This book tells the story of a remarkable group of people living in Melbourne. After surviving natural disasters, a bloody civil war, and years in displaced persons camps, Somalis arrived in Melbourne as refugees in the mid-1990s. Many spoke no English and had lost members of their immediate and extended families. Their social ties were severed, they found themselves without any standing in society, and their qualifications were often not recognised. They had to start again from scratch, finding housing and employment, entering the education system and raising large families in small houses and apartments. Their children were often born outside Somalia, and are not familiar with the country as visits are rare or do not occur at all. These young people are part of Somali Gen 1.5, sharing common experiences of flight and resettlement. Theirs is a fascinating and complex story, which this book starts to tell.
Dr Elizabeth Lakey is the Director of Arts Teaching Innovation at the University of Melbourne. With a background in Refugee and Forced Migration studies, Community Development and several languages, her projects focus on social impact issues and aspects of internationalisation. She oversees pedagogical enhancements to teaching and learning, with an emphasis on inclusive teaching practices, supporting students in their professional development, and minimising barriers to accessing tertiary education.