Who we are
OOFRAS is lawfully Incorporated in Queensland, Australia and are a registered not-for-profit organisation (ABN is 39 187 828 481).
We have also been endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a charitable institution, and have tax concession status within Australia. So the "profit" of our work together is occupational justice, not profit for "just us".
Our vision and mission is explicit in responding to the occupational needs of displaced people, consequently the profession of occupational therapy is reflected in our membership and sphere of activity, however membership is open to any person working in accordance with our vision and mission regarding the occupational needs and rights of displaced people.
Our work is independent from a particular political agenda, religion, nationality, or culture and we embrace diversity and anyone keen to support our work!
The absolute heart beat of the network: members make it happen. You can meet us here and join us here.
Clarissa Adriel (President)
I want to see our profession engage people where they are at, which means meeting them wherever their occupational needs are, to offer occupational opportunities that make sense.
"The first refugee stories I encountered were told by a couple of homeless Sri Lankan men I met whilst travelling to a practice placement in India. One had been a welder and the other a chemistry teacher. They had both sold their wives jewelry to get out, hoping to find work in India to bring their family out of the the camp too. I had no concept of "refugee issues" and yet it didn't matter. They were not talking about being refugees. Or experiencing occupational injustice. That just "was". They were talking about their lives. And their distress as fathers, husbands, employees, non-citizens. They are my reminder to start with the basics. People. Stories. Knowing less. Listening more. Responding to what you already do know." firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Tuckerman (Secretary)
I have a strong interest in the formation of Australia as a migrant country and I am passionate about human rights. I feel that the occupational therapist perspective of health and wellbeing could be invaluable in assisting displaced persons during pre and post settlement processes. I see a huge gap in this area as a final year graduate entry masters student and I want to do something about it. The impact of occupational deprivation on those within detention centres and those refugees within our community are vast. We need to work together as a profession and continue to build evidence of
Yolande Hall (Treasurer)
I have been studying OT for 2 years at the University of Queensland, and particularly took interest in a lot of work being done by OTs in the refugee and asylum seeker field. I remember a research article that described mental health of immigrants in Australia with those from collective cultures describing depression as not being connected to the community rather than an internal experience. This began for me the thought of enhancing strengths. Focusing on this strengths based approach with refugees helps as we welcome them into our communities, by appreciating and using the unique skills they bring to Australia's diverse community. I do think occupation is vital for everyone and finding the keys to help people give back and participate in their community is what I am passionate about. I am really excited to be involved in OOFRAS and occupational opportunities for all. email@example.com
Philomena van Rijswijk (Director)
Hi! I've been an OT for 34 years, but five children, many moves, and various other contingencies have provided me with a strange work history. I've always lived in regional Australia, until the past few years, and I must say, the nice man who puts water in the taps, fixes the roads and takes the garbage away is very much appreciated. As well as my checkered career as an OT, horticultural therapist, adult literacy tutor, migrant English tutor, Aboriginal student tutor, manager in an aged care facility, and various other health/education "hats", I am also an author, and have had my work published and translated in Australia, Ireland and India (actually, it didn't need translation in Ireland or Australia !!!!!). I also was co-editor of an Indonesian/Australian literary magazine for a while, and was writer-in-residence at Risdon Maximum Security Prison for 9 months.
I am passionate about refugees and asylum seekers getting the "fair go" that many Australians, apparently, delude themselves about. In my role as a manager in the aged care facility, I work with the Migrant Resource Centre's PICAC Officer (Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care) and I'm part of their CCP steering committee (Community Partners Programme). I recently attended a training day at UTAS about linking refugee students with opportunities to volunteer in community services, and I will be attending an open day to meet potential refugee students in the next few weeks. I have just finished a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Rehabilitation with Flinders Uni. I studied Spanish for three years, and tried learning Arabic in my car, so I can ask you for your phone number, if you are Arabic... :) firstname.lastname@example.org
Karina Pont (Director)
Leah Clarke (Director)
"I am an OT who has a strong interest in this area and wish to be part of such a positive organisation." We're delighted to have you on board, what an example joining and buying a Tshirt to wear it with pride!!! email@example.com