the PowerPoint presentation, including a reference list for further reading/research will be provided to conference organizers so it can be shared with participants

Contact details of the facilitators to encourage future discussion and connections as well as contact details of QPASTT sister’s agency in all other state and territory (there is one in each state and territory).

Speaker Biographies

Victor Kollie
Victor is passionate about genuine social participation and believes that one way this can be achieved is through capacity building and educational exchange at the group and systemic levels. He seeks to promote interpersonal peace through human rights-focused group work and leadership development practices. Victor holds qualifications including a Master of Arts (Leadership) and a Bachelor of Social Science (Humanitarian & Peace Studies). He has worked with urban refugee populations in West Africa, and with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Western Sydney and Brisbane since 2006. Victor has worked in diverse roles such as Direct Services Counsellor, Community/Youth Development Officer, Group Work Facilitator and Case manager, among others. Victor joined QPASTT in 2015 as a Youth/Group Worker.

Noémie Rigaud
Noémie is passionate about social justice, Human Rights and working across cultures. She holds a Master in Human Rights and Migration Law (France) and a Master in Social Work (Australia). She has 15 years’ experience working with children, young people and families, in France and in Australia, as a frontline worker and in leadership roles. She has worked with people who have experienced various forms of abuse, including forced migration, war, torture, modern slavery, sexual abuse and childhood trauma. Noémie joined QPASTT in 2017 and currently works with adults both as a counsellor/advocate and a group work facilitator.