Hosting an asylum seeker in Australia: a nationwide exploratory study

Hebbani, Aparna, Khawaja, Nigar G. and Famularo, Janece (2016) Hosting an asylum seeker in Australia: a nationwide exploratory study. Australian Psychologist, 51 2: 154-163. doi:10.1111/ap.12123

Author Hebbani, Aparna
Khawaja, Nigar G.
Famularo, Janece
Title Hosting an asylum seeker in Australia: a nationwide exploratory study
Journal name Australian Psychologist   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0005-0067
Publication date 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ap.12123
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 51
Issue 2
Start page 154
End page 163
Total pages 10
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley and Sons
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of people seeking asylum in Australia, resulting in over-crowded detention centres in various parts of the country. Appropriate management and assistance of asylum seekers has been an issue of major socio-political concern. In mid-2012, the Australian ruling government introduced a ‘first of its kind’ community placement initiative, which involved relocating low-risk asylum seekers from detention centres to homes of those Australian families who volunteered for this program. The present study investigated host families’ motivations for volunteering into this scheme and their resulting experiences. Twenty-four men and women from all over Australia were interviewed in person or over the telephone. Consistent with theoretical frameworks of altruism, acculturation, and intergroup contact, thematic analysis indicated participants’ interest in diversity/humanitarian issues were major factors that motivated them to host asylum seekers. Language and cultural barriers were reported as challenges, but generally, participants found the experience positive and rewarding. The initiative was regarded as an excellent avenue of learning about new cultures. The hosts played a strong role in promoting the English language proficiency and intercultural settlement of the asylum seekers. The scheme was considered as one way of diffusing fear/biases against asylum seekers prevalent amongst the Australian community at-large. Participants also provided suggestions to improve the scheme.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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