Kon Karapanagiotidis

kon karapanagiotidis

CEO and Founder Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)

For more than two decades, Kon has worked with marginalised communities as a lawyer, advocate, social worker and teacher.

In 2001, inspired by the struggles of his parents and his own childhood experiences of racism, Kon founded the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC). In just eight weeks, with the help of TAFE students he was teaching at the time, he opened the ASRC in a small shopfront in Footscray, starting with a few crates of food. From these humble beginnings, the ASRC has grown to become the largest non-federally funded provider of aid, advocacy, employment and health services for asylum seekers in Australia.

The ASRC has assisted over 10,000 asylum seekers through a range of lifesaving services including Foodbank, material aid, legal, health, housing and counselling, employment and education, all without Federal Government funding. This is achieved with a team of more than 1100 dedicated volunteers and 46 paid staff.

For his work with asylum seekers, Kon has received an Order of Australia Medal, a Churchill Fellowship and a La Trobe University Young Achiever Award, as well as being named as a finalist for the Human Rights Medal and Australian of the Year – Victoria.