The Migrant, the Refugee and the Border




  • Producer : Dallas Rogers
  • The Migrant, the Refugee and the Border

Questions about Australia’s refugee intake and skill migrant programs pivot on two key ideas: the notion of the border and the construction of a national identity.

What role will the migrant, the refugee and the border play in Australia in the Asian century? This episode explores these two ideas within the context of a changing geopolitical world.

Australia is a country of migrants. In 2014, 28.1% of Australia’s 6.6 million people were born overseas. To manage the flow of migrants many different visa types underwrite Australia’s skilled migration program.

Australia also has a long history of taking in refugees at times of crisis. More than 80,000 Vietnamese people moved to Australia in the decades following the Vietnam War. Many came as refugees.

The latest figures from the United Nations show over 200,000 people made the perilous Mediterranean crossing into Europe in October 2015 alone. Thousands of refugees are fleeing an escalating war in Syria and beyond. Australia’s long-term role in Syrian refugee settlement is still unclear.


Professor Ien Ang is a Professor of Cultural Studies and founding Director of the Institute for Culture and Society. She is an international leader in field of cultural studies, with interdisciplinary work spanning many areas of the humanities and social sciences.

Her interdisciplinary work deals with patterns of cultural flow and exchange in our globalised world, and focuses on issues surrounding migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism in Australia and Asia.

Dr Shanthi Robertson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society. Her research interests are broadly around the social and cultural consequences of globalisation, with a specific focus on transnational migration, citizenship, multiculturalism and urban social change within the Asia-Pacific region.


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