Hear It From Horses’ Mouth: Listening To African Professionals In Australia

Hear It From Horses’ Mouth: Listening To African Professionals In Australia Stephen Bolaji (PhD) Lecturer in Education (Graduate Program) Course Coordinator MTeach College of Education, Charles Darwin University Dr Sulay Jalloh Lecturer – Tertiary Enabling Program, Academic Language and Learning…

Hear It From Horses’ Mouth: Listening To African Professionals In Australia

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Hear It From Horses’ Mouth: Listening To African Professionals In Australia

Stephen Bolaji (PhD)
Lecturer in Education (Graduate Program)
Course Coordinator MTeach
College of Education, Charles Darwin University

Dr Sulay Jalloh
Lecturer – Tertiary Enabling Program, Academic Language and Learning
College of Education, Charles Darwin University

Abstract
Since the abandonment of the white policy act of 1901 barring the non-white settlers in the 1960s’, Australia has become a more multicultural society nation. The 2016 census report mentioned that 28.5% of Australia’s estimated resident population (6.9 million people) was born overseas, of which, migrants from the African continent form a significant part. In fact, the World Bank’s Global Skilled Migration Database (2017) reported that Australia and Canada have a relatively high share of highly skilled African immigrants. The data acknowledged that Africans in Australia are diverse, and from a range of African nations, but their resettlement pathways have been quite different. In the last five years, the narrative of African immigrants to Australia has changed from humanitarian to highly skilled immigrants (Bolaji, 2019; Bolaji, Jalloh and Kell, 2020). A huge number of these African settlers have gained visas under the Skilled Migration Stream (SMS), but are struggling to get jobs in their skilled occupation. This study arises from the growing concerns of the African professionals about the lack of professional recognition of their overseas skills and qualifications in Australia. This issue has negatively impacted on aspiration for higher education among the children and other young immigrants living in the Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia’s (WA)African communities. The lack of success in post-arrival of African professional immigrants in Australia remains a challenge and it is difficult to shift the focus beyond the challenges. The research approach for this study is mixed method design using survey and semi-structured interview to elicit information from 100 participants in NT and WA. The outcome of the study will help to recommend or suggest a model or a program that will assist at operationalizing opportunities for the African skilled immigrants in Australia.

About Stephen Bolaji
Stephen Bolaji teaches undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Education, Charles Darwin University. He had his education qualifications from two continents (Nigeria- Africa and Australia). Prior to joining CDU, he was a lecturer at the Department of Educational Foundations, University of Lagos, Nigeria. In 2009, Stephen won the highly competitive International Endeavor Scholarship to complete a second doctoral research study titled: Intent to Action: Overcoming Barriers to Universal Basic Education Policy Implementation in Nigeria, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Stephen’s research interest is in Policy, Philosophy, Comparative, Sociology, History, Community Studies and Global Education. He is a qualitative researcher and well- grounded in using a range of qualitative instruments in collecting data for research projects. He derives satisfaction in guiding students through their teaching and research undertakings. Stephen enjoys golfing, teaching and conducting research.

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