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Humanising a CaLD counselling service

Project Partners

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS) approached DrawHistory with a unique challenge: to bring the organisation’s brand in line with donor and partner expectations and share transformational client stories to empower others in need.

Issues in focus

Human Rights, Diversity and Inclusion, Civic Engagement


Their challenge

The Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS) is a historic organisation that provides holistic services for refugees to rebuild their lives. On their 25th anniversary, ASeTTS approached DrawHistory with a unique challenge: to bring the organisation’s brand in line with donor and partner expectations going forward. As an organisation that has existed for decades, they highlighted how important it was for us to consider the trust they have built with their CaLD clients, but also the goal of telling their stories better for stakeholders.

Our strategy

Recognising how important ASeTTS’s community would be to its brand refresh, we booked multiple discovery workshops after project kickoff to co-design the brand. This included completing additional consultations with wider stakeholder groups: referring agencies, clients who had become Board members, funding bodies. Our findings permeated into a new brand strategy, brand tagline, brand name considerations, visual identity and website publication and roll-out.

Reinforcing a transformational reputation

After numerous consultations with key stakeholder groups, the new brand was developed around the concept of ‘Rebuilding lives together’. This notion speaks to ASeTTS priotal role in rebuilding the lives of torture and trauma survivors newly settled in Western Australia. 

ASeTTS’s team is committed to restoring what was broken, and the human rights that have been violated. “We believe transformation starts with meaningful bonds that are earned. We come together around people and walk with them in their journeys, not simply give directions. We see, hear and value everyone, because humanity is most powerful when it’s lived.” – ASeTTS Manifesto.

A contemporised brand identity

Once we arrived at our final approved concept, we developed ASeTTS’s entire design system based on its new brand values: Transformative, Trusted, Resilient, Caring and Effective. These attributes exist as ASeTTS guiding principles or ‘north star’.

In their logo, the sunflower symbol has represented ASeTTS for the last 25+ years as a symbol of hope and restoration. The symbol has taken on more meaning as time has gone by.  This latest iteration of the symbol stands for ASeTTS approach and mission for all in the ASeTTS community. We redesigned the sunflower device and enhanced it’s contemporary, approachable feel by using organic, curved lines and uniquely drawn petals. At the centre of the sunflower is a ripple, indicative of a fingerprint, which is symbolic of the ripple of change and transformation that flows from ASeTTS’s work in the community.

We also developed a set of textures taken from what had inspired ASeTTS over their 25 years of operation – their iconic sunflower, clouds that unify their community, soil symbolising their trust and stability. These textures are used to give movement and depth to applications of the brand. In regards to naming, it was identified in consultation that being part of the FASSTT network was important to ASeTTS future, so it’s naming convention was kept.

I really enjoyed our workshops. They were really useful in making me think more about the work that ASeTTS does and how that can be branded to promote ourselves to stakeholders. You were energetic, engaging, practical.

Eloise Higgs, Intake and Outreach Coordinator, ASeTTS

Bringing the brand to life online

After the brand concept had been decided upon, the ASeTTS team went through a series of UX workshops to determine the look and feel of the new website. The existing site presented issues around clear calls-to-action, having an impersonal and corporate feel, and lacking a true representation of the close-knit, compassionate community that ASeTTS is known to have. We approached this by incorporating clear calls-to-action early on in the website, tightening up the sitemap and website architecture for easy navigation, and showcasing a sense of community and togetherness ASeTTS facilitates through human-focused featured imagery.

The outcome

The ASeTTS website is now live, and the new brand rollout has been well-received by the wider community. The website as a primary external touchpoint for ASeTTS stakeholders is actively being used for referrals, to provide news and updates, and disseminate life-changing information and resources to clients and sector partners who require it urgently. 

The website also services people in the wider community who would like to donate or get involved. ASeTTS is now in a position to continue its mission serve the WA community and empower and assist refugee survivors of torture and trauma to rebuild their lives.

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Acknowledgement of country

DrawHistory is located on the traditional lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and pay our respects to elders past and present.

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