Published in the Journal of Intercultural Studies (JIS), which is sponsored by the UNESCO Chair for Comparative Research on Cultural Diversity and Social Justice:

Sabitra KaphleRebecca FananyJenny KellyLal Rawal & Grish Paudel (2024) Living at the Fence – Navigating Complexities While Settling in New Country: Lived Experiences of South Sudanese Refugees in Australia, Journal of Intercultural Studies, DOI: 10.1080/07256868.2024.2307947

Australia welcomes significant numbers of humanitarian arrivals every year. Over 24,000 South Sudanese have come to Australia in the last two decades, and most faced difficulties during the settlement process. The aim of this study was to understand the barriers and challenges that have impacts on settlement and integration experiences among South Sudanese refugees in Australia. Further, this explored the factors influencing the social and cultural integration of South Sudanese refugees living in Australia for more than five years. This study used a phenomenological approach with purposive and snowball sampling to recruit 26 participants who self-identified as South Sudanese refugees. Participants were recruited via community networks and were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview. The interviews were conducted by a bilingual interviewer and were analysed thematically. Participants’ experiences portrayed the complexities of integrating into a new society and experienced multiple challenges and barriers. Despite this identity dilemma, they showed a consensus about the experiences of coming to and living in Australia with close association with a group identity. While there are positive elements of the integration experience, inter-generational conflicts require further investigation. Government and settlement organisations need to make an effort to understand the context while developing appropriate processes.