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Article

Telling Our Stories: Resilience during Resettlement for African Skilled Migrants in Australia

1
College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide 5042, Australia
2
Faculty of Arts, Business and Law, Southern Cross University, Lismore 2480, Australia
3
Centre for Children & Young People, Faculty of Health, Southern Cross University, Gold Coast 4225, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3954; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083954
Received: 2 March 2021 / Revised: 22 March 2021 / Accepted: 25 March 2021 / Published: 9 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration, Resilience, Vulnerability and Migrants’ Health)
Background: Emigration to Australia by people from Africa has grown steadily in the past two decades, with skilled migration an increasingly significant component of migration streams. Challenges to resettlement in Australia by African migrants have been identified, including difficulties securing employment, experiences of racism, discrimination and social isolation. These challenges can negatively impact resettlement outcomes, including health and wellbeing. There has been limited research that has examined protective and resilience factors that help highly skilled African migrants mitigate the aforementioned challenges in Australia. This paper discusses how individual and community resilience factors supported successful resettlement Africans in Australia. The paper is contextualised within a larger study which sought to investigate how belonging and identity inform Afrodiasporic experiences of Africans in Australia. Methods: A qualitative inquiry was conducted with twenty-seven (n = 27) skilled African migrants based in South Australia, using face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Participants were not directly questioned about ‘resilience,’ but were encouraged to reflect critically on how they navigated the transition to living in Australia, and to identify factors that facilitated a successful resettlement. Results: The study findings revealed a mixture of settlement experiences for participants. Resettlement challenges were observed as barriers to fully meeting expectations of emigration. However, there were significant protective factors reported that supported resilience, including participants’ capacities for excellence and willingness to work hard; the social capital vested in community and family support networks; and African religious and cultural values and traditions. Many participants emphasised their pride in their contributions to Australian society as well as their desire to contribute to changing narratives of what it means to be African in Australia. Conclusions: The findings demonstrate that despite challenges, skilled African migrants’ resilience, ambition and determination were significant enablers to a healthy resettlement in Australia, contributing effectively to social, economic and cultural expectations, and subsequently meeting most of their own migration intentions. These findings suggest that resilience factors identified in the study are key elements of integration. View Full-Text
Keywords: African migrants; resilience; race; Australia African migrants; resilience; race; Australia
MDPI and ACS Style

Mwanri, L.; Anderson, L.; Gatwiri, K. Telling Our Stories: Resilience during Resettlement for African Skilled Migrants in Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3954. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083954

AMA Style

Mwanri L, Anderson L, Gatwiri K. Telling Our Stories: Resilience during Resettlement for African Skilled Migrants in Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):3954. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083954

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mwanri, Lillian, Leticia Anderson, and Kathomi Gatwiri. 2021. "Telling Our Stories: Resilience during Resettlement for African Skilled Migrants in Australia" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 8: 3954. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083954

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