The Migrant and Refugee Research Centre is an interdisciplinary community of researchers dedicated to advancing knowledge and practice to enhance the health and wellbeing of migrant and refugee populations living in Aotearoa New Zealand and globally. With equity, social justice and empowerment at the heart of the centre, we collaborate with academic institutions, government, non-government organisations, and migrant and refugee communities. Together, we will understand, co-develop and implement sustainable actions that are responsive to global challenges related to migration and health.
Leading the advancement of knowledge and practice to enhance the health and wellbeing outcomes of migrant and refugee background communities living in Aotearoa New Zealand and globally.
With public health, social justice, human rights and empowerment at the heart of maternal and reproductive health, we collaborate with academic institutions, government, non-government organisations, and migrant and refugee background communities. Together, we will understand, co-develop and implement sustainable actions that are responsive to local community needs and global challenges related to migration and health.
- Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand
- Auckland District Health Board, New Zealand
- Wellington District Health Board, New Zealand
- Refugee Council of New Zealand, New Zealand
- Red Cross, New Zealand
- Belong Aotearoa, New Zealand
- Refugees As Survivors New Zealand, New Zealand
- AUT Centre for Refugee Education
History of the centre
The Migrant and Refugee Research Centre was established under the National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research in 2003, but existed prior to this as the Migrant Health Research Centre (under the AUT Asia-Pacific Centre for Community Health and Research).
The centre was founded by Professor Max Abbott, whose focus was migrants' mental health and gambling research. Each research fellow, associate director and centre member has added their own expertise and helped forge community links, notably:
- Vivian Cheung: research about young Chinese adults
- Dr Charles Mpofu: research about migrants and occupational transition
- Dr Ruth D’Souza: migrant motherhood
- Dr Shoba Nayar: settlement issues for refugees and migrants, using qualitative methodologies
- Dr Grace Wong: migration and Asian families
- Dr Hagyun Kim: Korean migrants
- Professors Valerie Wright St Clair and Claire Hocking: postgraduate student supervision, and occupation-focused research about migrants and refugees
Over the years, the centre has received funding for research projects related to members' expertise, often in conjunction with external researchers or partnerships with service providers like the Families Commission and Refugees as Survivors, professional organisations like the Cross-cultural Interest Group, and grassroots community groups like the Refugee Council of New Zealand.
The Migrant and Refugee Research Centre has provided advice to international bodies such as the World Federation for Mental Health, and national organisations including ministries and district health boards. It also advocated successfully for AUT to participate in the Refugee Daughters’ Scholarships which support tertiary education for young refugee women.
We hold frequent gatherings ranging from get-togethers for AUT staff and postgraduate students to conferences and international forums.