News from the Centre in 2009

Report Launch: The Impact of Racism upon the Health and Wellbeing of Young Australians

The Impact of Racism upon the Health and Wellbeing of Young Australians was launced at the International Conference on Migration held on 19 November 2009 at Deakin University. The report released by The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) reveals that schools are the primary setting for the experience of racism among young people. The national study, titled The Impact of Racism upon the Health and Wellbeing of Young Australians, also finds that 70% of secondary school students experienced at least one form of racism, with those from migrant backgrounds experiencing the highest levels. "With the Federal Government launching Social Inclusion Week next week, this study is a stark and timely reminder that Australia has a long way to go in addressing the challenge of racism in schools, especially for students from migrant backgrounds," says Dr Lucas Walsh, Director of Research at FYA.

"This report confirms that schools are uniquely placed to engage the challenges and benefits of diversity and that a whole-community approach should support them to do this." The research involved 823 students from 18 secondary schools across Australia and examined; their experiences of racism; the effects of that racist behaviour on health and wellbeing; where that racist behaviour most often occurs; how they respond to racism, and their attitudes towards race relations generally.

Prepared by Deakin University's Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, some of the report's key findings include: the group most at risk of racism is female first-generation migrants in Years 11 and 12; an underlying racism permeates schools across Australia with 80% of participants from non-Anglo backgrounds and 55% from Anglo backgrounds reporting experiences of racism; school education programs around racism are proven to reduce racist behaviour; and the experience of racism has serious impacts on health and wellbeing.

Professor Fethi Mansouri, Director of the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation says, "This report, and other research in the field, tells us that there is an urgent need for well-targeted professional development on intercultural understanding and racism for teachers and school leaders. Schools and students would also benefit greatly from curriculum materials that facilitate constructive and meaningful engagement with the sensitive issues of culture, race and inclusive practice." 

Dr Helen Szoke, Commissioner of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission says "The connection between experiences of discrimination and young people's well-being are well documented. For this reason school-based programs which promote diversity and educate young people about discrimination are important prevention strategies." This report coincides with the release today of a report by VicHealth, Building on our strengths, which also shows that there is a clear link between racism and a range of health problems.

Dr Rim Latrache Visits CCG

From Paris to Melbourne, Dr Rim Latrache on the Case of Arab-Muslim Diaspora in the West

Dr Rim Latrache is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the CCG at Deakin University. She is working on a research project with Prof. Fethi Mansouri on "Local Governance, Multiculturalism and Active Citizenship: The Case of Arab-Muslim Diaspora in the West". The project is funded by the Australian Research Council.

Dr Latrache is a Senior Lecturer in American History at the English Department of University Paris 13, France. She has a BA (Honors) in English, University of Tunis I (Tunisia), a Masters (Honors) in American Literature, University of Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle (France), and a PhD (Honors) in American civilization, University of Paris IV-Sorbonne, (France). Her doctoral thesis, "The Arab Community in the United States: a History of Immigration and the Dilemma of (in)Visibility." is based on research in the United States. It examines the status of the Arab American community within American society and analyzes the policies of the American governments towards the Arab Community, especially in response to international events. Her research interests include immigration, Arab/Muslim Diaspora in the West as well as Assimilation, identity and discrimination.

Dr Emily Potter in India

To India, in search of water...

In early June Dr Emily Potter undertook a nine day trip to the south of India to research a chapter for her forthcoming (co-authored) book Plastic Water: The social and material life of bottled water (MIT Press). Dr Potter visited several areas in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in what proved to be an extraordinary experience of tracking the ebb and flow of water debates in these regions. The book will take a global look at the rise of bottled water as a widely marketed and consumed source of drinking water, and the politics of water provision and access at play in these burgeoning markets. 

India offers a particular set of circumstances for this study: insufficient public infrastructure, endemic water pollution, and a massive population differentiate Indian water politics from those of Australia, or elsewhere in the 'Global North'. Bottled, or containerised water, has come to fulfil a very particular function when publically available water is untrustworthy or even absent. Unlike Australia, however, the cost of bottled water makes it prohibitive to many in India.

