Our History

Since its inception in 1987, Foundation House has grown to become a leading Australian agency providing specialist services to survivors of torture and other traumatic events, which has supported and empowered more than 55,000 people from refugee backgrounds.

Foundation House was initiated with a passion for, and commitment to, providing specialist health services to survivors of torture that continues to this day. In 1987, a public meeting to discuss the healthcare needs of survivors of torture was convened by members of Melbourne’s refugee communities joined with a small group of medical and legal professionals as well as human rights organisations. This meeting then activated a group of professionals who developed plans for a unique and holistic service model to meet the needs of people from refugee backgrounds who have experienced torture and other traumatic events.

In 1988, our CEO, Paris Aristotle AO was appointed as a community development worker to establish The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture from a small house in Parkville. Foundation House is grateful to The Myer Foundation for providing a seeding grant and the Reichstein Foundation for its patronage in our early years, which then led to further support via government funding.

Foundation House now proudly employs around 200 people to deliver a comprehensive range of client services across five locations in metropolitan Melbourne and seven outreach sites in partnership with community and health services in regional and rural Victoria. We also provide specialist programs such as professional training and consultancy across the health, education and community service sectors while undertaking advocacy at international, national and state levels.

Foundation House is a non-denominational, politically neutral, non-government and not-for-profit organisation. We receive funding from the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments, charitable funds and donations.

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