This publication reports on a second wave of research carried out with newly arrived refugees in Australia. As with the first wave, this second wave explores refugees’ social connections, their access to rights and fulfilment of responsibilities. In doing so, the authors aim to deepen understanding of the social and civic dimensions of integration in the early stages of settlement. This second wave includes a stronger focus on refugee women, building on the initial findings in 2020. The data was collected as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted communities in Australia and around the world. During this period digital technologies became even more important in daily life, work and study. Consequently, this second wave provides insights on digital inclusion among newly arrived refugees in Australia.
Overall, researchers found that newly arrived refugees have been resilient across the social and civic dimensions of integration in the face of the pandemic, although some gender disparities found in the first wave of Foundations for Belonging persist. Integration relies on whole-of-community approaches, and actions from refugees, receiving communities and government at all levels. This research points to a series of actions that governments, policy-makers, service providers and civil society can pursue to strengthen their contributions to refugee settlement and integration.