The raft of local activist movements that these inequities and resulting conflicts have generated in this country, situate water as one of its most visible political issues. And yet what a water rights activist may identify as a concern fundamental to life in its most basic terms, a middle-class Indian going about their daily life may simply register as a pragmatic point – that if safe water isn't provided from the tap, then they have to buy it. Through the research it became evident that there are no homogenic 'water politics' in India, but a myriad of relations to and meanings of water provision and access, from daily domestic routines to trans-national politics. Sometimes the bottle is present in these practices, networks and disputes, sometimes it is absent, but guided by the hunt for the bottle, Emily encountered a wide range of water realities, gathered a large amount of material, and was on several occasions drenched by rain in a country that, according to many, is increasingly in the grip of a severe water crisis.

UNESCO Museums Program

Deakin shapes UNESCO Museums Program for Buddhist Monks in Thailand

Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific: A CHCAP team lead by Jonathan Sweet has completed a pilot research program to develop collections management training for Buddhist Monks in Northern Thailand. Partners were the Chiang Mai University, Fine Arts Department, and UNESCO Bangkok. This pilot (16 – 21 June 2009) was part of a research project which is being conducted to chart priorities within the UNESCO Museums Program in the Asia-Pacific Region. Sweet is providing support for this research project and will prepare the final report in association with UNESCO.

The pilot was designed to investigate ways to help Buddhist Monks acquire the confidence to make informed decisions about the management of collections of artefacts which are in their care. These include many significant religious items as well as historical items derived from local communities. The 22 Monks who participated came from across the region and were joined by 10 post-graduate students from Chiang Mai University.
The pilot applied 'active participation' methodology, with the Monks arranged in groups to ensure that they could interact and discuss each topic as they worked towards their final presentations over six days. Each group was asked to formulate a plan to create a display around one artefact, which considered significance, preservation and interpretation issues.

A number of evaluation techniques are being used to assess the effectiveness of the pilot program, and the conclusions will be used to inform the development of the research project and future UNESCO museum programs in the Asia Pacific Region.

Thai-Australian exchange

Thai-Australian exchange

Continuing from the previous Thai Burma Railway field study in March, a return visit to Australia by Thai staff and students from Chulalongkorn University was undertaken in April. Conducted by staff and students from Deakin University Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, and Prof Joan Beaumont, Director, Faculty of Arts, Australian National University, visitors were introduced to the specific traditions and cultural values surrounding the Anzac mythology. Field trips included the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, the site of the former Prisoner of War camp in Cowra, and Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance, Victoria Barracks and the Dawn Service on Anzac Day. Staff and students from both universities are currently drafting chapters for a book on cross-cultural interpretations of the railway.

Book Launch

Book Launch

Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific hosted the Australian launch of the 'Key Issues in Cultural Heritage' Series, at Abbotsford Convent on Tuesday 28 April. The first two volumes in the series Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing with 'Difficult' Heritage (edited by Prof William Logan and Dr Keir Reeves), and intangible Heritage (edited by Laurajane Smith and Natsuko Akagawa) were officially launched by Prof Jennifer Radbourne, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Education.

The series is an outcome of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant project, while many of the contributors and editors are closely associated with the Faculty of Arts and Education and CHCAP.

Racism and its impacts

Racism and its impact upon the health and well-being of young Australians

Professor Fethi Mansouri, Dr. Louise Jenkins and Dr. Les Morgan are currently completing a project funded by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA). The project has investigated the impact of racism upon the health and wellbeing of young Australians who are 15 to 18 years of age.

Fieldwork has been completed in 14 Australian schools across four different states and territories. The participating schools included inner urban government secondary schools, outer urban government secondary schools and Catholic secondary schools. A mixed methodology approach was used to survey approximately 800 students and interview 100 students on an individual basis. Questions were posed about what type of racist incidents occur, where these occur, what is the response of the victim to the racism, who the victim seeks assistance from after the incident and the affect upon short-term and long-term health and wellbeing.
The data has been analysed and the report will be launched on 19 November 2009.

Mona Taouk joins CCG

CCG Welcomes Ms Mona Taouk

Mona Taouk has recently joined CCG as a Research Assistant, working on a project with Prof. Fethi Mansouri funded by the Foundation for Young Australian investigating racism, health and wellbeing among young Australians. Mona is the recipient of a Macquarie Group Foundation PhD Scholarship in adolescent depression and suicide, which will be undertaken in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales. Mona also works as a first year Psychology tutor at Monash University, and has previously worked at Deakin on two ARC funded projects in the Faculty of Business and Law. Prior to this Mona completed her Psychology Honours at Bond University, Gold Coast. Her Honours thesis entailed the development of a new psychometric tool to measure adolescent depression, the results of which were presented at the Conference of Personality and Individual Differences (November, 2008).

