Paul Power has been Chief Executive Officer of the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), the national umbrella body for agencies working with refugees and asylum seekers, since 2006. Paul leads the organisation’s policy development and public education on refugee issues and its advocacy with the Australian Government, international networks and UNHCR.
Since 2012, he has served in leadership roles with the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, currently being a board member and chair of its Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Working Group. He was as a member of the Australian Government’s Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council from 2008 to 2014 and co-chair of the global Working Group on Resettlement and the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement in 2011-12.
Under Paul’s leadership, RCOA has been strongly committed to creating opportunities for people who have been refugees to take more prominent roles in national and international discussions on refugee policy. In 2018, RCOA helped to support the first Asia-Pacific Summit of Refugees and the first Global Summit of Refugees and now works closely with the independent refugee-led networks formed from those meetings.
Prior to joining RCOA, Paul worked in the NGO sector as a media officer, trainer, researcher and manager, after a 12-year career in the newspaper industry as a journalist and editor. Through his NGO work, Paul has been involved with projects in international aid, community development, mental health support, volunteer training, social research and advocacy.