IMMIGRATION has become a hot topic for media, policy-makers and the public over the past decade. In Britain, around 70% of people list immigration as the issue that concerns them the most.
Research on migration has also mushroomed in recent years as scholars look to understand the attitudes and experiences of people who live in foreign countries. However, it is generally only particular types of migrants which have been seen to be worthy of study. In general, it is migration from non-Western to Western countries that dominates the news and exercises minds.
In contrast, the movement of people between Western countries is rarely the subject of debate. This is probably because integration, visibility, exclusion and so on aren’t seen to be an issue, given the closer historical and cultural links between many of these countries. While this may be true, this doesn’t mean that the experiences of Western migrants are any less interesting or that they don’t face particular challenges in moving to, or living in, a new ‘home’.
In response to this gap, Dr Michael Skey, a researcher at University of East Anglia, has begun a project investigating the views of Brits who have moved to Australia and Australians who have moved to Britain.
He has already conducted interviews with British people living in Sydney and Brisbane and is now looking to speak to Australians who have been living in Britain for over three years. He is interested in discussing the experiences of Australians who have settled in Britain, examining any problems they have encountered and also how they maintain links with ‘home’ (presuming they do).
If you might be interested in taking part, please contact Michael via email at; [email protected] There are two options for those who might be willing to participate; one is to take part in a very informal (and completely anonymous) interview for around 45 minutes at a time and place of their choosing. The other is to complete a short questionnaire, which will take about 10 minutes.
The results of the study will only be used for the purposes of academic research but may also provide useful insights for those who live abroad or are planning to make the move.
Once the research has been completed, a short report will be prepared for the Australian Times, so that participants and the wider expat community can view, and discuss, the findings.