Australia is home to large and varied diaspora populations, with a quarter of the population born outside of Australia and 49% of the population with a parent born overseas1 . Australia’s overseas-born populations come predominantly from the Asia Pacific region and Europe, but with sizeable Middle Eastern and African communities. It is clear that diaspora activity in this country mirrors international trends, with a plethora of diaspora-led organisations dedicated to health, education, livelihoods, child protection, peace building and reconciliation.
However, the full potential of diaspora organisations is only beginning to be systematically explored in Australia. Insufficient understanding of the nature and impact of diaspora-led development and humanitarian response – its strengths, challenges and potential – is a contributing factor to the slow responses of government and development agencies in recognising the work that these organisations do and the value and expertise that could be accessed through engaging with them.
The Diasporas in Action conference will provide a unique opportunity for researchers, practitioners, students, policy makers, and the broader civil society to share insights, good practice and lessons learned. This discussion promises to benefit the Australian development and humanitarian response and contribute to an international dialogue through the experiences of diasporas based in Australia and the region.