Brotherhood Research Forum: From Surviving to Thriving: Inclusive work and economic security for refugees and people seeking asylum – Brotherhood of St Laurence, TASA & MSEI

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As global forced migration continues to grow, research into the recruitment barriers, support needs, and long-term economic contributions of humanitarian migrants has revealed insights that can inform policy and programs.
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Logos of the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Social Equity InstituteDecent, secure and satisfying work is vital for achieving positive settlement outcomes for refugees and people seeking asylum. However, there is a gap in Australia between critical scholarship and service provision, and between scholarly analysis and government definitions of ‘problems’ and ‘solutions’.

This research forum brought together migration scholars, sociologists, applied researchers and community sector practitioners. It aimed to:

  • amplify the voices and lived experiences of refugees and people seeking asylum as research participants and subjects
  • raise awareness of current thinking and practice on supporting employment and economic security for refugees and people seeking asylum, and
  • foster research collaboration between universities, community services sector, business and government.

The forum was hosted by the Brotherhood of St Laurence Research & Policy Centre, in partnership with the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne, and The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).

It was moderated by Peter Mares, a prominent public voice in debates on refugees and social justice, a Contributing Editor of Inside Story and Adjunct Fellow at the Swinburne University Institute for Social Research.

Forum: Lived experiences of refugees and people seeking asylum

Presentations:

  • From surviving to thriving / Dr Nadera Hayat Burhani, Dr Jawid Hakemi & Alex Haynes, Melbourne Refugee Studies Programme
  • Refugee entrepreneurship in Australia: one strategy to overcome refugees blocked labour market mobility / Prof. Jock Collins, University of Technology Business School, Sydney
  • Unsettling assumptions about people seeking asylum and their access to employment / Dr Caroline Fleay, Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University
  • Systematic and deliberate approach to empowerment and leadership development of people seeking asylum / Ms Abiola Ajetomobi, Innovation Hub, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
  • Not just work: ending the exploitation of refugee and migrant workers / Ms Catherine Hemingway, WEstjustice (Western Community Legal Centre)
  • Beyond matchmaking? Rethinking labour market assistance for people seeking asylum / Mr John van Kooy, Brotherhood of St Laurence Research and Policy Centre
  • Is there a problem with refugee employment in Australia? A review of research evidence / Assoc. Prof. Val Colic-Peisker, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University
  • The Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) and narratives of protection / Assoc. Prof. Alex Reilly, Public Law and Policy Research Unit, University of Adelaide
  • Refugee employment in regional Victoria: practice perspectives from service providers, local government and labour market intermediaries / Dr Martina Boese, Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University

SOURCE: Brotherhood Research Forum: From Surviving to Thriving: Inclusive work and economic security for refugees and people seeking asylum – Brotherhood of St Laurence, The Australian Sociological Association & University of Melbourne. Melbourne Social Equity Initiative, 7 December 2016, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria

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