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Sense of belonging

Public Art: Mirrabooka Drive

Leena Bakshi

Sense of belonging Leena Bakshi

UWA Publishing University of Western Australia


Glossary Introduction


Research Map


Literature review


Mapping at the urban scale 49 Voices from the field 50 Case studies 118 Conceptual scaffolding


Design Framework


Testing the Framework in Mirrabooka Conclusions

164 228



• new and emerging communities: ““high-need” clients due to the length of time they have spent in refugee camps, their lack of personal support networks in Australia and the additional assistance and resources needed to address the settlement challenges they face.” 1

• everyday: the mundane routines andd rituals of “real people in real time” 4

• migrant/ immigrant: “a person who was born overseas whose usual residence is Australia. A person is regarded as a usual resident if they have been (or are expected to be) residing in Australia for a period of 12 months or more.” 2

• similar others/dissimilar others: Similar others in this research are people who share similar values and attitudes that come from a shared culture/language/birthplace/religion/ ancestry, while dissimilar others are people who are outside these signifiers.

• non- English speaking backbround: where English is not the first langage in the home and includes people who come from countries where English is not the official language. Other terms such a culturally and linguistically diderse or CALD have been used to describe people/ communities that have a lineage/ cultural/social heritage that is not ‘English’.

• mainstream community: in common parlance a cultural majority, of Anglo-ancestryor majority community.


Office of Multicultural Intrests . “www.omi. guides/New_and_Emerging_Communities. pdf.” n.d. (accessed

• settlement services: Government funded services that towards the settlement needs of “migrants and refugees settling in Australia by responding to their specific needs, encouraging their independence and participation in the Australian community.” 3

August 2017). 2

au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/ okup/3415.0Glossary12012?OpenDocument 3

services 4

Merrifield, 2013,p10


.. these two ladies they became like my homeland for me they are Australian but they did not give me a chance to be homesick..� (p 7)


Introduction: From the dawn of civilization “migration has been a definitive and enduring feature of humanity”1 with humans searching out new locations as a “result of cataclysmic crisis or external demands” for “survival or success.” 2 These processes have transformed civilizations and shaped the social, economic and technological world; demarcated new concepts of time; circumscribed racial, ethnic, gender, class, caste, and other markers of identity. Castles3 notes that while international migration has always played an important role in “colonisation, industrialization and nation building”4, increasing flows of people migrating across the globe post-Cold War, have created new anxieties in host countries of the developed world. As one of the “key forces of transformation” 5 in the contemporary globalised world, migration and settlement are critical social, political and environmental issues.6 The effects of migration are reflected in the material conditions; structural changes; and social and spatial organisation of the city. It is in cities that migrants find employment, housing, social support and support from community services, bringing new challenges for city making7

| Sense of belonging 8 | 9

According to Lefebvre 8 the “urban question is a political question”. Cities “should be stunning projects that people inhabit”, wherein to “inhabit” means “to take part” and the loss of “inhabiting” is a political social and aesthetic loss.” 9 Fincher and Jacobs10 note that “the cities “we inhabit are different cities even from those inhabited by our most immediate neighbours” as spatial and social signifiers regulate inhabitation through subtle and not so subtle inclusionary/exclusionary practices.


Ness, 2013,cxxvi








ibid 1147


Millennium Ecosystems Assessments, 2005,

96 7

United Nations, 2015


Merrifield, 67


ibid, 67-68


Fincher and Jacobs , 1


Yuval - Davies, 2011, 12

Hall 12 calls attention to the question for the 21st century - the “multicultural question” “What are the chances that

