Thesis

Constructing a Transformative Psychosocial Theoretical Framework of Adult Development That Informs Resettlement of Refugee Immigrants in Australia.

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Abstract

Across the world, including in Australia, the numbers of refugee immigrants are growing. Yet, understandings about how best their resettlement needs can be addressed remain unclear and under-informed. The Australian federal government, through its Humanitarian Program, aims at offering refugee immigrants safe and productive environments for such resettlement objectives. However, despite being in relatively safe environments, adult refugee immigrants in Australia continue to experience poor educational, occupational, and social resettlement outcomes. These three outcomes have been identified as amongst key indicators of successful resettlement for immigrants in a new country. The research critiques existing adult developmental theories to construct a transformative psychosocial theoretical framework that informs resettlement of refugee immigrants in Australia. Findings of the study indicate that participants’ life experiences offered social structural affordances that constrained their capacities to exercise personal agency required to fully contribute and participate in society. Such constraints adversely affected their adult development and readiness for successful resettlement in Australia. The poor resettlement outcomes for adult refugee immigrants in Australia may be due to compounded effects of their possible traumatic and difficult past refugee life experiences, current distressing and challenging resettlement experiences, as well as the dissonances between earlier life experiences and what makes for effective engagement in a resettlement country, such as Australia.

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Article
This paper discusses experiences of racism and racial discrimination of seven refugee immigrants attending different courses at two Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes in South East Queensland, Australia. In doing so, the paper draws from two studies that focused on resettlement of refugee immigrants in Australia. A transformative psychosocial approach is used to explore the students’ experiences of racism and racial discrimination at the TAFE institutes. Acknowledging the historical constructions of racism in Australia, the paper proposes an anti-racism framework to buttress the students against experiences of racial discrimination at the TAFE institutes. The proposed anti-racism framework has three components; the National Anti-Racism Strategy, the vocational and education system and TAFE institutes and individual refugee immigrant students. The Bubalamai Bawa Gumada is suggested as a possible anti-racism strategy that could enable the refugee immigrant students challenge racial discrimination.
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