Resettlement of Refugee Immigrants in Australia: Agency and Affordances

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Room 317
Level 3
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street, Carlton


Guest Speakers: Dr Gerald Onsando (University of Melbourne) and John Riek (Afri-Aus Care)

This event is the second in a new Migration, Refugees and Statelessness Seminar Series, co-hosted by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, and sponsored by the Statelessness Hallmark Research Initiative. 

Across the world, including in Australia, the population of refugee immigrants is growing. Yet, understandings about how best their resettlement needs can be addressed remain under-informed. Despite being in relatively safe environments, adult refugee immigrants in Australia continue to experience poor educational, occupational, and social inclusion challenges. This may be due to compounded effects of possible difficult past refugee life experiences and the often distressing and challenging resettlement experiences.

In this seminar, Dr Gerald Onsando (University of Melbourne) and John Riek (Afri-Aus Care) will explore the life experiences of refugee immigrants and the social structural affordances that often constrain their capacity to exercise the personal agency required to fully contribute to and participate in Australian society.

Dr Gerald Onsando is a Research Fellow at the School of Social and Political Sciences, the University of Melbourne. Dr Onsando is currently working on a project that is focusing on life after prison support for African Australians through the practice of Ubuntu.

John Riek has a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) from the RMIT University and is currently working as an Employment Pathway and Facilitator at the Afri-Aus Care organisation supporting culturally diverse young people in and around the City of Greater Dandenong. Mr Riek is a member of the South Sudanese community in Melbourne who came to Australia as a refugee from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

The Melbourne Law School building is wheelchair accessible. If you have any other accessibility requirements, or other questions related to this event, please get in touch via