Matthew Potts is a Trainer at STARTTS working on the Community Living Supports for Refugee Program (CLSR). Matthew has spent a number of years working alongside refugees and people seeking asylum in service provision, community development and policy and advocacy work. Starting his career as a caseworker, he gained an insight into the diverse, prolonged and uncertain journeys that refugees often face in securing meaningful protection, including in the Australian context. Following this he worked for the Jesuit Refugee Service in a number of different roles; including working on community development initiatives alongside people seeking asylum, and working with schools who were looking to increase their awareness and capacity to advocate for refugees and people seeking asylum.
In 2018, Matthew gained experience working on refugee rights advocacy in the wider Asia Pacific region with the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) based in Bangkok. This experience deepened his understanding of the diverse challenges and issues facing people displaced in the wider region and the opportunities for civil society across the region to work collaboratively and effectively to address these challenges.
Matthew has a passion for working towards the development of programs, services and policies that recognise the agency and dignity of refugees, ensuring that they are the key stakeholders and experts in their own lives and communities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Geography, Development Studies and International Relations) from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and a Master of Development Studies (Specialising in Refugees and Displacement) from the University of New South Wales.