After graduating from Monash University with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Management / Marketing in 2006, Mona travelled around the world for four months. She has also lived in the Middle East for six months, and hopes to spend more time overseas in years to come. Along with her love for travel, Mona also enjoys reading, yoga, and dance. She believes that all we require in order to find peace and satisfaction in life is great food, friends, family, and faith in love and spirituality.

Michele Lobo joins CCG

Centre Welcomes Dr Michele Lobo

Dr Michele Lobo joined the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation in April, working as a Research Fellow with Prof. Fethi Mansouri and Prof. Sue Kenny on the ARC Discovery research grant, Local Governance, Multiculturalism and Active Citizenship: The case of the Arab-Muslim Diaspora in the West. Michele did her PhD in Human Geography from Monash University. Her thesis entitled Reimagining citizenship in suburban Australia uses whiteness and white privilege as a theoretical framework to explore the constitution of ethnicity and the lived experience of citizenship in the City of Greater Dandenong, Melbourne, Australia. Michele's main research interest is the cultural experience of marginalised groups and the implications for social inclusion in Australian cities. As a critical cultural geographer, woman, partner, and mother of two children who migrated to Australia from India in 2000, this is a research area she is very passionate about.

Michele has worked as a lecturer and researcher in India and Australia. She lectured for several years at the Department of Geography, Loreto College, Calcutta University, India. At the University of Melbourne, Michele worked on the ARC Linkage project - Transnational and Temporary: students, place-making and community that focused on public-private interactions in built spaces and in social relations to understand how tertiary students of RMIT and the University of Melbourne experience place. The focus was on understanding and fostering social interaction between local and international students. At the Swinburne-Monash Research Centre, Australian Housing Research Institute (AHURI), she worked on a range of projects that focused on housing and population change in metropolitan and regional Australia. These projects were driven by the need to promote social inclusion for culturally diverse and disadvantaged groups. As an CCG Research Fellow Michele will continue to publish papers, attend conferences/symposiums and engage in research that provides a voice for marginalised groups.

Michelle Miller joins CCG

CCG Welcomes Dr Michelle Miller

Dr Michelle Miller joined the CCG as a Research Fellow in February 2009. Michelle grew up in Australia and lived in Japan and Indonesia before graduating from the PhD program at Charles Darwin University in May 2007. Her revised PhD dissertation, which includes four new chapters, has been published as a book entitled Rebellion and Reform in Indonesia. Jakarta's Security and Autonomy Policies in Aceh (London: Routledge 2008).

Before joining the CCG, Dr Miller was a postdoctoral fellow at the National University of Singapore's Asia Research Institute. In that capacity she wrote several book chapters and articles, successfully applied for two research grants (as sole Chief Investigator), and organised or co-organised three international conferences. Michelle also previously taught at Charles Darwin University and Deakin University, and worked as an Indonesian interpreter for the Australian government.

As an CCG Research Fellow, Michelle will continue her individual research on minority rights claims, citizenship, decentralisation, and conflict resolution in Asia, while initiating new collaborative research. She aims to strengthen the existing global network of scholars in this field of research by convening an International Symposium on Ethnic Minorities in Asia in Singapore in June 2009. She will also edit two volumes, start new research on autonomy and conflict resolution in Indonesia, and marry her fiancé, Tim, who shares her geographical research focus on Indonesia and is her greatest inspiration

Manohar Pawar visits CCG

Associate Professor Manohar Pawar, Visiting Fellow at CCDHR

Associate Professor Manohar Pawar is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Right, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Melbourne. While at the Centre, Associate Prof. Pawar is finalising his forthcoming book entitled Community Development in Asia and Pacific, to be published by Routledge, New York. His coauthored book, International Social Work: Issues strategies and programs (Sage 2006) is used as a text in many universities.

