Media and Publications

Jun 24, 2020

Settling down in time and place? Changing intimacies in mobile young people's migration and life courses

Transnational mobility is increasingly presented to middle‐class youth globally as a way to secure economic futures in precarious times by enhancing educational and employment opportunities. However, little is said about the benefits and impacts of mobility for social and intimate life and specifically how it is situated within, disruptive of, or incorporated into young people's ideas about relationships as they navigate uncertain pathways to adulthood. This paper critically reviews and integrates migration and youth studies scholarship to consider how contemporary youth mobility can be understood as disrupting standard migration‐ and life‐course conventions about intimate relationships. It focuses particularly on questions of temporality, proximity and synchronicity or orthodoxies of ‘the right time’ and ‘the right place’ to ‘settle down’, in the construction and maintenance of both intimate connections to people and attachments to places. It explores how contemporary youth mobility can be seen to complicate notions of the appropriate staging and chronology for establishing different relationships. It raises questions about synchronicity, continuity and proximity as conditions of intimacy and considers how mobility potentially disrupts gendered and heteronormative life courses to provide both welcome freedoms and new challenges, as well as the emergence of new processes of transnational intergenerational care circulation.

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Jul 30, 2019

Concerns that Minister's plan to expand Commonwealth’s backpacker visa initiative will lead to exploitation

YMAP team member, Dr Shanthi Robertson spoke with ABC News 24 about why she thinks Federal Immigration Minister David Coleman’s plans to expand the Commonwealth's backpacker visa initiative might cause work exploitation.

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Jul 30, 2019

Indians, Mexicans set for Aussie work under backpacker visa expansion backed by farm lobby

Commonwealth plans to expand working holiday visas to ease farm labour shortages could leave foreign workers in danger of exploitation. Although the National Farmers’ Federation supports the move, Dr Shanthi Robertson suggests two aspects — the extension of the scheme to a third year and the tweak to allow workers to stay at the same employer for 12 months, up from six months — were concerning. "The fundamental issue is with tying a particular work situation to obtaining a visa and obtaining more time in Australia," she said. "That always opens things up to huge amount of exploitation."

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Jan 25, 2019

The Impact of Taking a Gap Year

How are young Australians affected by gap years? Dr Robertson spoke to 2ser Weekend Breakfast Show about the challenges & experiences youth face in a gap year.

"It's less about being away and more about the challenges of coming home particularly if people have been away for a few years. So sometimes reintegrating back into life in Australia is much harder than people anticipate - particularly in the workforce."

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Jan 23, 2019

Gap year and beyond: What are the long term implications of young people's overseas experiences?

Listen in as our very own Dr Robertson spoke to ABC Radio Melbourne about the long term implications of young people's overseas experiences.


"Often when people talk and reflect about the experience, they don't talk about career or economic outcomes. They talk about that sense of personal development and how that can obviously be part of what makes coming back so hard."

* Please note - segment starts at 48:55

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Jan 23, 2019

New research investigates the long-term effects of overseas experiences on young Australians

Whether it be as overseas workers, international students or travellers, young people between the ages of 25-39 account for the greatest number of long-term departures amongst Australians. At this time of year in particular, high school and university graduates have the opportunity to choose their next path, and many will consider an overseas experience.

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Nov 10, 2018

Gap years, working holidays, 'voluntourism': Have we been sold a lie?

From gap years to working holidays, ‘voluntourism’ to company transfers, more young Australians than ever are moving overseas.

Whether it’s for work, study, or simply a new adventure, a stint abroad has become a national rite of passage.

But what happens when you come home?

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Aug 04, 2017

Mobile transitions: a conceptual framework for researching a generation on the move

This paper argues for a renewed research agenda on the transnational mobility of young people across both youth studies and migration studies. We review key literature across these fields, before arguing for a new conceptual framework that helps to further extend the emerging interdisciplinary space of ‘youth mobility studies’ (Raffaetà, Baldassar and Harris 2016).

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This study has received Deakin University ethics approval (reference number: 2017-315). 

© 2017 by YMAP Project