we can construct in our cities shared, diverse, just, more inclusive forms of common life, guaranteeing the full rights of participation to all on the basis of equality, whilst respecting the differences that inevitably come about when peoples of different religions, cultures, histories, languages and traditions are obliged to live together in the same shared space.” 13 Holding this question as a point of departure this research inquiry asks : “HOW CAN WE DESIGN BUILT, FORM AND OPEN SPACES IN SUBURBAN CONTEXTS IN PERTH THAT ENGENDER A SENSE OF BELONGING FOR NEW AND EMERGING COMMUNITIES? In asking this question this inquiry considers the role of design in shaping the built environment and by extension patterns of human activity and social life. 14 wherein “space and society are linked” in a two way relationship where people ‘modify spaces’ while being influenced by space in various ways.”15 As a process of “making better places for people than would otherwise be produced” 16 urban design is implicated in influencing patterns of human activity and social life. With it’s stress on broader collective outcomes

rather than narrower, individual outcomes urban design “involves considerations of equity, gender, income groups …” 17 A failure to create inclusive cities “home to all” 18 will lead to segregation and ghettoization; an “unequal access to services and institutions”19 unresponsive land policies that fail to consider the “distinct residential, recreational, religious and cultural needs of diverse communities” and “spatial reminders of advantage for some and deprivation for others” 20. Designing spatially equitable cities that engender a sense of belonging is not only beneficial for new immigrants but has economic, cultural, social and environmental flow on effects for the entire city. 21


Hall,2006, 23




Carmona 2014, 106


ibid, 2014. 106


Carmona et al, 2003, 57


ibid, 2003, 57


Siemiatycki, n.d


ibid, nd


ibid, nd


ibid nd


ibid, nd


Charlesworth 23 argues that the role of cities is that of “mixing diverse social, ethnic, and economic groups that in the end, collapse together all different kinds of peoples”. While this has the “potential to produce antagonism and chaos” there is also the “potential for creativity, new cultures, new languages, and new built environments.” 24 In an attempt to grapple with these considerations this research turns its gaze to the everyday. This everyday is not some abstracted setting but an “actual material setting, an actual local and particular place in the world” 25 expressed through a social organisation and material form connecting “matter to place”26 making a sense of belonging particularly geographical. A focus on the “intersection of space production and everyday life” 27 is useful to arriving at a “dynamic understanding of space”, an understanding that holds together inclusion and exclusion and by extension a sense of belonging and not belonging. The processs of belonging takes place by “emplaced localised identities” constituted through “land, bounded spaces and place specific communities.” 28

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Through “appropriating local and place specific symbols” 29, of re-articulating and re-negotiating identity in the everyday that migrants shape a sense of belonging. While institutional arrangements or projects confer rights, Williamson30 notes that it is in the urban realm that “place– making and identity-making processes” are constructed by migrants and through understanding the “microspatial practices” of communities and individuals inhabiting these these places and spaces that we begin to understand “multicultural belongings.” In concurring with Williamson31 this inquiry is interested in unpacking these “microspatial practices” to understand “multicultural belongings”.


Charlsworth, 2005




Smith, 1987, 97


Mee and Wright, 2009


Madanipour, 185


Bonich and Brednich p 184






Williamson, 2015,16



Interrogating the practices of the everyday this research investigates the myriad modes through which belongingness/non-belongingness is brought forth; examines the manner in which city making and planning permeate the everyday practices of belonging/non-belonging, as the manner in which “cities are imagined has real effects upon how they are lived and vice versa” 32 ; attempts to set out a conceptual framework towards developing design principles; and finally tests these design principles in the middle ring suburb of Mirrabooka in Perth, Western Australia. The communities of interest for this inquiry are new and emerging communities, people requiring higher levels of suppport “due to the length of time they have spent in refugee camps, their lack of personal support networks in Australia and the additional assistance and resources needed to address the settlement challenges they face.”33 While relatively small they face a number of disadvantages in the process of settlement. Colic Piesker and Tilbury34 note that often new and emerging communities also face an added disadvantage related to the extent and type of their being “visibly different”.

