Clinical Psychologist and Asylum Seeker from Burundi
Raphael Manirakiza is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience in international, government and not-for-profit organisations. He is also a political asylum seeker.
In his native country of Burundi, he was appointed by the President as the Director General responsible for programs coordination and relationships for the Ministry of AIDS between 2006 and 2010. He also worked as a health expert with the Belgian Embassy to Burundi between 2010 and 2013.
Raphael was also a spokesperson for the opposition political party, PARENA, and the founder of the Africa Mining General Group – an association dedicated to expose corruption and instil transparency in the mining industry.
In 2013, after receiving death threats as a result of speaking out against high-level corruption in the mining industry, Raphael fled Burundi with his partner, Annick and sought political asylum during his attendance at a mining conference in Australia.
Raphael has lived in Sydney since then, where he currently works part-time at House of Welcome and CMRC-Parramatta. He is a prominent leader within the Burundian community living in Australia and is involved in community development as the founding member and Chairperson of Whoever In Need (WIN) and as a workshop facilitator for the Families in Cultural Transition program on behalf of the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS).