Overcoming the systemic issues refugees face in finding employment
Australia is a diverse nation, with almost half of the population either born overseas or having at least one parent born overseas.
A significant rise of temporary migration pathways into Australia over the course of the last two decades, has also created a transient and diverse range of migrant workers.
The Migration, Ethno-Racial, Cultural and Intersectionality@Work Research Group (MERCI@Work Research Group) is a multidisciplinary research community focused on issues related to permanent and temporary migration and cross-cultural and workplace diversity management. We work with the national and international research community, business groups, and government and non-government agencies, with a particular focus on:
The MERCI@Work Research Group conducts research in all aspects of migrants’ employment including:
In 2017 the number of refugees arriving in Australia effectively doubled the intake of previous decades. This is because most of the special one-off intake of 12,000 Syrian Conflict refugees that was announced by Prime Minister Abbott in 2015 in fact arrived in 2017. In addition, the annual intake of humanitarian entrants was increased to 16,250 in 2017-18. Most of these newly-arrived refugee families settled in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
As part of a study on Settlement Outcomes of Refugee Families in Australia, funded by the Australian Research Council, and led by Professor Jock Collins (University of Technology Sydney), Professor Carol Reid (Western Sydney University), and Associate Professor Dimitria Groutsis (University of Sydney), the first of three years of data collection has been completed. With the assistance of partners in the project, we interviewed and surveyed newly arrived refugee families from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, in metropolitan and regional locations in two states: New South Wales, partnered with Settlement Services International; and Queensland, partnered with Multicultural Development Australia Ltd, and Access Community Services. AMES Australia, a further partner in the research, interviewed and surveyed newly arrived refugee families from Syria and Iraq, in metropolitan Melbourne and in regional Shepparton, Victoria.
A number of snapshots are available for the different locations where data was collected:
Links have also been established with key scholars/research centres in the field of migration overseas:
This is the first report in a series on immigration policy from the Grattan Institute. More information is available on the event page.
The webinar is hosted by the University of Sydney Business School’s Sydney Employment Relations Research Group (SERRG) and the Migrants@Work Research Group. More information is available on the event page.
The goal of the workshop is to discuss working manuscripts with the aim of submission for review at the Special Issue. The workshop will accommodate participation from authors in various time-zones. More information can be found on the event page.
This paper utilizes a life course approach to investigate the long-term effects of immigrants’ early adverse labor market experiences in the host country on their earnings.
More information and registration on the event page.
This seminar presents a theory of multicultural leadership effectiveness with reference to literatures on leadership, international management and team diversity.
More information and registration on the event page.
Based on a survey of working professionals, we find evidence that Whites experience more negative psychological effects from perceived discrimination than minority employees and are more likely to act to restore conditions of privilege by leaving their current job and employer. More information on the event page.
This event aimed to understand the underlying reasons for different policy approaches towards refugees’ labour market integration by focusing in particular on the existing welfare state as an explanatory variable.
A public seminar hosted by the team for ARC Linkage Grant “Settlement Outcomes of Syrian-conflict Refugee Families in Australia”
An analysis from current work on the social impacts of the 'staggered pathways' of Asian temporary migrants to Australia, focusing on migrants who have moved across different visa categories over time.
Investigates migrant professionals’ responses to cultural pressures in the workplace and the process by which transnational outlooks emerge out of lived experience.
The 2017-2018 Horticulture Labour Project builds directly on a project that the same research team is conducting for Horticulture Innovation Australia in 2016 examining labour supply challenges in the vegetable sector.
A symposium to provide feedback and help potential contributors develop papers on ‘Migration and Work’ for a special issue of the Journal of Industrial Relations (JIR) in 2019.
Explore our recent work.
Van Den Broek, D., Groutsis, D. (2020). Women, Work and Migration. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
Howe J, Clibborn S, Reilly A, Van Den Broek D, and Wright C (2019) Towards a durable future: Tackling labour challenges in the Australian horticulture industry.
Howe J, Clibborn S, Reilly A, Van Den Broek D, and Wright C (2019) Towards a durable future: Tackling labour challenges in the Australian horticulture industry: Appendices
Clibborn S (2018) 'Multiple frames of reference: Why international student workers in Australia tolerate underpayment' Economic and Industrial Democracy, In Press
Clibborn S, and Wright C (2018) 'Employer theft of temporary migrant workers' wages in Australia: Why has the state failed to act?' Economic and Labour Relations Review, In Press.
