Session: Migration, Design and Community

Community, Migration and Development Stream


Day 1, Parallel Session 1A: 11:00am – 12:30pm

Location: Storey Hall (Building 16) – Lower Lecture Theatre, Level 1, Room 1

Chair: Professor Supriya Singh (RMIT University)


Manju Mohandoss The Role of Science in the Design and Impact of Sustainability Projects 

  • Presenter and main author: Manju Monhandoss (University of Melbourne)
  • Abstract: The main aim of this study was to examine current views on the issue of sustainability held by teachers and curriculum designers within specific local educational and school contexts. As a result, I decided to address these challenges by undertaking research studies to find out developments made under current knowledge of sustainable management programs across a local primary school and adjacent secondary school. I wanted teachers to share their ideas, their concerns and solutions to ensure implementation of effective programs. The purpose of the interviews was to get a detailed picture of their understanding and how this issue relates to school curriculum within the Victorian educational context. Qualitative research methodology was used with data collection based on semi-structured interviews.  Qualitative methods with documents and interview data were analysed against the specific research questions as well as other consistent emergent themes. Interviewing and examining current views of current knowledge of sustainable management programs by local primary and secondary school teachers showed that there is a need to interconnect learning areas from primary to secondary studies. Sustainability learning areas need to be linked for further specialised pre-service and teacher training programmes at the secondary school level.
  • Co-Author: Dr Peter Ferguson (University of Melbourne)
  • About the presenter: Manju is a Master of Education student at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education and a Mathematics and Science teacher at a secondary school in Melbourne.
Alexander Snow Informing Collaborative Project Planning with the Principles of Theatre of the Oppressed

  • Presenter and main author: Alexander Snow (RMIT University)
  • Abstract: There is significant literature about the nature of participatory project planning in the context of aid and sustainable development. However, there isn’t much that has been written about the groundwork and negotiations involved in laying the foundations for participatory planning. This is especially true when it involves organisations that want to work collaboratively but are from different contexts; where issues of culture and power need to be addressed, such as the relationships between northern and southern stakeholders and the differing roles of non-governmental organisations & community based organisations.     This presentation draws upon a case study involving four Non-Governmental Organizations collaborating together to deliver peer education workshops informed by Theatre of the Oppressed for a group of local women leaders in Cambodia. The case study was examined as part of a Masters Minor Thesis in International Development. Whilst there is a vast array of participatory methodologies that are used in development interventions, there is very little discussion on the use of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed as a framework for collaborative project planning. The presentation argues that the principles of these development practices can effectively inform the development planning process itself. The research argues that some of the principles of Theatre of the Oppressed can motivate equitable and equal participation that explicitly acknowledges cultural and power dynamics through the collaboration between non-governmental organisations in planning for sustainable development.
  • About the presenter: Alexander completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts from Monash University with a double major in drama and performance and a minor in criminology in 2007. With a keen interest for social justice, he worked in a law firm for a year before searching for greener pastures. This led him to volunteering as an arts educator in Battambang, Cambodia and subsequently to a Masters of International Development at RMIT. Alex is currently tutoring in the Masters of International Development program at RMIT and Asian Project Manager at YGAP where he combines the arts and social justice with a particular focus on Cambodia.
Olivia Ramos Building a Global and Sustainable Mexican Community in Australia

  • Presenter and main author: Olivia Ramos (Monash University)
  • Abstract: Mexico is considered to be the country with the largest population of citizens living overseas. In the current era of globalisation and the interest of Mexico in becoming a knowledge economy, the phenomenon of high-skilled migration is an issue that needs deeper study. The aim of my study was to gain an understanding of the emotional and psychological interpretations of the Mexican high skilled migrants (MHSM) in Australia in their experiences on migration and their connections to Mexico. This study argues that even though high skilled Mexicans have immigrated to other countries, they still can provide a benefit to Mexico. Based on interviews with high skilled Mexicans living in Melbourne, Australia this presentation analyses the participants’ experiences and feelings on migration, what benefits the participants provide to Mexico and how they stay connected academically and/or professionally with their compatriots in Mexico and in Australia.  The findings indicate that the emotional lives of migrants tend to be ambivalent; that participants’ interactions can provide a cultural and social benefit to Mexico, and that academic and/or professional connections can emerge in certain situations and according to the MHSM’s personal motivation.
  • Co-Author: Dr Jane Southcott (Monash University)
  • About the presenter: Olivia Ramos (M.Ed.) is a research student at the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Olivia has more than six years of experience working in the fields of international education, higher education, education management and government funding. She studied the Master of Education (Leadership, Policy and Change) at Monash University and she works in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) in government and scholarship engagement with countries from Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Her current research interests are high skilled migration, organisation of diaspora and globalisation and its effects on international education.