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Afghan Hazaras' Responses to the Asylum Seeker Debate in the Australian Med...
Tue 17 May 2016, 16:00 – 17:00 BST
Afghan Hazaras Responses to the Asylum Seeker Debate in the Australian Media
Heidi Hetz, PhD Candidate, Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia
Tuesday 17th May, 4.00 - 5.00pm, Kelvin Room, 11 The Square, University of Glasgow
This presentation is based on the preliminary findings of a research project into the intersection between dominant and marginalised Australian narratives on asylum. The background to this research project is the observation that the issue of asylum is highly politicised in Australia and dominated by the two major political parties and mainstream media while asylum seekers and refugees are often demonised and marginalised within the Australian asylum seeker debate. The debate has moved away from a focus on the protection needs of asylum seekers towards their perceived threats to Australian security and national identity. This research project is based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with Cambodian refugees and Afghan Hazara asylum seekers in Adelaide, Australia. The two participant groups enable a comparison of the changing public and political response towards asylum seekers since the Cambodian boat arrivals of the late 1970s and 1980s were first placed into detention, to some of the present day policies aimed at stopping the boats, illustrated by the experiences of the Afghan Hazara asylum seekers who have been arriving in Australia since the late 1990s. The interviews examine the impact of the asylum seeker debate in Australia upon the individual refugees and asylum seekers, especially in regards to their own storytelling. This presentation provides some initial insights on the responses of Afghan Hazara asylum seekers to the asylum seeker debate in the Australian media.
Heidi Hetz is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the Hawke Research Institute at the University of South Australia. Her PhD project, entitled A Comparative Analysis of the Narratives of Cambodian Refugees and Hazara Afghan Asylum Seekers in Australia, looks at the impact of the Australian asylum seeker debate upon individual refugees and asylum seekers, particularly in regards to their storytelling and upon their identity, memory and belonging. In addition to her PhD, Heidi has experience as a research assistant and tutor in Foundation Studies at Uni SA College. Prior to her PhD, Heidi worked and volunteered for ARA Jobs and the Australian Refugee Association for several years.