There is currently a record number of people who have been forcibly displaced: 1 in every 95 people in the world have had to flee in search of safety for themselves and their families. There are many reasons why people may be forced to leave their homes, including conflict, discrimination, persecution, extreme poverty, and environmental disasters. Forced migrants often face many risks as they move in search of safety or better opportunities, including violence, food insecurity, and limited or no access to health services or education.
Forced migration is a complex issue which we believe can be best understood by taking an interdisciplinary approach. This is why the Forced Migration Research Network is made up of scholars based predominantly in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture at UNSW who work across the social sciences, including history, philosophy, media and film studies, cultural studies, education, and social psychology. We partner with civil society organisations, service providers, government bodies and international actors to undertake our research, policy, training, and advocacy activities.
Our objectives include:
UNSW now offers the Sanctuary Scholarship for People Seeking Asylum and Refugees with Temporary Protection and the Welcome Scholarship for Students from Refugee Backgrounds. Please direct any questions about these scholarships to the UNSW Scholarships team at email@example.com.
Interested in learning more about what we do? Follow the links to explore our projects, training kits and advocacy work. Want to get in touch with us or subscribe to our newsletter? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Sally Baker’s research and advocacy interests include refugee education, higher education equity and language policy, the educational experiences of students from culturally and linguistically diverse migrant and refugee backgrounds, and methodological and ethical issues with doing research in 'fragile contexts'.
Associate Professor Ruth Balint researches and teaches transnational histories of migration, refugees, and the family, with a current focus on the displaced persons of World War Two. She has recently written on the histories of families broken apart by the immigration policies of western nations and refugee stories of people smuggling.
Dr Linda Bartolomei works on a variety of international advocacy, human rights & development-related research activities, including action-based research projects exploring the challenges associated with responding to refugee women & girls at risk of rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence. She also works closely with UNHCR Geneva.
Dr Claire Higgins is an historian whose research interests include refugee status determination in historical context, and alternative policies for processing asylum seekers. She is currently researching the history of in-country programs and other protected entry procedures for refugees.
Dr Maree Higgins’ research focuses on participatory methods and human rights-informed research with refugee-background co-researchers and people of African descent. Her scholarship explores how co-research can safely and ethically illuminate lived experience, promote inclusion, and create meaningful social change.
Adjunct Associate Professor Eileen Pittaway’s rich body of work continues to focus on the prevention of, and response to the rape, sexual abuse and gender-based violence experienced by refugee women. Over the past 24 years, she has worked with refugees, United Nations and humanitarian agencies, and evaluated projects in 22 different countries.
Dr Susanne Schmeidl is a scholar-practitioner whose research has focused on the intersecting areas of conflict & refugee early warning, inclusive & locally-led peace formation, and conflict-sensitive practice.
Professor Claudia Tazreiter is a political sociologist. Her research focuses on contemporary human rights discourses, migration, particularly forced migration, the role of civil society, and creative and arts practices in social change.
Mina Roces is a Professor of History in the School of Humanities and Languages, UNSW. She is a specialist in twentieth century Philippine history. Her research interests include the histories of Filipino migration, gender, dress, and childhoods.
Professor Katz is from the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW. He specialises in policy focused research methodology & analysis, in particular projects using mixed methods. His research interests include mental health, child protection, disability, justice, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander social policy, human service system reform and aging.
Dr. Valentina Baú is a Senior Research Fellow at Western Sydney University, Institute for Cultural Studies, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at UNSW. Her research explores different theoretical frameworks and practical applications in Communication for Development in Peacebuilding.
R. Harindranath’s main areas of research interest include media cultures in the Global South; the cultural politics of mobility and citizenship; diasporic and transnational cultural formations; and ‘race’, class and representation. He currently leads the ADA Antiracism Collective.
Jung-Sook Lee is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Sciences at UNSW Sydney. Her research focuses on breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantages. Her research interests include the wellbeing of vulnerable children and families, risk and resilience, social and cultural capital, diversity, and multicultural practice.
Professor Zwi is Professor of Global Health and Development in the School of Social Sciences at UNSW. His research interests include global health and development policy and practice, as well as their interface(s) with equity, social justice and human rights.
Dr Anikó Hatoss is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the School of Humanities and Languages. Her research addresses social justice in the context of linguistic diversity and mobility through the study of migrant/refugee narratives, intergenerational language maintenance and family language planning.
M. Zournazi is an Australian film maker, author and cultural philosopher. Her multi-awarding winning documentary Dogs of Democracy (2017) was screened worldwide. She is the author of several books including Hope - New Philosophies for Change, Inventing Peace with the German filmmaker Wim Wenders and Justice and Love with Rowan Williams.
The FMRSN is a network of higher degree research students (HDR) undertaking research in forced migration at UNSW. The network provides HDR-led peer support by creating a forum for HDRs working across various research disciplines to build connections, share resources and expertise, and create opportunities for collaborations and academic partnerships. Established in 2020, the FMRSN aims to foster outstanding and original PhD research and provide postgraduate students associated with the UNSW Forced Migration Research Network to have a forum to engage with each other. The FMRSN is open for all UNSW postgraduate students involved in forced migration research across various research disciplines. FMRSN offers a platform for research exchange, networking opportunities, explore scholarly perspectives, and to connect with other HDRs.
Project title: Institutional listening to minority voices: representation, recognition, and refugee media
Supervisors: Associate Professor Tanja Dreher, Professor Ramaswami Harindranath, and Dr Linda Bartolomei
Title of PhD thesis: Refugee Protection and Statelessness: The lived experience of the Rohingya Community in Australia
Supervisors: Prof Claudia Tazreiter, Dr Susanne Schmeidl
Title of PhD thesis: The Relationship between Volunteers and the Refugee Settlement Sector in Australia
Supervisors: Dr Linda Bartolomei and Dr Susanne Schmeidl
Felipe Balotin Pinto
Title of PhD thesis: Oracy in Higher Education: Discourses and Experiences in an Australian Institution
Supervisors: Dr Sally Baker, Professor Sue Starfield, and Associate Professor Andy Gao
Title of PhD thesis: Nauru: The impact of immigration detention on the education of refugee children
Supervisors: Dr Hazel Blunden, Associate Professor Caroline Lenette, and Dr Sarah Mares
Title of PhD thesis: Exploring the impact on wellbeing of beginners acting classes for young women with refugee backgrounds in Western Sydney
Supervisors: Dr Caroline Wake, Associate Professor Caroline Lenette
Title of PhD thesis: Refugee Access to Higher Education: An information Perspective
Supervisors: Dr Sally Baker and Associate Professor Caroline Lenette
Title of PhD thesis: Translating Minor Melancholia: Weird English and Hybrid Languages in the Fiction of Brian Castro
Supervisors: Professor Elizabeth McMahon, Professor Brigitta Olubas, and Associate Professor Fiona Morrison
Mohammad Mehdi Hassan
Title of PhD thesis: Addressing the structural barriers to employment of refugees in construction
Supervisors: Dr Ahmed WA Hammad, Dr Cynthia Wang, Professor Martin Loosemore, Dr Daniel Chamberlain, and Professor Robyn Keast
Title of PhD thesis: Gendering the criteria for voluntary repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons
Supervisors: Professor Jane McAdam and Associate Professor Christine Forster