26 February 2021

Project Summary

This report investigates a study of one refugee-background community, Hazara Afghans, and looks at the ways the Hazara contribute to, and have become a part of the Port Adelaide Enfield area in Adelaide, South Australia. Port Adelaide Enfield has one of the largest non-English-speaking background populations and one of the largest Indigenous populations in Adelaide.

This research project included observing the Hazara Afghan community in location and interviews with Hazara and non-Hazara residents. This report understands that living and engaging in a community is not just about how migrants bring economic benefit to local communities but needs to look at their social, cultural and economic contributions.

  • There are a number of key themes that resonate throughout the report.
  • An individual engages or contributes to the local community in which they live in ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ ways.
  • There are individuals and organisations who have the capacity to be social connectors, to bridge between communities.
  • Refugee-background migrants arrive with assets, abilities, knowledge and experiences to contribute to the communities they live in, and many proactively find ways to do so.
  • There is a tension for refugee communities who wish to simultaneously strengthen, support and contribute to the development of their own communities or co-ethnic bonds, while strengthening, supporting and contributing to the local (and national) communities they are now a part of.

Key Conclusion

"Refugee-background migrants are not ‘forever victims’, nor are they ‘forever refugees’ (Radford & Hetz 2020). Given the opportunity, the Hazara in this report arguably demonstrate that they desire to move beyond the ‘refugee’ category or ‘victim’ label. They are Hazara, but they also desire to be positively contributing members of the broader Australian community as ‘Australians’. The strength of their own identity and co-ethnic bonds provide the platform for the Hazara’s increasing involvement, connections, contributions, belonging and identification with their local community, and ultimately with the broader Australian community. "


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