Groutsis D, O’Leary J and Russell G (2018) 'Capitalizing on the cultural and linguistic diversity of mobile talent: lessons from an Australian study', International Journal of Human Resource Management
Harvey W, Groutsis D and van den Broek D 2018 'Intermediaries and destination reputations: explaining flows of skilled migration', Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol.44:4, pp. 644-662
Howe J, Reilly A, van den Broek D and Wright CF 2018 'A tale of two tisas: Interrogating the substitution effect between Pacific seasonal sorkers and backpackers in addressing horticultural labour supply Challenges and Worker Exploitation', Australian Journal of Labour Law
Rajani N, Ng ES and Groutsis D 2018 'From India to Canada: An autoethnographic account of an international student’s decision to settle as a self-initiated expatriate', Canadian Ethnic Studies, vol.50:1, pp. 129-148
Reilly A, Howe J, van den Broek D and Wright CF 2018 Forthcoming 'Working holiday makers in Australian horticulture: Labour market effect, exploitation and avenues for reform', Griffith Law Review
Underhill E, Groutsis D, van den Broek D and Rimmer M 2018 'Migration intermediaries and codes of conduct: Temporary migrant Wworkers in Australian horticulture', Journal of Business Ethics
van den Broek D and Groutsis D 2017 Forthcoming 'Women, Work and Migration (Palgrave Migration and Diaspora Series)', Palgrave
Baines D and van den Broek D 2017 'Coercive care: Control and coercion in the restructured care workplace', British Journal of Social Work Vol 47:1 pp.125-42
Howe J, Reilly A, van den Broek D & Wright CF ‘Sustainable solutions: The future of labour supply in the Australian vegetable industry’ Horticulture Innovation Australia Report
Taksa L and Groutsis D 2017 'Swings and roundabouts: Reconsidering equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and diversity management in Australia from a historical perspective' in International Perspectives on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - Management and Diversity: Thematic Approaches (Volume 4), ed. Chanlat, J-F and Ozbligin, MF, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, United Kingdom, pp. 255-82
van den Broek D 2017 'Perforated body work: The case of tele-nursing', Work, Employment and Society, vol.31:6, pp.904-920
van den Broek D and Groutsis D 2017 'Global nursing and the lived experience of migration intermediaries', Work Employment and Society, vol.31:5, pp.851-60
Wright CF 2017 'Employer organizations and labour immigration policy in Australia and the United Kingdom: The power of political salience and social institutional legacies', British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol.55:2, pp. 347-71
Wright CF, Groutsis D and van den Broek D 2017 'Employer-sponsored temporary labour migration schemes in Australia, Canada and Sweden: enhancing efficiency, compromising fairness?', Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol.43:11, pp. 1854-72
Wright CF and Clibborn S 2017 'Back door, side door or front door? An emerging de-facto low-skilled immigration policy in Australia', Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, vol.39:1, pp.101-126
Groutsis D, Martin L, Lattouf A, Soutphommasane T, Lumby C, Young N, Crawford J, and Robertson A 2022 ‘Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories? 2.0’ Media Diversity Australia
Groutsis D, Cooper R and Whitwell G 2018 'Beyond the pale: Cultural diversity on ASX 100 boards', Australian Institute of Corporate Directors (AICD) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Collins J, Reid C, Groutsis D, Watson K and Ozkul D 2018 'Syrian and Iraqi Refugee Settlement in Australia' Working Paper No.1
van den Broek D and Groutsis D 2018 'Benchmarking diversity and inclusion practices in Australia', Diversity Council Australia and the Australian HR Institute
O’Leary J, Groutsis D and D’Almada-Remedios R 2017 'Cracking the glass-cultural ceiling: future proofing your business in the 21st century', Diversity Council Australia
Howe J, Reilly A, van den Broek D and Wright CF 2017 'Sustainable solutions: The future of labour supply in the Australian vegetable industry', Horticulture Innovation Australia
Those paid to promote diverse workplaces are rarely diverse themselves 23 Dec 2018, The Sydney Morning Herald
'Male, pale, and stale': New report slams Australia's boardrooms 30 Jul 2018, The Sydney Morning Herald
Talking Cultural Diversity 23 Jul 2018, Deloitte Diversity, Inclusion and Leadership
Why more engineering firms should tap the benefits of cultural diversity 26 Jun 2018, Create Digital
Settlement services defend clustering of migrant communities 04 Jun 2018, SBS
Skilled migrants make experience count with help of new initiative 10 May 2018, SBS World News
Dimitria Groutsis on 2MCE Orange 16 Mar 2018, 2MCE Orange