Profile image of Charishma Ratnam

Dr Charishma Ratnam



Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales, 2020

+61 3 924 45063


Charishma Ratnam is a Human Geographer and Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) at Deakin University. Her research spans a number of areas, primarily focusing on refugee and migrant experiences and resettlement, inclusion, and home-making practices. Charishma is particularly interested in developing novel research approaches including digital, visual, ethnographic, and walking methods with participants to better understand their experiences of/in/with place(s).

Read more on Charishma's profile

Research interests

Refugee resettlement; migration; inclusion; home-making practices; qualitative methods; digital and visual methods; Sri Lankan diaspora


Global Exchange Fellow, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration, Toronto Metropolitan University (Fall 2022)

Visiting Researcher, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University (2019)

Knowledge areas

Areas of expertise include: 

  • Refugee and migrant (re)settlement in the home, with a specific focus on practices, process, places of resettlement; (re)creations of home during resettlement; inclusion and belonging in cities; multiculturalism; memory and identity in place.
  • Migrants' and womens' experiences in place, including feelings of safety and inclusion in public spaces; use of urban and suburban spaces.
  • Qualitative methods, including digital, visual, walking, and ethnographic approaches to collaborating with participants; ethical practices of working with migrants and refugees. 

Professional activities

Associate Editor and Book Review Editor, Journal of Sociology

Editorial Board Member, Geographical Research 

Advisor, Projet: A New Commitment to Australian Multiculturalism, Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia

Member, Institute of Australian Geographers 

Member, The Australian Sociological Association


Current projects:

  • Feeling safe in public places: Co-designing community safety strategies in Local Government Areas (Funding: Victorian Government Department of Justice and Community Safety. Chief Investigators: Professor Rebecca Wickes, Dr Charishma Ratnam, Professor Silke Meyer, Professor Alex Piquero, Associate Professor Nicole Kalms, Dr Gill Matthewson, Professor Murray Lee, and Rebecca Powell

Past projects:

  • Co-designing and scaling effective COVID-19 communication strategies for young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Victoria (Funding: Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness, and Housing. Chief Investigators: Professor Rebecca Wickes, Dr Charishma Ratnam, Professor Patrick Olivier, Professor Helen Skouteris, Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett, Dr Tom Bartindale, Dr Delvin Varghese, and Rebecca Powell)
  • Network of Excellence on Regional Liveable Diversity (Funding: Monash University. Chief Investigators, Monash University: Professor Rebecca Wickes, Rebecca Powell, Dr Charishma Ratnam, Associate Professor Alan Gamlen, Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett, Associate Professor Dharma Arunachalam, Dr Francesco Ricatti. Chief Investigators, Toronto Metropolitan University: Professor Anna Triandafyllidou, Associate Professor Zhixi Zhaung, Dr Melissa Kelly, Michelle Nguyen. Chief Investigators, Max Planck Institute: Professor Steven Vertovec, Dr Sakura Yamamura. Chief Investigators, Erasmus University Rotterdam: Professor Peter Scholten, Dr Angelique van Dam. Chief Investigators, University of Bologna: Associate Profressor Pierluigi Musaro, Dr Elena Giacomelli, Dr Melissa Moralli)
  • Developing better methodological tools for working with marginalised populations (Bergströms Stiftelse Fund, Associate Professor Danielle Drozdzewski and Charishma Ratnam)


Filter by


Voice notes in the car: capturing immediate emotions from fieldwork with Sri Lankan refugees

Charishma Ratnam

(2024), pp. 1-6, Area, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Diasporic Belonging in Religious Spaces: Insights from Within the Sri Lankan Diaspora

C Ratnam, N Arambewela-Colley

(2024), pp. 1-19, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Oxford, Eng., C1

journal article

Visual research and participatory research methods

C Ratnam

(2023), pp. 543-553, Handbook on Home and Migration, B1

book chapter

Encounters on the footpath: tracing the Sri Lankan diaspora's place-making in everyday urban and suburban spaces

Charishma Ratnam

(2023), pp. 1-19, Australian Geographer, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Research ethics with vulnerable groups: ethics in practice and procedure

C Ratnam, D Drozdzewski

(2022), Vol. 29, pp. 1009-1030, Gender, Place and Culture, C1-1

journal article

Linking with migrants: The potential of digitally mediated connections to build social capital during crisis

C Ratnam, C Keel, R Wickes

(2022), Journal of Sociology, C1-1

journal article

Welcoming Neighbourhoods: Place Attachment and Ethno-Racial Acceptance

R Wickes, C Ratnam, A Piquero

(2022), Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, C1-1

journal article

A Sense of Viidu: The (Re)creation of home by the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Australia

N Kandasamy, N Perera, C Ratnam

(2020), Singapore, A1


(Re)creating home: The lived and gendered experiences of Tamil women in Sydney, Australia

C Ratnam

(2020), pp. 119-135, A Sense of Viidu: The (Re)creation of Home by the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Australia, B1

book chapter

Detour: Bodies, memories, and mobilities in and around the home

C Ratnam, D Drozdzewski

(2020), Vol. 15, pp. 757-775, Mobilities, C1-1

journal article

Using visual and mobile methods in the home

C Ratnam

(2019), Vol. 8, pp. 12-30, Visual Ethnography, C1-1

journal article

Listening to difficult stories: Listening as a research methodology

C Ratnam

(2019), Vol. 31, pp. 18-25, Emotion, Space and Society, C1-1

journal article

Creating home: Intersections of memory and identity

C Ratnam

(2018), Vol. 12, Geography Compass, C1-1

journal article

Assembling attachments to homes under bushfire risk

C Ratnam, D Drozdzewski

(2018), Vol. 56, pp. 42-53, Geographical Research, C1-1

journal article

Can place attachment mediate perceptions of bushfire risk? A case study of the blue mountains, NSW

C Ratnam, D Drozdzewski, R Chapple

(2016), Vol. 31, pp. 62-66, Australian Journal of Emergency Management, C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


No completed student supervisions to report