Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education

Supporting people from a refugee background to rebuild their careers

Deakin’s Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE) develops research-based practical solutions to support people from refugee backgrounds to access employment and educational pathways.

How our research drives reform

CREATE is an award-winning research centre that helps people from a refugee background rebuild their careers through access to education and meaningful employment. We support over 300 highly skilled migrants through world-leading research programs.

We develop research-based practical solutions to support refugees, with an aim to:

  • aid in the growth of economic and social capital
  • create less reliance on social welfare
  • increase consumption of goods
  • decrease mental health issues
  • promote feelings of inclusion and belonging.

Our programs are supported by likeminded philanthropic partners and collaborators.

Our support services

We offer a range of initiatives to help young people from a refugee background in Australia. Some of the support we offer includes career clinics, and resources and factsheets.

Career clinics

Our career clinics help people from a refugee background navigate and gain a greater understanding of the employment landscape in Australia. These 7-week clinics match participants with mentors to help guide them through the program.


Our valuable resources include law fact sheets, tertiary institution guides, crisis support information, interactive workbooks and more.


We want to provide access to higher education for students from refugee backgrounds. To reduce the cost of study, we have scholarship opportunities for both undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Deakin Sanctuary Scholarships

Deakin Sanctuary Scholarships offer 100% payment of your tuition fees, plus an additional $6000 stipend for living and study expenses. The scholarship program is open to students considering undergraduate or postgraduate study.

Deakin CREATE PhD Scholarship

This PhD scholarship provides an exciting opportunity to undertake cutting-edge research. Applications are welcome for topics that support people from refugee backgrounds, including employment and workplace inclusion policies and practices; career guidance and pathways; and job quality.

Find our more about this scholarship (PDF, 1MB)

Help refugees reclaim their careers

Philanthropic support is crucial so that we can continue to improve educational and career opportunities for refugees in Australia. If you would like to make a real difference in the lives of these new Australians, support our research.

Deakin CREATE is the only research centre of its kind that focuses on the topics of refugee education and employment.

Dr Karen Dunwoodie 

Director, CREATE

Our researchers

Our world-leading researchers come from diverse scholarship backgrounds and are universally committed to improving access to education and meaningful employment for refugees in Australia.

Dr Karen Dunwoodie, director, researches career development and adaptability for people from refugee backgrounds as well as the impact access to tertiary education and training has re-establishment of livelihoods.

Professor Lucy Taksa, deputy director, researches labour force participation and employment of humanitarian migrants, and the demographic and social dimensions of migrant ageing and wellbeing in Australia.

Bismillah (Bis) Hakimi, research assistant, is currently working part-time at Deakin CREATE while studying a Master of Business Analytics at Deakin. He holds a Bachelor of Business with a specialisation in accounting and financial planning.

Professor Shiri Krebs (she/her), is a Professor of Law at Deakin University who has published on the impact of human rights discourse on support for displaced persons.

Professor Marilyn McMahon, is Acting Dean at Deakin Law School and a registered psychologist. Her scholarship and publications are primarily in the areas of criminal law and procedure. She is Chair of the Sentencing Advisory Council and serves on several independent statutory bodies.

Dr Tebeje Molla is a Discovery Early Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellow, leading a nationally funded project exploring higher education participation among African Australian youth from refugee backgrounds.

Dr Amy Nethery is a senior lecturer in politics and policy researching the development and impact of asylum policies in Australia and Asia, in particular, immigration detention, its history, diffusion, and human impact.

Associate Professor Tania Penovic served for a decade as a deputy director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and has worked as a volunteer lawyer in the refugee sector in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Dr Kim Robinson is a social work researcher with three decades of expertise working with asylum seekers and refugees and advocating for ethical work with them in health and social work settings.

Contact us

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about our work or to discuss collaboration or research opportunities.