Improving the health and wellbeing of refugees and asylum seekers

At the Southgate we have been continuing our focus on improving health and wellbeing for people from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds. A/Prof Anna Ziersch and Dr Clemence Due (Flinders adjunct) were successful in securing a grant from the Flinders Foundation (alongside Dr Iris Leven and Prof Sandy Gifford from Swinburne University) to explore belonging and wellbeing in public spaces for youth from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds. This project will be undertaken in conjunction with the Australian Refugee Association and the City of Port Adelaide Enfield and City of Salisbury. Dr Due (adjunct Research Fellow), A/Prof Ziersch and Dr Moira Walsh were also funded by Flinders Foundation to examine the maternal health needs of refugee and asylum seeker women, working with the Migrant Health Service.

Other work in this research programme has included an analysis of migrant and refugee health within Primary Health Networks, the impact of trauma on access to primary health care, the effect of temporary protection visas on health and wellbeing, temporary visas and workplace exploitation, as well as collaborations with Adelaide University on projects examining oral health for refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East and a project examining refugee women’s employment. A/Prof Ziersch and Dr Due presented on a number of these projects at the World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Health in Edinburgh in May.

The team at Flinders through the Migrant and Refugee Research Network (MARRNet) are also involved in co-hosting with the Refugee Council of Australia the upcoming Refugee Alternatives Conference in Adelaide 19-20th February 2019 ( and a pre-conference academic forum. These events seek to bring together communities and people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds with service providers, policy makers and researchers with an aim to improve policy, practice and public support.

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