Refugees experience traumatic life events with impacts amplified in regional and rural areas due to barriers accessing services. This study examined the factors influencing the lived experience
of resettlement for former refugees in regional Launceston, Australia, including environmental, social, and health-related factors. Qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted with
adult and youth community members from Burma, Bhutan, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iran, and Sudan, and essential service providers (n = 31). Thematic analysis revealed four factors as primarily influencing resettlement: English language proficiency; employment, education and housing environments and opportunities; health status and service access; and broader social
factors and experiences. Participants suggested strategies to overcome barriers associated with these factors and improve overall quality of life throughout resettlement. These included flexible English language program delivery and employment support, including industry-specific language courses; the provision of interpreters; community events fostering cultural sharing, inclusivity and promoting well-being; and routine inclusion of nondiscriminatory, culturally sensitive, trauma-informed practices throughout a former refugee’s environment, including within education, employment, housing and service settings.
SOURCE: Smith, L. Hoang, H. Reynish, T. McLeod, K. et al. “Factors Shaping the Lived Experience of Resettlement for Former Refugees in Regional Australia.” Environmental Research and Public Health, 13 January 2020.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.