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Open AccessArticle

Factors Shaping the Lived Experience of Resettlement for Former Refugees in Regional Australia

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Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia
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School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia
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School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia
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Translational Health Research Institute and School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, NSW 2560, Australia
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Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020501
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 13 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Housing and Homelessness)
Refugees experience traumatic life events with impacts amplified in regional and rural areas due to barriers accessing services. This study examined the factors influencing the lived experience of resettlement for former refugees in regional Launceston, Australia, including environmental, social, and health-related factors. Qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted with adult and youth community members from Burma, Bhutan, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iran, and Sudan, and essential service providers (n = 31). Thematic analysis revealed four factors as primarily influencing resettlement: English language proficiency; employment, education and housing environments and opportunities; health status and service access; and broader social factors and experiences. Participants suggested strategies to overcome barriers associated with these factors and improve overall quality of life throughout resettlement. These included flexible English language program delivery and employment support, including industry-specific language courses; the provision of interpreters; community events fostering cultural sharing, inclusivity and promoting well-being; and routine inclusion of nondiscriminatory, culturally sensitive, trauma-informed practices throughout a former refugee’s environment, including within education, employment, housing and service settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: refugees; resettlement; lived experience; social environment; refugee health; public health; quality of life; health services; housing; qualitative research; regional and rural Australia refugees; resettlement; lived experience; social environment; refugee health; public health; quality of life; health services; housing; qualitative research; regional and rural Australia
MDPI and ACS Style

Smith, L.; Hoang, H.; Reynish, T.; McLeod, K.; Hannah, C.; Auckland, S.; Slewa-Younan, S.; Mond, J. Factors Shaping the Lived Experience of Resettlement for Former Refugees in Regional Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 501.

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