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Resettlement stressors for women of refugee background resettled in regional Australia


Hawkes, C and Norris, K and Joyce, J and Paton, D, Resettlement stressors for women of refugee background resettled in regional Australia, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, (8) pp. 1-17. ISSN 1661-7827 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/ijerph18083942


Women of Refugee Background (WoRB) have been repeatedly identified as an extremely vulnerable population. Within an Australian context, WoRB are increasingly resettled to nonmetropolitan locations, otherwise known as regional locations. Despite this, to date, no research has focused on the lived experience and challenges associated with the resettlement of WoRB to regional contexts. This study aimed to address this gap in the literature by investigating the resettlement experience of WoRB resettled in Tasmania—a state in Australia classified as a rural and regional location. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a group of 21 individuals (nine WoRB and 12 service providers). Thematic analysis identified four overarching themes—Communication Barriers and Lack of Fluency in English, Challenges Accessing Everyday Basic Needs, Loss of Connection to Culture of Origin and Inability to Access Mainstream Mental Health Services for Help. Participants also highlighted a number of unique gender-related vulnerabilities experienced during resettlement, which were exacerbated in regional locations due to health services being overstretched and under-resourced. Results of the current study are discussed in regard to policy and practical implications, taking into consideration the unique vulnerabilities experienced by WoRB, which, to date, are often overlooked.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:refugee, women, regional resettlement, stressors, mental health
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Norris, K (Professor Kimberley Norris)
ID Code:146700
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-09-22
Last Modified:2021-10-20
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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