Ethnic Minorities and the Built Environment in Rural and Regional Australia: Sites of Segregation or Inter-Cultural Exchange?

By Kirrily Jordan, Branka Krivokapic-Skoko and Jock Collins.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Australia has one of the highest proportions of migrants of any country in the world. One aspect of this migration that is still poorly understood is the impact of different ethnic groups on the built environment of Australian cities and towns. Recent arrivals often seek to create a home by modifying their new landscape, transforming public spaces by building monuments, religious buildings, social clubs and community centres.

These sites have often been overlooked in studies of Australia’s built environment heritage. However, they often hold enormous significance not only for migrant communities but also in reflecting contestation over space and the contribution of migrants to the Australian political economy. Crucially, in a time of increasing concern over inter-cultural relations in Australia, these places can also be sites of inter-cultural exchange.

Based on preliminary fieldwork in Griffith in New South Wales, the paper will explore the social, political and economic significance of one place built by non-Anglo-Celtic migrants to Australia: the Griffith Italian Museum and Cultural Centre. Using the concepts of inter-cultural dialogue and bonding and bridging social capital, the paper explores the role of the Museum in facilitating social networks and improved relations within and between Griffith’s ethnic communities.

Keywords: Built Environment, Ethnicity, Social capital, Bonding and Bridging

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp.167-176. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.544MB).

Kirrily Jordan

Doctoral Student, School of Finance and Economics, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Kirrily Jordan is a PhD student at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her research concerns the relationship between ethnicity, space and social relations.

Dr. Branka Krivokapic-Skoko

Lecturer, School of Marketing and Management, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

Branka is a senior lecturer in Economics and Management at Charles Sturt University. Her recent research has focused on ethnic business communities; informal, ethnically-based business networks in agriculture; and multi-disciplinary perspectives on entrepreneurship.

Prof. Jock Collins

University of Technology, Australia

Jock Collins is Professor in the School of Finance and Economics at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Writing on Australian immigration matters since the early 1970's, Jock is the author of two books and over 40 articles in international and national journals and edited books. Jock has been a consultant to the NSW Ethnic Affairs Commission, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the NSW Department of Treasury.

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