Regional futures: economic and social impact of the Karen resettlement in Bendigo

Refugees Regional planning Community development Refugee settlement Bendigo

Regional settlement of migrants and refugees is an important component in the advancement of Australia’s migration strategies and, when well-facilitated, makes a significant contribution to the economic and social fabric of regional communities. The purpose of this study is to examine one example of such migration, as well as further illuminate the community facilitation and the conditions that need to be in place in order to deliver better economic and social outcomes from the regional settlement of migrants.

This study is the product of a research collaboration between AMES Australia and Deloitte Access Economics and focuses on resettlement of Karen refugees in Bendigo, a substantial regional centre in central Victoria with a population of 110,479 in 2016. This study, part of a program of focus on regional and rural resettlement, is a companion report to Small towns big returns, a study of resettlement in a much smaller rural economy (Nhill, with a population of 2,278). These companion studies provide an analysis of the social and economic impacts of the Karen on these locations over time, and the factors contributing to the success of the resettlement of the Karen in these two very different regional contexts.

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