Ths research is grounded in the following assumptions: • That the “liberal compact” of citizenship requires a “performance of citizenship” 35 wherein “active participation” regardless of difference establishes a “fundamental claim” to “meaningful common goods” While accepting that formal citizenship grants legal recognition and rights to migrants this does not necessarily lead to “substantive citizenship” 37 or the “array of civil, political, socio-economic and cultural rights people posess and exercise.”38 • That gender, race, ethnicity, religion, class, socio-economic status are “embodied signifiers” 39 and impede or enable access to any given resource available within a nation state;


Hall 2006, 23


The Office of Multicultural Interests, n.d


Colic-Piesker and Tilbury, 2007


Appadurai and Hoston, 1997, 192


ibid, 192


Williamson, 2015, 37


Appadurai and Holston, 1997, 190


Yuval- Davis, 2011, 12


• And lastly this research acknowledges that one of the greatest threat to humanity is that of climate change. While noting human impact and growing evidence of adverse effects on ecosystems; and concomitant impact on human well-being, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Framework 40 reminds us that while some impacts have a direct effect, other impacts affect ecosystems indirectly. It should be noted that the effects of impacts on an ecosystem are not experienced equally across the human population, with poor or disadvantaged communities, often being disproportionately affected. t can be srmised that wealthy developed countries cannot be “insulated from the degradation of ecosystem services, the impact of degraded ecosystems in developing countries is exacerbated poverty in those countries contributing to outbreak of conflicts and the migration of refugeesâ€?.41 According to UNHCR 42 65.6 million people have been forcibly displaced world-wide in 2015. The International Displacement Monitoring Centre estimates that 19.3 million people were forced to flee their homes due to natural disasters in 2014.43

| Sense of belonging 12 | 13


Alcamo and Bennett, 2003


Millenium Ecosystems Assessments, 2005,

9 42


glance.html 2018) 43

Yonetani et al, 2015

The Australian context: Invaded and settled by the British in 1788, and populated by successive waves of immigrants, Australia is a nation of immigrants. Other than Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples, every other Australian is an immigrant or has an immigrant ancestor. From a predominantly British population in the 1800’s, the 2016 census notes Australia is a uniquely “fast changing, ever-expanding, culturally diverse nation” 44, with 1 in 4 Australians born overseas, representing 300 ancestries and over 200 countries. This diversity of peoples is also reflected in the population of Western Australia, with 1/3 or 32% of the total Western Australia population born overseas.44 Despite this diversity, national narratives of belonging have always been contested and shifting terrain in policy and practice. Fitzgerald45 argues that unlike other settler societies such as Canada, USA and New Zealand, Australia has constituted itself “on the back of arguments about preserving national purity by restricting Asian migration and “despite the brouhaha surrounding multiculturalism, “many whites”” still reserve the word ‘Australian’ for themselves a “powerful and persistent” legacy of White Australia.

From the very first Act of Parliament - Immigration Restriction Act 1901; White Australia Policy; the recently debated English language test; and current debates on population size ,belonging has occupied varying positions: race, ethnicity, environment, and recently religion and terrorism and carrying capacity. Since the 1940’s immigration policies and programs have been “an engine for economic growth and populationbuilding” with population increase through immigration being “central to Australian nation building ..” 46 In the “absence of a population policy, Australia’s Immigration Policy is it’s de facto population policy”, 47 and has broad ranging implications for the Australian “economy, society and the environment.” 48


ABS, 2017


ABS, 2017


Fitzgerald, 2006, 43


Collins, 2013,136


Productivity Commission, 2016, 3




While multicultural policies from the 1970’s to 1990’s focussed on the benefits of retaining cultural heritage, the current policy is couched in terms of shared values of “freedom, democracy, the rule of law and equality of opportunity – a “fair go””. Noting “a harmonious, egalitarian, enterprising nation, embracing diversity” 49 in a time of “growing global tensions” this policy lays down a ‘checklist’ of belonging in the form of shared values, alluding to a latent fear of terrorism on the global scene.

| Sense of belonging 14 | 15

hubs thereby attracting large numbers of people. According to the 2016 census cities are a preferred location for the overseas born population with 83% of the overseas population living in cities when compared to those born in Australia. 53 It is here in the urban realms of suburbia where a majority of the immigrant population resides that “place – making and identity-making processes” 54 are constructed.

