African refugee communities in Southeast Queensland: Forces of concentration and dispersion
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Black African refugee communities are a relatively recent addition to the Australia landscape. Between 2001 and 2007, over 5000 refugees from various African nations resettled in Queensland. There are very few data about African refugee settlement geography in Australia and no previous study delineating African refugee settlement within the State of Queensland. This research addresses the knowledge gap by examining the geographic distribution and secondary migration patterns of eight African refugee communities in Southeast Queensland. The research adopted a multi-method approach, mapping quantitative data from an existing secondary database and comparing these to qualitative primary data to determine geographical distribution. Additional qualitative data were used to establish secondary migration patterns of the case study communities. Results show noticeable discrepancies etween existing secondary datasets and primary data collected from the communities. These inconsistencies are significant because settlement service providers who use the secondary data to budget, plan and deliver essential settlement services might be underestimating the size of the African communities and missing some settlement locations altogether. The results also reveal a tension between the main socio-cultural forces of concentration and housing forces of dispersion that are driving secondary migration in the communities. A policy recommendation to mitigate the potentially negative effects of residential dispersion on settlement outcomes includes the strategic location of service hubs in key suburbs, such as Moorooka, to which the communities are already drawn.
Human Geography not elsewhere classified