Peaceful and inclusive societies: Migration and social cohesion industry forum

Peaceful and inclusive societies: Migration and social cohesion industry forum

Monash's Faculty of Arts recently hosted the Migration and Social Cohesion Forum, an industry event giving over 70 participants the opportunity to explore Monash's well established research strength in the area, exchange ideas about research and policy priorities, and to network with their industry peers.

Dean of Arts, Professor Sharon Pickering, explained that Monash recognises the long term importance of bringing together University researchers, policy makers and key stakeholders from NGOs, peak bodies, and the broader community.

“It is not enough for us to produce robust research but this research must be useful in the real world and make a difference!

This is the purpose of today’s forum to share with you research from Monash and for us to better understand your needs and priorities for now and the near future for Australia to continue to flourish as a peaceful and inclusive society,” said Professor Pickering.

The event was opened by the Hon. Julia Banks, Federal Member for Chisholm, and featured a keynote by Ms Anthea Hancocks, Chief Executive Officer, Scanlon Foundation. 

An expert panel made up of industry and academics shared their insights and expertise with forum participants. Panellists were: Mark Duckworth, Executive Director, Emergency Management Division at Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (Vic); Sonia Vignjevic, Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission; Andrew Crisp, Deputy Commissioner, Victoria Police; Tess Dryza – National Policy and Planning – Migration Support Programs, Red Cross Australia; and Monash Arts' Professor Andrew Markus, lead author of Scanlon Foundation's Mapping Social Cohesion Surveys.

Panellists talked about the complexity of the issues around social inclusion and migration, and the need for decision making to be based on evidence based and unbiased research, with a high degree of collaboration and trust between government, communities, and individuals. There was an acknowledgment of the challenges ahead with increasing polarisation and a lack of participation opportunities, and of how important it was to work together to share knowledge, actively increase participation opportunities and work towards building a thriving multicultural society. 

Associate Professor Jo Lindsay, Director of Research Engagement and Innovation, Faculty of Arts, then led a stimulating Q&A which provided many thought provoking comments and questions from participants, and this was followed by a lively networking session.

Organisations working in the area and interested in finding out more about the forum discussion should contact: 

Ms Vanja Radojevic,
Partnerships and Business Development Manager
Faculty of Arts
+613 9905 5445

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