Resettling refugees in rural areas: Africans, Burmese, Bhutanese and Afghans in the Riverina NSW, Australia

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The chapter highlights some of the salient issues for new immigrants from a refugee background in the Riverina region of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Each new group of migrants experiences settlement differently due to a wide range of factors relating to the migrants' culture of origin as well as the culture of the host community. The selected groups of recent migrants to the Riverina examined in this research are the African and Burmese in Wagga Wagga (Wagga), Afghans in Griffith and Bhutanese in Albury. By employing exploratory and qualitative research methods, the study investigates how these four new communities have been experiencing settlement and gives voice to their experiences. The resettlement of people from refugee backgrounds in regional areas is an Australian government initiative reflecting similar situations in other migration countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom. Key objectives are to ease congestion in metropolitan areas, address labour shortage in some rural sectors, particularly agriculture, and reduce concentration of migrants in major cities. Some migrants with a refugee background also choose to relocate to rural and regional areas and tend to be attracted by affordable housing and employment in rural industries such as meatworks and farm work. This research found refugee immigrants appreciate the lifestyle and opportunities offered in rural Australia, but experienced difficulties related to limited services compared with metropolitan centres. Limitations largely related to the small size of rural communities which fail to attract the critical mass needed to provide some ethno-specific services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRural lifestyles, community well-being and social change
Subtitle of host publicationLessons from country Australia for global citizens
EditorsAngela T Ragusa
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherBentham Science Publishers
Number of pages61
ISBN (Electronic)9781608058020
ISBN (Print)9781608058037
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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