A study of the South Sudanese refugees' perspectives of settlement in the western suburbs of Melbourne

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Abur, William bol deng (2012) A study of the South Sudanese refugees' perspectives of settlement in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Coursework Master thesis, Victoria University.


The refugee community from the South Sudan is among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable community groups in Australia. Their settlement situation is problematic due to the many issues confronting them, including a lack of sufficient support services and language and employment barriers. Since resettling in Australia, the South Sudanese refugee community has faced settlement difficulties like making adjustments to the Australian way of life. The reality is that refugee community groups from non-English countries that resettle in developed countries come with high expectations of wanting to rebuild their lives quickly without consideration of unforseen challenges of their new environment. Therefore, some groups end up being stricken by difficult settlement challenges. The South Sudanese refugee community in Australia come from a difficult background of a long civil war that affected their community in many ways; many families and young people from this community are going through a recovery process from past traumas. During settlement in Australia, this community tends to have a higher risk of experiencing problems like homelessness, family breakdown, social isolation, financial hardship, poor health, drug and alcohol abuse, gambling problem, unemployment and young people involving themselves in criminal activities due financial hardship and chronic lack of employment. There are a wide range of issues that need to be fully understood when working with refugee groups, including psychological condition and the social, economic, cultural and political impact of forced displacement. This thesis is arguing that there should be an alternative approach and empathy in nurturing refugee communities in proactive ways rather reacting over their demanding needs while settling. This study has identified significant areas and made recommendations for the improvement of settlement services beyond five years. Furthermore, this study has identified effective intervention strategies that help refugee community groups address areas of unemployment, racism and discrimination, social isolation and alternative engagement strategies. These strategies can be achieved by boosting/creating cultural appropriate services to help the community in address past trauma issues and settlement issues in a way that is appropriate to their culture and experiences. This study is significant in providing a platform for further research and debate by highlighting settlement issues facing the South Sudanese refugee community while settling in Melbourne.

Additional Information

Masters of International Community Development: a minor thesis

Item type Thesis (Coursework Master thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/22013
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords South Sudanese, refugees, experiences, settlement, understanding, western suburbs of Melbourne
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