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Re-imagining the resettlement of refugees by engaging with an ethic of thriving


Vincent, K and Baltra-Ulloa, AJ and Williams, G, Re-imagining the resettlement of refugees by engaging with an ethic of thriving, British Journal of Social Work, 51, (1) pp. 21-37. ISSN 0045-3102 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcaa135


Learning to thrive in the context of refugee resettlement can be a difficult task to consider and sustain when so much focus is given to promoting survival, recovery from trauma and self-sufficiency. It is argued that this resettlement paradigm is rooted in notions of refugee passivity, primarily motivated by a minimalistic approach to social assimilation. We argue this resettlement paradigm suffocates thriving by imposing the government’s aim of achieving independence instead of privileging the newly arrived person, their lived experiences, dreams and aspirations. This article shares how an ethic of thriving in resettlement, with its focus on relationality, could transform the way we think about ‘integration’ and what ‘successful resettlement’ means within the Australian context. To anchor what the ethic of thriving offers the resettlement sector we share lessons learned from applying a thriving paradigm to YoungMILE—a mentorship project dedicated to launching young refugee arrived leaders in the community. This unique programme embraced relational, experimental and exploratory approaches characterised by flexibility, mutual learning, curiosity, listening to bigger goals and acknowledging the skill sets of people’s past experiences. Importantly, the project also prioritised connecting people of refugee background and the host community to promote meaningful integration.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mentoring, refugee resettlement, relationality, resettlement practice
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Social work
Research Field:Social work not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Vincent, K (Dr Kate Vincent)
UTAS Author:Baltra-Ulloa, AJ (Dr Joselynn Baltra-Ulloa)
UTAS Author:Williams, G (Miss Grace Williams)
ID Code:141983
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Social Work
Deposited On:2020-12-07
Last Modified:2021-03-19

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