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  • Author or Editor: Ben Edwards x
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Age at arrival is one factor that could influence the integration of humanitarian migrants, especially for children and teenagers. Previous research has focused on the influence of the age at arrival on education, employment, social and language learning outcomes, but there is limited research, especially for longitudinal study, on other important measures of integration. Moreover, young adult and adolescent refugees, and the relationship between age and integration outcomes are under-studied. To address these gaps, this study examined the relationships between age at arrival and different dimensions of integration of young refugees in Australia, using five years’ panel data from the Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA) longitudinal study from 2013 to 2018 (282 individuals). Our findings indicate that age at arrival is significantly correlated with multiple integration outcomes. Old entrants tend to have a higher probability of having a paid job but have poorer mental health and English proficiency. On the other hand, older entrants were more likely to know their rights well compared to younger entrants at arrival. However, younger entrants’ knowledge of their rights overtook older entrants four to five years after their arrival. These findings suggest that a shorter assessment process and enabling earlier entry especially among refugee youth and young adults could effectively improve their future settlement outcomes under the current humanitarian policies and system.

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Using six waves of longitudinal data, we investigate wellbeing, psychological distress and loneliness differences between informal carers and non-carers in the context of COVID-19-related policy changes in Australia. Wellbeing levels fluctuated along with the virus case numbers. Free childcare temporarily alleviated the disparity between carers and non-carers, but by its cessation, carers, in particular, reported lower wellbeing and higher psychological distress. Wage subsidies and income supports had opposing effects for carers’ and non-carers’ mental health but decreased the loneliness of both groups. Victorians, living in the state where the second wave of infections in Australia was concentrated, experienced worse outcomes than other Australians.

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