Paris Aristotle AM

Refugee, torture and trauma rehabilitation advocate

VICState RecipientAustralian of the Year2017

A tireless advocate for asylum seekers and refugees, Paris Aristotle has made an enormous contribution by helping countless people adjust to life in Australia. In 1987, Paris established the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, also known as Foundation House. As its Chief Executive Officer, Paris has built a national network of torture and trauma services, supporting people with counselling, advocacy, education, information and complementary therapies. Leading a team of more than 200 staff, Paris has helped refugees recover from unspeakable trauma, and to rebuild their lives. For more than two decades, Paris has also advised both sides of politics on refugee and asylum seeker policy, and multicultural affairs. He has worked closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the field of refugee resettlement. Currently the Chair of two federal government councils, Paris has demonstrated patience, personal integrity and practical skill as he navigates what is often an ethical and political minefield.