Temporary Migration Policy Forum held at Monash

Monash Criminologists Sharon Pickering, Marie Segrave and Leanne Weber have presented their collaborative research on Fluid Security in the Asia Pacific at the Temporary Migration Forum held on Thursday, March 9 at Monash University. The Forum, organised by the Border Crossing Observatory, brought together a select group of government, NGO, academic and policy stakeholders to consider and discuss three issues associated with temporary migration in Australia: international students, New Zealand citizens and temporary workers.

The Forum was organised around three sessions corresponding to these migrant groups where Observatory researchers and other colleagues presented their research on related topics. Monash Criminology PhD candidate Rebecca Powell, who is also Managing Director of the Border Crossing Observatory, presented her ongoing research into the impact of criminal deportation on New Zealand citizens. Helen Forbes-Mewitt from the Monash School of Social Sciences discussed her longstanding research program on the security of international students. This rich body of research from Monash researchers was supplemented by presentations by Claudia Tazreiter from the University of NSW on her findings from the Fluid Security project and Laurie Berg from the University of Technology Sydney on the underpayment of migrant workers by 711 franchisees.

Following the short presentations, nominated discussants, who were policy makers in each field, presented their policy knowledge and experience on how we can seek to use our research to impact policy in these areas.

For the session on international students, the presentations highlighted the vulnerability and pressures experienced by international students in Australia as well as their susceptibility to crime where the session concluded with a discussion of the need to make the international study experience in Australia better and more supported.

For the session addressing the precariousness of New Zealander SCV holders in Australia, the take away message was the prolonged deprivation of NZ citizens brought about by SCV visa restrictions, and the implications for susceptibility to s501 deportation.

The session on temporary workers called for a refocusing of regulation to support migrant workers and provide access to protection and support services, with an emphasis on approaching this policy realm from the employment perspective and not from a migration status perspective.

The Forum highlighted the challenges inherent in seeking to translate academic research into policy recommendations, and provided opportunities to forge new relationships with key policymakers and opinion formers. Non-academic participants all had backgrounds spanning the academic and politico policy worlds, and were crucial in contributing to identifying fruitful directions for policy impact opportunities and challenges. 

Organisations who participated in the Forum include:

Council of International Students Australia

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Fairwork Ombudsman

Marae Melbourne

Oz Kiwi

Temporary Workers Taskforce (Department of Employment)

Universities Australia

Victoria Samoan Advisory Council

Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion (Dept of Premier and Cabinet)

International Education Association of Australia