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Centre for Global Migrations
Exploring historical and contemporary migrations

Seminar: An Uncomfortable History: Kiwi Indians and Exclusion

Free Seminar

An Uncomfortable History:

Kiwi Indians and Exclusion

Associate Professor Jacqueline Leckie

Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies

Victoria University of Wellington

Wednesday 8 July 2020, 3:30pm
Burns 5 Lecture Theatre, University of Otago

In collaboration with the New Zealand Indian Central Association, Associate Professor Leckie is  producing a brief history of Indian exclusion and discrimination in Aotearoa. After the 15 March 2019 Christchurch mosque massacre, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that this ‘is not us’. Yet the tragedy pointed to the presence of white extremism and tacit or unintentional support within Aotearoa. 15 March raised manifold questions about what it means to belong to an ethnic and religious minority in a country that has experienced a very long history of underlying prejudice and racism. This is not a history of celebration or integration, but outlines the discrimination Kiwi-Indians have faced, to recognise and address the nation’s uncomfortable history. It can be tempting to dismiss past anti-Asian rhetoric as crackpot, but it is too easy to sweep this history under the carpet, and to do the same with contemporary racism directed at Indians. Aotearoa’s legacy of exclusion towards Kiwi-Indians —  sometimes overt but often in less sensational ways — problematises if the nation is genuinely inclusive.

This talk is co-hosted by the Centre for Global Migrations and  History Programme at the University of Otago.


Refugee-Background Students in Aotearoa Project

A cross-sector team led by Vivienne Anderson from the University of Otago’s Higher Education Development Centre have gained funding from the NZ Council for Educational Research to carry out a three-year participatory action research (PAR) project with refugee-background young people living in Otago/Southland. The project team will work with the young people to:

  1. examine how they imagine, experience, navigate and negotiate the secondary-tertiary education border,
  2. identify strengths-based, student-centred approaches that foster their educational and transition success, and
  3. develop student-centred transition resources for other young people from refugee backgrounds, and their families and educational institutions.

Since this is a PAR project, students are co-researchers with the research team. Data are generated through research hui (interactive workshops) held during term breaks. In 2020 and 2021, participating students are in Year 12 and 13, and in 2021 and 2022, they will be in their first year of  tertiary study. Initially, we used ‘mapping’ as a way of inviting students to reflect on their educational pathways to date and their educational aspirations. In future hui, we will work with the students to identify pathways and relevant information sources based on their aspirations, reflect on alternative possibilities, and re-evaluate aspirations if necessary. The students will work with us to develop creative resources for families, schools and other students and educational institutions, based on their experiences in our project, and personal transition journeys.

The wider research team includes Sayedali Mostolizadeh and Jo Oranje (University of Otago), Amber Fraser-Smith (Otago Polytechnic), Pip Laufiso (Ministry of Education), Angela Watts (Carisbrook School), Jarrah Cooke (NZ Red Cross) and Rachel Rafferty (University of Derby). Monica Cruz and Ala Ghandour provide bilingual support/research assistance.

Click here for the project website.

Team members: Penny Kersahw, Jo Oranje, Viv Anderson, Amber Fraser-Smith, and Ali Mostolizadeh (absent: Jarrah Cooke and Pip Laufiso).


Workshop on overseas educated nurses in New Zealand



‘For whose care? A Multidisciplinary Workshop on Overseas Educated Nurses in New Zealand’s Elderly Care Sector’

Wednesday 25 March 2020, 12-1pm

Room 1.21, Hunter Centre, 279-281 Great King Street, Dunedin

In New Zealand, one of the more popular pathways for overseas educated nurses to gain qualifications in New Zealand is to initially work in elderly care homes as care workers. While they help supplement the care workforce, there remains concerns about retaining those nurses with appropriate qualifications and competencies required by the New Zealand health system, especially in view of changes in public policy in health, education and migration.

The tasks of this workshop are two-fold: first, we examine and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of employing and retaining overseas-educated nurses with qualifications either or in both the home country and New Zealand, from the perspectives of both the nurses themselves and the elderly care homes, and against the background of the existing and changing public policies. Second, we attempt to explore strategies that would enable elderly care homes to meet its long-term needs for care workers, perhaps through encouraging foreign-educated, New Zealand-qualified nurses to stay (retention incentives and policies), and by adopting alternative recruitment schemes attracting the wider migrant worker population.

Through these exercises, we hope to provide some policy suggestions for both New Zealand and Japan in terms of how to sustain the intensifying demand for skilled care workforce by tapping the various categories of the migrant population and providing effective job retention incentives.


Public Lecture: Skills on the Move


Free Public Lecture

Skills on the Move: Deskilling, Up-skilling and Reskilling in Labour Migration

Professor Ma. Reinaruth D. Carlos

Ryukoku University, Japan

Wednesday 18 March 2020, 12pm-1pm

Room 1.20, Hunter Centre, 279-281 Great King Street, Dunedin

Migrant workers have various ways of leveraging skills in destination countries.  It has been observed that many tend to take up jobs that require less or different skills than what they gained prior to migration. I cite the case of professional overseas-trained nurses (mainly from the Philippines) in Japan, Singapore and New Zealand, whose migration phenomenon has gained greater international attention because of the issues of ageing population and ‘brain waste.’

