Social factors impacting on Hazara community members as they engage in the task of settling into mainstream Australia, and their utilisation of social services.

Author: Douglas Boothey

Boothey, Douglas, 2016 Social factors impacting on Hazara community members as they engage in the task of settling into mainstream Australia, and their utilisation of social services., Flinders University, School of Social and Policy Studies

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This thesis is centred on a refugee ethnic minority from Afghanistan, the Hazara. The Hazara have faced over a century of persecution in their homeland and more recently under the guise of the radical Taliban movement primarily because they follow the Islamic branch of being Shi’a and not Sunni. This thesis looks at the social services that the Hazara in metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia, utilise and of the social factors that may hinder their usage of services. The services that will be explored include the following: health; education; employment and finally accommodation.

With the samples of the male Hazara who took part in this study, three possible groups could be observed. First, there were a large majority who had come to Australia directly with Protection Visas in hand. This was followed by another group who previously held a Temporary Protection Visa, followed lastly by a small number who had held a Bridging Visa E. While this presented the study with no single homogenous group (visa wise) to observe, the fact that the participants all belonged to the Hazara ethnic group is a standard on which the study was to be based.

By initially using a custom questionnaire to gauge the responses from the Hazara on their use of social services, a picture of what is deemed important and necessary in social services was achieved. This was then followed up by three face-to-face interviews to get an even clearer point of view.

The analysis shows that for the most part, the Hazara have relished their new lives in a safer environment that Australia projects to its citizens with all aspects of social services being accessed and in some parts more fully than others. For example, the inclusion of regular visits to a General Practitioner, through to the limited use of trauma counselling services for trauma and torture, and the scope of employment within the Hazara community itself being identified in contrast to the possible formal arrangements set up through the Government’s Job Service’s Australia platform.

Keywords: Hazara, Refugees, Social Factors, Social Services, Australia

Subject: Social Work thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2016
School: School of Social and Policy Studies
Supervisor: Keith Miller