Professor Alex Newman

Alex Newman is Professor of Management and Associate Dean (International) for the Faculty of Business and Law at Deakin University as well as the Director of Deakin CREATE. He has published widely in the areas of leadership, business ethics and corporate social responsibility, refugee and migration studies, organizational and occupational psychology, positive psychology and human resource management.

In recent years he has developed a programme of research that examines how can we support the integration of refugees and asylum seekers into the Australian workforce. From 2014-2017 he led an Australian Research Council funded research project examining the factors that underlie successful refugee integration in the Australian workplace. This project examined how organizations can support refugee integration into the Australian workplace and developed a training programme that focused on developing resilience and other psychological resources of refugees. He was also editor of the first special issue on the vocational behaviour of refugees in the Journal of Vocational Behavior. The special issue containing 12 articles focused on how refugees seek employment, overcome work-related challenges and navigate their careers after leaving their home country.

Alex is presently conducting research with non-governmental organizations and social enterprises examining the effectiveness of training programmes and internships in supporting refugees to re-establish their careers, and the policies adopted by organizations towards employing people from a refugee background.

Dr Karen Dunwoodie

Karen is a Research Fellow at Deakin CREATE. Having spent fifteen years working on and off in the tertiary education and corporate sectors, as well as running her own learning and development consultancy business for 10 years, Karen has acquired tremendous breadth and depth of knowledge and experience working internationally and locally, in both the higher education and corporate sectors. Currently, Karen consults and volunteers at a number of refugee and asylum seeker agencies in Melbourne, where among other things, she co-ordinates and provides food and material aid as well as supporting clients wishing to apply for tertiary education courses and scholarships. Similarly, she actively uses her extensive network to gain employment opportunities for those still waiting the outcomes of their refugee applications.

In her role as Research Fellow at CREATE, Karen is also working on a number of research studies, including examining the experiences of recently arrived refugees studying at Australian Universities; as well as investigating why some employers may or may not be actively including people with a refugee background, as part of their employment diversity and inclusion strategies. Karen is also an active member of the Refugee Council of Australia’s Education Special Interest Group.

Dr Shiri Krebs

Shiri Krebs is a Senior Lecturer and Director of HDR at Deakin Law School, as well as a Fellow at the Stanford Center for International Security and cooperation (CISAC). Her research focuses on legal fact-finding processes and their impact on social controversies. In particular, her research explores the impact of legal terminology and institutions on attitudes and beliefs about refugees. To explore these issues, Dr. Krebs has utilized empirical research methods, including survey experiments and interviews. She has taught in a number of top law schools, including at Stanford University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she won the Dean’s award recognizing exceptional junior faculty members, as well as the best teacher award. From 2005 to 2010 Dr. Krebs served as legal advisor on international law matters to the Chief-Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court. Following this role, she led research projects on national security and human rights at the Israeli Democracy Institute. In 2016 Dr. Krebs was selected by the American Society of International Law for the ‘New Voices’ Panel at the Society’s Annual Meeting. Her scholarship and publications granted her several awards, including the Lucinda Jordan Research Award (2017), the Franklin Award in International Law (2015), the Goldsmith Award in Dispute Resolution (2012), and Steven M. Block Civil Liberties Award (2011).


Dr Siew Mee Barton

Siew-Mee Barton is a Lecturer in Management at Deakin Business School, where she teaches business communication, personal development and entrepreneurship to culturally diverse groups of students. Her doctoral research focused on cultural factors in Asia, Turkey and Australia in approaches to online education. The central aim of her present research is to understand the agency of women and social entrepreneurship with a particular focus on Muslim and refugee communities.

In 2018, Siew-Mee received an external grant of $33,500 from the Department of Premier and Cabinet to research on Women’s agency and the building of social capital, cohesion and resilience in the new Afghan community in Geelong. The focus of the study was one of Victoria’s most recently established Muslim communities, members of the new Afghan community in Geelong. The study developed a detailed understanding of women’s agency in the building of social capital, cohesion and resilience in the Afghan community to inform local, state and federal government policy making, community agencies and civil society on ways to support women in the building of community social capital and cohesion in similar communities of Muslim refugees, including new Syrian refugee communities.

Siew-Mee is involved in ongoing research to document, map and interpret the digital environment of Afghans in Victoria to understand the sources of influence informing their world views, attitudes and understandings and how they shape their identity and sense of belonging. This study will examine patterns of consumption and participation in the online environment, including video calls, and satellite television and identify how the digital environment contributes to both social cohesion and vulnerability, and shapes the dynamics of social networks. Focusing on the major Victorian Afghan communities located in Dandenong, Geelong and Shepparton this project seeks to map this environment, and identify elements that impact on resilience and a sense of belonging.

In addition to this, Siew-Mee is collaborating with Prof Greg Barton of the Alfred Deakin Institute and Prof Gary Bouma of Monash on a new ARC Discovery Project investigating the religious diverse migrant communities in the outer east (City of Whitehorse, City of Monash and City of Greater Dandenong) and out west (City of Melton, City of Wyndham) of Melbourne. In 2019 and 2020, Siew-Mee will be conducting interviews and focus groups sessions with refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and South Sudan.

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