Rafaela Lopez

Photo of Rafaela Lopez 2017

Rafaela Lopez is a humanitarian who has dedicated much of her time to supporting a cohesive and multicultural nation and advocating for an increase in support services for refugees beginning a new life in Australia.

During the 1980s, Australia welcomed a wave of refugees from Latin American nations, many of whom were fleeing civil war and political unrest. Rafaela helped establish Foundation House, an organisation committed to supporting refugees who have experienced torture and trauma. The lasting effects of Foundation House and Rafaela’s extraordinary work are evident in the resettlement experiences of many refugees who have gone on to live safe and meaningful lives.

Rafaela's dedication to helping people from multicultural backgrounds, particularly the Spanish speaking community, has also been vital in connecting new migrants to the wider Australian community.

Contributions of migrants and refugees from Spanish backgrounds

In 2001, Rafaela published Origenes: The Presence and Contribution of Victorians of Spanish and Latin American Origins, 1901–2001. The bilingual book, accessible to both English and Spanish speakers, explores the experiences and contributions of migrants and refugees from Spanish speaking backgrounds.

Over the years, Rafaela’s tireless actions have enabled many refugees to be supported during their resettlement journey.