Community Policing and Refugee Settlement in Regional Australia: A Refugee Voice

By Danielle M. Campbell and Roberta Julian.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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

Australia accepts approximately 13000 refugees per annum through its immigration program, with priority given to those in highest needs. This paper presents and discusses the findings of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project (in collaboration with Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and Tasmania Police) exploring particular challenges for regional Australia in the settlement of new and emerging refugee communities. Regional Australia provides a very different context for police-refugee relations than large metropolitan centres. The focus of this research is primarily law enforcement and its intersections of difference and points of intensity with an examination of refugee-police relations and police refugee-relations in order to develop a best practice model for community policing in the context of refugee settlement in regional Australia. The qualitative data was collected in 2006/07 through focus groups and interviews with refugee communities, as well as participatory observation. The key findings address issues such as youth justice, family violence, driving offences, substance use and mental illness. The paper will argue that an understanding of ‘experiential difference’ by refugees, police and other service providers is crucial for enhancing the settlement experiences of refugees in new and emerging communities.

Keywords: Refugees, Community Policing, Regional, Settlement, Diversity

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.7-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 583.035KB).

Danielle M. Campbell

PhD Candidate, Tasmanian Institute for Law Enforcement Studies, School of Government, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Danielle Campbell in currently a PhD candidate in the Tasmania Institute of Law Enforcement Studies. Danielle has an undergraduate degree in political science and languages, as well as a Masters in Development from Murdoch University in Western Australia. Danielle has worked as a TESOL teacher for many years and worked extensively in the community sector in both refugee settlement and as a cross cultural trainer.

Roberta Julian

Director, Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES), University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Roberta Julian (PhD) is Associate Professor and Director of the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES) at the University of Tasmania, Australia. She has an international reputation based on her research exploring migrant and refugee populations and has conducted research funded by the Bureau of Immigration Multicultural and Population Research (BIMPR) and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. She has been researching the re-settlement of Hmong refugees from Laos for over ten years and has published book chapters and journal articles on Hmong identity and Hmong women in Race, Gender and Class, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal and Women’s Studies International Forum. Her applied social research interests have now been extended to include other ‘at risk’ populations such as young offenders. She has been Co-Chief Investigator for evaluations of two projects managed by Tasmania Police: the U-Turn Program, a young recidivist car theft offender program, and Project Currawong, a series of adventure programs aimed at challenging young people and providing pathways into community participation. Her most recent book is Australian Youth: Social and Cultural Issues (Pearson Australia, 2007; co-authored with Pam Nilan and John Germov). She is the immediate past President of The Australian Sociological Association.

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