Research on migration and multiculturalism has been so underfunded in the last ten years I think its almost impossible to narrow the research ‘need’ down to just two areas. There are a myriad of areas that desperately need research attention.

In terms of my own interests, then the two areas I’d select if I have to are:

1) INTERCULTURAL RELATIONS / COMMUNITY RELATIONS
We need to understand more about how to improve intercommunal relations in Multicultural Australia. This presupposes a basic commitment to cultural diversity and multiculturalism as the guiding framework. However I think we’ve not done enough research on how we might tackle racism, build better relations across cultural and religious difference, and in particular engage everyday working class Anglo-Australians in the ‘multicultural conversation’.

2) In 2007/8  the number of migrants arriving in Australia on Temporary visas (eg 457 Visas) numerically overtook those arriving as permanent migrants. Temporary migration is the major new phenomena in Australia’s migration program  however little research has been done so far in this area. I am thinking particularly about research from the migrant point of view – issues of exploitation, workplace experiences, settlement, social inclusion etc.

2a) If could cheat and add a ‘2a’ – the related phenomena of international students in the workforce – both working while studying, and transitioning to permanent residency is a further issue of research significance. Again, workplace experiences, exploitation, post-PR access to the job market, exploitation by employers, agents and private education operators etc.

In your post please identify two research issues that you would like to see prioritised in a national research agenda on cultural diversity. Please then tag your post with the keywords from the title. Also if you want to keep your post private among participants, please ensure you password protect it with “CDR”.

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