Symposium highlights impact of refugee trauma

<i>Refugee Trauma Across the Lifespan – Children and Adolescent Wellbeing and the Implications for Adult Health</i>

Refugee Trauma Across the Lifespan - Children and Adolescent Wellbeing and the Implications for Adult Health
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Thursday, 29 October 2009

At a time when the welfare and safety of refugees is again at the forefront in Australia, a new symposium being held in Adelaide today will look at the wellbeing of refugee children and adolescents and the implications for them in adult life.

The one-day symposium - Refugee Trauma Across the Lifespan - involves more than a dozen key speakers on issues of the health and wellbeing of people of refugee background.

The event is jointly organised by Healthy Development Adelaide at the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia's Peace, Defence and Security Research & Innovation Cluster and is being held at the National Wine Centre.

"While refugees are a hot political topic in Australia, we should also be thinking seriously about the health and wellbeing of refugees and the many challenges they face," says the chair of the event, Associate Professor Nicholas Procter (Co-convenor, Peace, Defence and Security Research & Innovation Cluster, UniSA).

"For many of refugee background, the experiences they have faced in their home countries and their travels to Australia cause enormous hardship and trauma. This often impacts on children and youth of refugee backgrounds, which has potential implications for them in later life, such as their mental health.

"Today's symposium deals with a range of issues, such as the importance of understanding and responding to trauma, the importance of refugee and transcultural issues in a multi-ethnic society, recent trends in refugee settlement in Australia, and how young people of refugee background can better adapt to their new communities."

University of Adelaide speakers at the event include:

  • Professor Graeme Hugo (Director, National Centre for Social Applications of Geographical Information Systems (GISCA), University of Adelaide): Refugee and humanitarian settlement in Australia - recent trends
  • Dr Jon Jureidini (Associate Professor, Psychiatry, University of Adelaide; Head, Department of Psychological Medicine, Children, Youth & Women's Health Service): Psychiatry, politics and trauma
  • Professor Alexander McFarlane (Head, Centre for Military and Veterans' Health, University of Adelaide): The challenge of understanding: the mental health perspective of trauma in refugees


Contact Details

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762

Anne Jurisevic
HDA Executive Officer
Healthy Development Adelaide