Assoc. Prof. Pawar's current areas of research and teaching interest include international social development, social work and social policy, NGOs and community development. He is a principal researcher at the Institute for Land, Water and Society and the president of the Asia-Pacific Branch of the International Consortium for Social Development. Recently, he received a citation award for outstanding contributions to student learning 2008, from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. After completion of his sabbatical, Assoc. Prof. Pawar will return to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga campus. Assoc. Prof. Pawar would like to thank the Centre/Centre and staff members for providing an opportunity to be with them as a Visiting Research Scholar and to continue his research related to the book.

Assoc. Prof. Pawar will be in the Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Right from 23 February to 10 June 2009.

Identity Politics and Minorities Conference

Fethi Mansouri, Keynote Speaker at the International Conference on Identity Politics and Minorities in the English-speaking World and France:Rhetoric and Reality

Prof. Fethi Mansouri was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Identity Politics and Minorities in the English-speaking World and France:Rhetoric and Reality held at University of Paris 13, Paris France, from 26-27 March 2009. His keynote paper was titled,'Multiculturalism, Citizenship and the Social Experiences of Muslims in the West'. Fethi was also a member of the scientific committee.

The other members of the scientific committee were:

  • Dr Vanessa Castejon (University Paris 13)
  • Prof. Didier Fassin (University Paris 13)
  • Dr Rim Latrache (University Paris 13)
  • Prof. Françoise Lejeune (University Nantes, France)
  • Prof. Fethi Mansouri (Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)
  • Dr Olivette Otele (University Paris 13)
  • Prof. Claire Parfait (University Paris 13)
  • Prof. François Poirier (University Paris 13)

Commitment to Young Australians

Commitment to Young Australians

Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation has chosen to support the Commitment to Young Australians, an initiative of Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (ARACY).

Prof. Fethi Mansouri, Director, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation signed 'A Commitment to Young Australians,' on Monday 16 February 2009. Other members present during this event were Dr Emily Potter, Dr Nicole Oke, Dr Les Morgan, Ms Chippy Sunil, Ms Roisin Burke and Dr Louise Jenkins.

As an organisation that signed the Commitment, CCG will be helping to create the social, cultural, political and economic environment in which the wellbeing and development of all children and young people can be assured.

Book Launch

Book Launch - 'The Politics and Culture of Globalisation : India and Australia'

The book launch of 'The Politics and Culture of Globalisation : India and Australia' edited book by Dr Hans Lofgren and Professor Prakash Sarangi was held on 2 February, at the University of Hyderabad, India, in connection with the '2008 Foundation Day Lecture' ('Development Strategies in a Climate Constrained World') by Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Also present at the launch were Professor Rajendra K.
Pachauri (Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - who shared the Nobel Peace Price on behalf of this organisation with Al Gore in 2007) and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, Professor Seyed E.Hasnain.

Emily Potter joins CCG

CCG Welcomes Dr Emily Potter

In Early 2009 Dr Emily Potter joined CCG as a Research Fellow. 'In her role as Research Fellow, Emily will pursue her own research, while developing and facilitating a program of capacitybuilding initiatives amongst the academic community of the School of Communication and Creative Arts. She has a PhD in English Literature and a background in interdisciplinary research concerning creative arts practice, environmental and sustainability theory and cultural studies.

She has previously worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies at the University of South Australia, and most recently as an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Architecture, University of Melbourne.

Her postdoctoral project at the University of Melbourne was a collaborative project of creative research (with Paul Carter) that explored the role of poetic practice for sustainable place-making, particularly in drought-affected environments. She is currently working on an ARC Discovery project with Gay Hawkins (UNSW) and Kane Race (USyd), 'From the Tap to the Bottle', that is tracking the social and material life of bottled water concurrent with the water bottle's exponential growth throughout the world as an alternative to publicly provided water.

Her research has been published in a range of Australian and international journals including Continuum, Media International Australia, Australian Humanities Review, Cultural Studies Review and Antipodes. In 2007 she co-edited a collection of writings on water cultures and communities, Fresh Water: New Perspectives on Water in Australia (MUP).

Emily is a member of the ARC Cultural Research Network, and is a co-convenor of the Early Career Researcher/Postgraduate Node of the Network, which convenes and provides funds for initiatives that support research development and networking opportunities for this group of researchers. Emily is also a freelance writer for design and architectural media.

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