2014 Speaker

Kon Karapanagiotidis

Tedx Talk | View Kon Karapanagiotidis's TEDx talk here

Over the past 22 years Kon has worked at the grassroots with marginalized communities as a lawyer, social worker and teacher. Inspired by the struggles of his parents and his own experiences of racism growing up, Kon founded the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in 2001. In just eight weeks with the help of TAFE students he was teaching at the time, the ASRC opened its doors. Since then, the ASRC has become the largest asylum seeker organization in Australia.

The ASRC has assisted over 10,000 asylum seekers, provided over 2.5 million hours of free assistance worth over 200 million dollars, all without Federal Government funding. The power of the ASRC is in its ground breaking holistic, one stop shop model that delivers 23 direct lifesaving programs across its pillars of aid, justice, empowerment and community with a team of over 800 volunteers & 40 staff.

Kon's work has been recognized with an Order of Australia Medal, a Churchill Fellowship, La Trobe University Young Achiever Award, a finalist for the Human Rights Medal and finalist for Australian of the Year in Victoria.