Research Projects

Current Projects

The Exploitation of Unlawful Migrant Labour: Crime, Labour and Regulation

This project examines the experiences of migrant workers, employers, NGOs and other key stakeholders in regional Australia with a specific focus on the impact of migration and labour regulation enforcement.

For more information on this project please the Border Crossing Observatory website here.

Housing and Transport Affordability

Housing affordability is declining in Australia. According to the Reserve Bank, over the past 30 years, the ratio of housing prices to income has increased substantially. This project aims to develop a new tool to measure housing and transport affordability in Australia, with Melbourne metropolitan selected as the pilot study area. Housing affordability is traditionally measured using the percentage of income spent on housing costs. As a common rule, households who spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs while earning in the bottom 40% of the income range are considered to be under housing stress. An important cost that is usually overlooked in measuring affordability is the transport or accessibility costs.

Please visit the project website here.

ACCS Vic: Social Inclusion in Melbourne Communities

The PMSI Focus program is conducting a survey on social in inclusion in Melbourne communities. This survey looks to better understand views of everyday life, focusing on relationships with fellow residents, interactions with neighbours and the challenges that might exist in some communities. Findings from the survey will be used to improve the quality of social cohesion in Melbourne communities.

Please visit the project website here.

South Sudan Diaspora Impacts Project

South Sudan’s civil conflicts, economic crisis and political fragmentation continue. Diaspora communities around the world – numbering in the hundreds of thousands – are engaged on a daily basis with this situation: via social media, remittances for family and funding of organisations, and through regular visits or work in the region. This engagement appears to financially and practically underpin the survival and organisation of many families, civil organisations, and armed groups.

The Rift Valley Institute’s Diaspora Impacts Project (DIP) aims to fill a vital knowledge gap on the networks and systems of this diaspora. It focuses on the Australian South Sudanese community, and the mechanisms through which they may influence South Sudan’s current civil war. The impact, credibility and use of this digital, financial, and practical engagement within South Sudan are very poorly understood. The project builds on a scoping study that was commissioned early in 2017 by the Australian Embassy to Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Working with the Universities of Juba and Monash, the research project is designed to provide grounded knowledge of the real impacts of Australia-based diaspora engagement within the country. It actively engages the Australian-South Sudanese community both in Juba and in Melbourne in research and reflection. 



Completed Projects

Multiculturalism in the Australian Cemetery: Wishes and desires of Chinese immigration in Melbourne 2016

Gil-Soo Han and Helen Forbes-Mewett, assisted by William Wang and in cooperation with the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT). 

This project explored the case of Chinese immigrants in Melbourne in terms of funeral rites and memorialisation. The study provided an understanding of the participants’ level of acculturation and sense of belonging, and how the host society responded in terms of social inclusion. 

See Executive Summary of the project available here.