Southphommanse 50 notes that in the public mind population increase, migration and multiculturalism are linked and a growing population is perceived as a “threat to the national lifestyle – a traditional Australian way.” 51 While there is direct link between population increase and migration, the linking of multiculturalism conflates the issue. wherein a population policy is not just a question about numbers but a cultural question. With one of the highest levels of urbanisation, beginning on the coast and spreading to the interiors 52 , and a concentration of population in capital cities, primacy of the urban has dictated settlement in Australia. These large cities are and continue to be social, economic and commercial


Australian Government, n.d.


Sothphomannse, 2012


Sothphomanse, 130-131


Foster, 1999, 8


Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017


Williamson, 2015, 12

Western Australia: Colonised in 1829 as the Swan River Colony, Western Australia has a history of non-English migration since its early days. These migrants came as indentured labour from Melanesia in the late 19th century; Chinese migrants during the gold rush in the 1890’S; Afghan cameleers in 1982; and Yugoslavian, Italians and Greeks in small numbers in search of fortunes. The end of the Second World War brought with it the largest number of people from Europe and forever changed the demographic landscape of this state.

Research parameters: While placing itself within the discipline of Urban Design, this research inquiry draws from the social sciences and spatial disciplines acknowledging that these are vast areas of knowledge. Thus the theoretical limitations of this research may well be that claims made by the knowledge from these disciples has not been tested for validity against the particular theoretical frameworks of that particular disciple. In an attempt to contain the scope of this inquiry the focus has been narrowed by geography and community.

The 2016 census notes that 32.2% of the population of Western Australia is born overseas, higher that the national average of 26.3%.52 While people of British heritage are the largest ethnic group in Western Australia, the 2016 census notes the shift in migration from Europe to Asia, with people born in non-English speaking countries continuing to migrate in larger numbers that those from mainlyEnglish speaking countries. City centric settlement is also noted by the 2016 census, with 90% of these migrants settling in Perth Metropolitan region when compared to 73% of those born in Australia. 53 55 56

Office of Multicultural Interests n.d ibid


Focus area: The focus of this research is a particular geographical region, the suburb of Mirrabooka, a middle ring suburb in the Perth metropolitan region. This suburb has been chosen for the following reasons: a middle ring suburb; a ‘landing mat’ for new arrivals; high levels of public housing; population diversity and lastly low SEIFA score. These historical, social and economic factors have enabled and continue to enable the settlement of new and emerging commmunities. The research to be contained by the specificities of the area under scrutiny. These factors are further unpacked in Chapter 7. While this can be construed as a limitation it should be noted that, this inquiry is an attempt at beginning a conversation in a area of research that is not thoroughly explored and it is envisaged that this research forges a methodology for linking space, place and new arrivals. In acknowledging that there are larger market forces that determine spatial outcomes, the focus of this research is us is on the community and does not in any way pretend to grapple with these forces.

| Sense of belonging 16 | 17

Thesis Structure: Chapter 1 is a broad and comprehensive review of relevant literature on sense of belonging. In Chapter 2 an analysis is carried out at the urban scale to understand how sense of belonging plays out at this scale. Chapter 3 is an account of the interviews and mapping process. It is through this process of sense making that possible places for design have emerged, along with other critical characteristics. Chapter 4 lays down an analysis of three design projects. The places in which these projects have been undertaken are demographically similar to the suburb chosen for interrogation by this research inquiry. Chapter 5 presents a Conceptual Scaffolding from which a Framework for design is extrapolated. Chapter 6 presents a Design Framework that pulls together all the elements from the previous Chapters. Chapter 7presents possibilities

Research map Literature review Mapping analysis urban scale

Interview and community mapping analysis

• Themes • Key principles •Place typology • Processes •Tactics • Spatiality of tactics