In this presentation, I explore the links between skills processes and labour migration patterns. What kinds of skills are required and how are they measured? To what extent do policy frameworks regarding skills (such as assessment and accreditation) in potential destinations influence the decision of workers on what skills they acquire prior to and during migration? How do they deal with skills mismatch between home and host countries? Here, I put special attention on deskilling, up-skilling and reskilling as inevitable processes and/or outcomes in the worker’s stepwise migration in the light of increasingly restrictive migration regulations and skills recognition/accreditation regimes, as well as the changing labour market needs particularly of highly preferred overseas destinations.

Dunedin Race Relations Week Forum

We are delighted to be sponsoring former refugee and active community member Guled Mire’s participation in the Dunedin Race Relations Week Forum. Guled, along with New Zealand Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon, and Dunedin Araiteuru Marae leader, Tania Williams, will discuss their insights on race relations in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Forum is part of Dunedin Race Relations Week, organised by the Dunedin Multiethnic Council, and takes place on Thursday 19 March at 6.30pm at Araiteuru Marae, 24 Shetland Street, Maori Hill, Dunedin.

Seminar: Journey to New Edinburgh: The Story of Otago’s Pioneers

On Wednesday 11 March 2020 in Burns 5 seminar room at 3.30pm, the Centre for Global Migrations and History Programme host a joint seminar from Seán Brosnahan (Toitῡ Otago Settlers Museum). Seán’s abstract is as follows:

Following the success of Toitῡ’s documentaries Journey of the Otagos and Journey to Lan Yuan, Toitū’s exhibition team is now turning its attention to the Museum’s foundation story, the coming of the Scots to found New Edinburgh in 1848. Just as with our examination of Chinese migration and settlement, this documentary will present the causes and consequences of Scottish emigration to Otago, taking in both the Scottish background and the New Zealand foreground. Who came? Why did they leave Scotland? Why did they choose to come to Otago, the furthest destination from Scotland in the world? And what was distinctive about the society they developed here, the New Edinburgh in the South Seas?

The film project will fuse the ‘big picture’ of Scotland’s 19th-century diaspora with the ‘micro’ history of individuals and families to create an intimate picture of Otago’s founding group. This journey will take us to every corner of Scotland as we trace the complex developments at home that brought so many Scots to consider emigration, from impoverished communities in the Highlands and Islands, to the burgeoning industrial cities of Scotland’s Central Belt, and the textile centres of the Borders region. We will draw on subject experts here in New Zealand and in Scotland to add academic rigour to our presentation but maintain the vibrant direct-to-camera style that has enlivened our previous video projects.


Behrouz Boochani and Alison Phipps in Conversation

Free Public Event

Behrouz Boochani and Alison Phipps in Conversation

Friday 7 February 2020, 7pm
Mornington Methodist Church
Corner of Galloway and Whitby Streets, Mornington, Dunedin

Please join us for a conversation between writer, filmmaker and refugee Behrouz Boochani and Professor Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow and the 2019 De Carle Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Otago.

De Carle Conversation

Professor Alison Phipps in conversation with Revd Dr Peter Matheson

Wednesday 29 January 2020, 7.30pm

Mornington Methodist Church

Corner of Galloway and Whitby Streets


Please join us and the Mornington Methodist Church as we co-host a conversation with Professor Alison Phipps about her time in Dunedin as the De Carle Distinguished Fellow, working with us in the city and in Aotearoa New Zealand to think about Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts. Alison’s work has taken her all over the country during her visit, not least as the quota is doubled, and new resettlement programmes are in play. With a wide range of experience as an academic and activist working with UNESCO, and previously with the World Council of Churches, Alison will be in conversation with the Revd Dr Peter Matheson to share from her experiences and best wisdom during these times of great global concern.


2019 De Carle Lecture Series: Talk 8

Free Public Lecture

‘The Well in Welcome’

Professor Alison Phipps

University of Glasgow

Thursday 5 December 2019, 5.30pm
Victoria University of Wellington Law School
Government Building Lecture Theatre 1
55 Lambton Quay

Please join us for a special De Carle lecture in Wellington, co-hosted with Victoria University of Wellington.

This lecture will examine the worldwise Refugees Welcome movement in the context of creating a flourishing, inclusive society founded on principles of wellbeing. Using poetry, image, and music, this lecture will consider how wellness is made within the precarious contexts of flight, the fraught spaces of arrival and integration, and in the philosophies of societies.

New Publication: Migration, Education and Translation

We are delighted to announce that Migration, Education and Translation, an edited volume emerging from our 2017 symposium, will be published soon. Edited by our Associate Directors, Professor Henry Johnson and Dr Vivienne Anderson, this multidisciplinary collection examines the connections between education, migration and translation across school and higher education sectors, and a broad range of socio-geographical contexts.

Organised around the themes of knowledge, language, mobility, and practice, it brings together studies from around the world to offer a timely critique of existing practices that privilege some ways of knowing and communicating over others. With attention to issues of internationalisation, forced migration, minorities and indigenous education, this volume asks how the dominance of English in education might be challenged, how educational contexts that privilege bi- and multi-lingualism might be re-imagined, what we might learn from existing educational practices that privilege minority or indigenous languages, and how we might exercise ‘linguistic hospitality’ in a world marked by high levels of forced migration and educational mobility. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in education, migration and intercultural communication.

As well as chapters from the editors, the volume includes contributions from the following staff, postgraduate students, affiliates and Visiting Scholars of the Centre for Global Migrations: Dr Rachel Raffery, Dr Naoko Inoue, Dr Tiffany Cone, and Professor Alison Phipps. Congratulations everyone.

Further details are available here.