New migrants

La Trobe’s support for new migrants includes:

Financial Support

Humanitarian Scholarships

Since 2017, La Trobe has offered humanitarian scholarships for students who are seeking asylum or are refugees on temporary protection visas. In 2019, La Trobe extended its Humanitarian Scholarships program and will award nine scholarships over the next three years. La Trobe’s Humanitarian Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students who are seeking asylum or are refugees on temporary protection visas. The scholarships cover full tuition fees and an annual cost-of-living bursary. Recipients will receive tailored academic and personal support throughout the duration of their studies.

The College of Art, Social Sciences and Commerce ASRC Scholarships

  • The College of ASSC and Asylum Seeker Resource Centre scholarships are awarded to two people seeking asylum each year for three years. The scholarships cover full tuition fees and include a $3,000 per year cost-of-living bursary.

Bursaries for students from refugee backgrounds

  • To assist students from refugee backgrounds starting university, all eligible commencing undergraduate domestic students who are from refugee backgrounds will receive a bursary which is valued at $500.

Academic and personal support

La Trobe offers a range of academic and personal support services including:

  • The Support for students from a refugee background webpage provides useful information about La Trobe, including offers, fees and the support available to students from refugee backgrounds.
  • There is a Refugee Contact Person at each campus of La Trobe University. These staff can help you to understand the way things are done at an Australian university, and potentially provide you with financial and other assistance. They can also help you to apply for a place and a scholarship at La Trobe University.
  • The Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) provides students with academic skills, builds confidence to study and facilitates pathways to further education. TPP students come from a wide range of backgrounds, including students from refugee backgrounds.
  • La Trobe Law School has partnered with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) to run the Fast Track Clinic, a program offering free legal services to asylum seekers. The program was a finalist in the Community Engagement category of the 2018 Business Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) awards.


Improving employment for Somali Australians

  • The $60,000 project was led by La Trobe and included A/Prof Andrew Harvey, Giovanna Szalkowicz and Michael Luckman. Conducted in collaboration with Himilo Community Connect, this project analysed facilitators and barriers to the employment of Somali Australians. This project developed an evidence base on the personal and structural factors influencing employment outcomes of Somali Australians. Interviews were conducted with university students and graduates from the Somali Australian community, as well as community members considered leaders in the Somali Australian community, staff of community and non-government organisations, and business owners.

Raising university participation of new migrants in regional communities

  • La Trobe was awarded a grant from the Department of Education and Training to study new migrant communities in Shepparton and Mildura. The project explored the university aspirations and experiences of new migrants in low socio-economic status, regional communities, and the extent to which regional campuses support ethnic, socio-economic and religious diversity. This project was led by Associate Professor Andrew Harvey (Lead Chief Investigator) and Dr Anthony Moran (Chief Investigator).

Migrant workers in Shepparton: intersections of social and spatial mobility

  • This project examines the relationship between social and spatial mobilities through an analysis of the employment pathways of migrants who have arrived in Australia within the last 20 years and reside in Shepparton. It will provide a better understanding of the preconditions, patterns and consequences of spatial mobility amongst different groups of recent arrivals (temporary visa holders and permanent residents); advance the theorisation of intersections between social and spatial mobility in the lives of migrants; and improve the knowledge base on migrant workers’ mobilities in regional Australia which can help shape policy responses to these mobilities. The project is funded by La Trobe’s 'Transforming Human Societies' Research Focus Area (RFA) for 2016-2017 and the research team includes Dr Martina Boese (Lead Chief Investigator), Dr Anthony Moran (Chief Investigator), and Dr Mark Mallman (Chief Investigator).

Reimagining refugee resettlement through a transnational lens: The Karen in Bendigo

  • This project examines the settlement experience of the Karen in Bendigo. They are a growing refugee-background community, who make significant positive contributions to their new home city as well as simultaneously sustaining links with Karen living in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border and resettled elsewhere in Australia and around the world. The new era of mobilities means that refugee settlement in local communities is increasingly shaped by non-local flows of people, resources and ideas. What are the implications of these flows for processes of belonging and social inclusion in regional Australia? To what extent do local and non-local social fields compete with or complement each other in the experience of settlement, and with what effects? An exploration of the arrival, reception and engagement of the Karen in Bendigo presents a useful opportunity for considering important questions about migration, settlement, belonging and identity in a mobile world. This project is funded by La Trobe’s 'Transforming Human Societies' Research Focus Area (RFA) and is led by Dr Raelene Wilding (Lead Investigator).

Tongans in regional Victoria: settlers, seasonal workers and overstayers

  • Tongans in Mildura and Robinvale have different visa statuses, including Australian citizenship, permanent residence and temporary work visa, in addition to some visa 'overstayers'. A pilot project examined the impact of these different statuses, as well as gender and age differences, on their access to public services, their relationships within their own community and with other ethnic groups in the region, and their trans-local and transnational networks with other Tongans. This project was funded by La Trobe’s 'Transforming Human Societies' Research Focus Area (RFA) and was led by Professor Helen Lee (Lead Investigator). The pilot study, completed in 2014, was used to develop an interdisciplinary project on Pacific Islanders in regional Victoria. This project will inform policy-making to address problems faced by migrant groups in rural areas of Australia. It is funded by an ARC Linkage grant and ongoing RFA funding.

Contact your College to discover other related research.

Student profiles