Case studies analysis

Concceptual scaffolding

Research map

Informs the design processs and provides a framework for evaluation and design

Mapping analysis Suburb scale Scenarios Design schemas

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2.Literature review

“But again if you have to think about belonging, perhaps you are already outside� 1

Literature review

| Sense of belonging 20 | 21

As contemporary Western cities become increasingly diverse and undergo rapid population changes through migration, it is imperative that the people who concieve, build and administer the urban environment are called upon to engage with these changes. In following the lead from the research Fig 1: Mirrabooka Village Shopping Centre question this literature review sets out to understand the meaning of a sense of belonging and undertakes a comprehensive review. In an attempt to put a ring around this extremely broad idea, literature with a particular focus on migration and migration related belonging and not belonging has been explored. Fig 2: Mirrabooka Shopping Centre Policies and programs and related to migration and settlement have also been reviewed due to their influence on the daily lives of people. The literature review is broad and multidisciplinary. In an attempt to make meaning of what is otherwise Fig 3: Chinese New Year, Northbridge a very broad and ‘slippery’ idea, the literature has been categorised under four domains. These are • Affective •Process • Narrative 1 • Spatial Probyn, 1996,8

Fig 4: Mirrabooka Shopping Centre

Fig 5: Chinese New Year, 2016

Literature review

A sense of belonging has an affective dimension Belonging or the “desire for some sort of attachment” 2 is one of the most innate of human needs3 . Belonging is not an “isolated individual affair”4 but a “desire for some sort of attachment to people, places or “modes of being”, a process fuelled by yearning rather than the positioning of identity as a stable state.” 5 Belonging is an “emotional” attachment, about feeling “at home”, with a “sense of hope for the future” and from this arises a “sense of safety”. 6 The desire to form social attachments of “a minimum quantity of lasting, positive and significant relationships” is an important aspect of the “need to belong” 7 These attachments are pursued even when there are no requirements to do so and the contacts are intermittent. 8 9

Mahar, Cobigo and Stuart consider five elements in a transdisciplinary definition of a sense of belonging paraphrased below: • subjectivity: or the requirement for an individual to perceive that they “valued, respected or otherwise subjectively engaged”; • groundedness: or a sense of

| Sense of belonging 22 | 23

belonging to “something” ; • reciprocity: or a sense of relatedness that an individuals sense of belonging is shared by the “external referent.”These external referents may be multiple, and each interaction unique; • dynamism: social and physical environments enhance or hinder an individuals sense of belonging. While some environments may be “transitory others may be “permanent” Recognising the “dynamic interplay between enablers and barriers” is necessary in defining a sense of belonging; • self-determination: or the choice of an individual to belong is an important consideration in defining a sense of belonging. Barriers to self determination and choice arise from historic, institutionalised or social discrimination.


Probyn, 1996, 19


Baumeister and Leary, 1995,


Probyn, 1996, 13


ibid , 19


Yuval-Davis, The Politics of

belonging:intersectional contestations, 2011, 10 7

Baumeister and Leary, 1995, 497


Mahar, Cobigo and Stuart, 2013


ibid, 1030 -1031

While people can belong in many different ways and to many different things, Davies 10 identifies three facets of belonging paraphrased below: • social and economic location marked by “embodied signifiers” within the “power grid” of a society at a particular historical moment. • belonging is also concerned with the ways in which “social locations of individual constructions and identities and attachments“ are assessed by the individual and the others • identifications and attachments or the “narratives” or stories that individuals or collectives tell themselves of who they are; individual stories often drawn from the collective narratives. In explaining the present, these “origin myths” “function as a projection of future trajectory.” These narratives also have a “performative dimension” requiring specific “repetitive practices linking individual and collective behaviours”. Narratives also link people to their environment, of how they came to be or “biographically make sense of their decision to move to a particular place”. 11 Collective belonging involves people moving to a place, putting down roots and the processes. For the individual a sense of belonging includes ways of thinking; feeling; and acting like the group should, that is

