“This Group Is My Country”: Sri Lankan Tamil Women’s Narratives of Isolation and Connectedness in Australia

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 20 September 2022

“This Group Is My Country”: Sri Lankan Tamil Women’s Narratives of Isolation and Connectedness in Australia


  • Rimple Mehta School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • Michel Edenborough School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • Fran Gale School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • Subadra Velayudan NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors, Australia
  • Samantha Tom Cherian School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • Linda Briskman School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • Nichole Georgeou School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • Ansuya Naguran NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors, Australia


Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 500 | Downloads: 144


Abstract:  Refugees lose their networks and support systems on their journey from their home country. In addition, they may experience torture, trauma, and socio‐economic hardship. A critical question concerning refugee wellbeing is how refugee belonging, inclusivity, and community connectedness can be better understood, strengthened, and promoted. In this article, we discuss how members of the Tamil Seniors Group, supported by the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), develop social networks in Australia. Based on two focus group discussions, this article analyses their experiences through the intersection of age and gender to elucidate the challenges and affordances of networking and establishing social relations in Australia.

Keywords:  agency; belongingness; isolation; refugees; Tamil

Published:   Ahead of Print

Issue:   Critical Refugee Intersections: Before, During, and After Flight (Forthcoming)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v10i4.5785


© Rimple Mehta, Michel Edenborough, Fran Gale, Subadra Velayudan, Samantha Tom Cherian, Linda Briskman, Nichole Georgeou, Ansuya Naguran. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.