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Type: Thesis
Title: Migration between Australia and Singapore in the 21st Century: Settlement experiences and transnational issues
Author: Barbour, Hannah
Issue Date: 2021
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences : Geography, Environment & Population
Abstract: Policy changes in response to demand for skilled labour in the last two decades have influenced migration between Australia and Singapore. This study investigates Singaporean migration to Australia in the 21st Century to provide a better understanding of the patterns and motivations for migration, socio-economic outcomes, and issues relating to transnational experiences. In addition to conventional economic determinants, a transnational framework was used to provide a more holistic understanding of contemporary migration. A mixed methods approach was used to establish the nature and extent of migration and the linkages maintained by migrants with their home country. Quantitative data were obtained from two online surveys, a major one with Singaporeans in Australia, and the other in Singapore with return migrants and Australians residing there. Qualitative interviews were also carried out with respondents who were willing to participate further, and with stakeholders including government representatives. The survey of Singaporeans in Australia found that they were drawn to the Australian lifestyle. Better employment opportunities was a major determinant for migration, particularly for males. The majority of respondents indicated that they had found suitable employment, as most were well-educated with appropriate qualifications that address skill shortages in the Australian labourforce, Students represented about one-third of the sampled population and two-thirds were permanent residents. The social lives of respondents were strongly focussed upon religious organisations, with Christianity as the main religion. Many of the younger respondents were mainly involved in social and sporting groups. In addition, the Singaporean community in Australia was shown to be tight-knit and supportive. The majority of respondents still maintained strong social linkages with Singapore and visited regularly. There were mixed perceptions on diaspora, which is interesting given the Singapore government’s proactive approach in engaging diaspora populations. The study on reciprocal flows from Australia to Singapore established that return migrants were mainly students who chose to return home after study, while Australians had migrated to Singapore for employment opportunities. Many were on work contracts and had plans to return to Australia. The Singapore government’s resistance towards a dual citizenship policy is an issue that has emerged as a result of transnationalism. Given Singapore’s largely uncompromising stance towards dual citizenship, respondents were more likely to become Australian citizens at a later life stage after fulfilling their personal and social commitments in Singapore. This policy also meant that it was difficult for Australians in Singapore to obtain citizenship in Singapore while retaining Australian citizenship. To a large extent, international migration to Australia is highly regulated and driven by policy. There is a need to consider migration in a broader sense given current uncertainties around future migration trends as a result of COVID-19, including border closures and its impact on the previously high levels of global labour mobility. Nevertheless, this study serves as a benchmark in understanding the dynamic migration system between Australia and Singapore which includes short and long-term migration flows.
Advisor: Rudd, Dianne
Suh, Jungho
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2021
Keywords: contemporary migration
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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