“taking on the character” 12 of what one imagines a member of a particular group should be. Belonging brings into focus the “territory of the everyday” 13, the interrelatedness between the self and society and is “enacted through “everyday localised practices” 14 constructed through one’s interactions with other people. In the everyday a sense of belonging emerges “if we can go about our everyday lives without having to pay attention to how we do it”. 15


Yuval- Davis, 2011, 12-18


Savage, Bagnall and Longhurst,2005, 207

-208 12

Jones, Dovido and Vietze, 2013, 148


May, 2011, 369


Bugg, 2014 1163

Literature review 15

| Sense of belonging 24 | 25

May, 2011, 370

A ‘sense of belonging’ is implicated in increased positive psychological and social health outcomes for the individual and the community at large 16 and a “change in belongingness is a strong and pervasive cause of emotions...” 17 This change has an impact on the physical and psychological health of people who lack social attachments. A loss of a sense of belonging increases an individual’s vulnerability to anxiety and depression; exclusion is painful.18,19 20 . The idea of belonging uncertainty amongst students in an academic environment in the US, shows that students from social groups that were stigmatized in academics were more likely to be affected in their academic achievement when led to believe that they had fewer friends and thus fewer social networks they belonged to . The study notes that a threat to ones’ sense of belonging has a direct impact on achievement. Inclusive practices are implicated in creating a sense of belonging. 21 16

Hill, 2009


Baumeister and Leary, 1995, 520


Walton and Cohen, 2007


ibid , 2007


Jones, Dovido and Vietze, 2013,


Walton and Gregory, 2007

Sampson and Gifford in a longitudinal research study of predictors of wellbeing for refugee youth in their first three years of settlement, highlight processes of social inclusion and exclusion. The authors note that the The social environment within which these young people live is “crucial for the positive reinforcement of being socially valued, of belonging and being able to participate in and contribute to society” 22. Factors that “promote a sense of belonging, becoming at home and being able to participate and become part of the new host society” have the best outcomes towards high levels of well-being. Positions of class, gender, age, country of origin, sexual orientation shape belonging, they determine identification with and distance from groups and individuals seen as possessing these markers.23,24 These markers also determine permeability. While “ascriptive social locations” such as “origin, race, place of birth” are the most racialized and least permeable; “language, culture, and sometimes religion are more open to a voluntary, often assimilatory identification” and values such as “democracy, or human rights”25 being the most permeable. Belonging and privilege are entangled. The privilege that comes from

belonging to a particular group may be invisible to members of that group. Noble moots the idea of “civic belonging” 26 or “practices that enable people to find their way through social spaces and foster ways of living with others”. These “way -finding” practices are an acquisition of “bodily capacities” , “social capacities” and “procedural capacities”. It is through these “human and nonhuman pedagogic practices” 27that, a localised “social imaginary” is formed and with time the lens is widened to include “wider forms of social existence”.


Sampson and Gifford, 2010, 1406


Jones, Dovido and Vietze 2013,119


Bugg, 2014


Yuval Davis, 2011, 21


Noble,2015, p 32


ibid, 4127 ibid, 43

Literature review

A summary Affective dimensions of belonging: • Belonging is a need or desire: to form attachments to form social relationships to feel safe/to feel at home to feel that one’s need is reciprocated • A sense of belonging has a performative dimension: facilitated through stories ‘origin myths’, taking on the characteristics of the group fostered in an environment that enables participation. • A sense of belonging: is implicated in positive psychological and social well-being;exclusion is painful. • Barriers to a sense of belonging: historic institutionalised economic/social/cultural

| Sense of belonging 26 | 27

Fig 6

Fig 7

Literature review

A sense of belonging has a process dimension: Migration is above all a “biographical trauma through which migrants lose their sense of home and thus perceive themselves - metaphorically as homeless”, tied to “feelings of loss”28, a lack of a sense of belonging and the reconstruction of a personal and cultural identity. Homelessness may not be a lasting condition as most migrants construct a “new sense of home”,29 a “metaphorical space a narrative construction or a physical place.” Leaving one’s geographic networks, the loss of family, friends and social connections threatens belongingness needs provoking distress and causing homesickness. While forming new social connections “mediated by the need to belong” 30 may result in reduced homesickness, making a place home is also about becoming “accustomed to a sense of disorientation” or “learning you are different.” 31 It is through processes of negotiating and re-articulating identities within the ethnic community and the wider community through positions of class, gender, age and country of origin and a validation from the larger community to which one aspires to belong. 32,33

| Sense of belonging 28 | 29

Noble notes “resettlement entails the “transformation of the embodied capacities” of a migrant and the forming of a “ new set of bodily capacities”, never “quite the dispositions of the citizen who ‘belongs’ by birth.” 34 Migrant belonging is scalar ranging from the “nation state, to a place”, “ a neighbourhood, to a particular group of people or to the family” 35 and vocational identity 36, 37. Everyday geographies expressed through: the ability to speak the language of the host nation; communicate with people; media representation; appearance and country of origin impact migrant sense of belonging.


Glenn, Bouvert and Florani, 2011, p2


ibid, p1


Watt and Badger, 2009, 518


Noble, It is home: but it is not home,:

habitus field and the migrant, 341-349 32

Bugg, 2014


Voloder and Andits, 2016


Noble , It is home: but it is not home,:

habitus field and the migrant, 341-349 35

Jackson, 2014,1672


V. Colic - Peisker, 2010


Hodgins, Maloney and Winskel, 2015, 1672

All migrants come with “a past” that shapes and defines the individual. While this past is not binding it plays a part in placing migrant belonging in a hierarchy of belonging, with us being those with a naturalised sense of belonging at one end of the spectrum, and them being those who are ‘not Australian’ enough at the other, and some falling somewhere in between. Mediated by culture and the positioning of country of origin as a “natural and normal” impacts migrant belonging. The capacity to negotiate these discourses is dependent on “resources, possibilities and inclusions.” 39 It is through ‘everydayness’ that migrants make space into place and create alternative discourses of belonging. Exploring notions of belonging at the national and community level, Baek unpacks exclusionary discourses created by the media. In the days following the murder of a young person of Sudanese descent, racialised media representation of “essentialised otherness” created reverberations through the small yet distinct community, making it impossible for people from these backgrounds to feel a “sense of belonging to the ‘imagined Australian nation.” 40

In arguing for a social justice approach to belonging, Tobias notes this approach not only provides the tools to conceptualise belonging, but “illuminate the challenges to belonging”41. To this end the author (Tobias) argues for a “parity of belonging” 42 or a recognition of new immigrants to be recognised as “full members”, an “assumption that people are active agents” 43 Other than providing a framework this research does not provide the tools towards developing a ‘parity of belonging’.


Andreasson 2016,188


Ghorashi, nd, 2429


Baek, 2011, 429


Andreasson 2016, 193

42 43



ibid, 208

Literature review

While there is an assumption that ethnicity determines belonging Ang et al note that for young people especially, “cultural identity” exists in relation to other forms of social and national belonging”44 not always in competition but interwoven and multiple: “many ways of being different and being the same”. 45 An array of social domains are at play towards defining belonging: “generation, gender, work, school, and leisure, region, town and neighbourhood, friendships and subcultures, religion and so on.” 46 Acknowledging the many forms through which belonging is expressed is important as it means people are not constrained by the label of “ethnicity” and can move between domains, making them a source of enablement. While many young people identify as ‘Australians’, their experience of exclusion and discrimination undermine their sense of national belonging. Mansouri and Percival-Wood note “structural issues” associated with the migration context such as “experiences of racism and the lack of social and cultural capital of parents”;47 barriers arising from the young person’s ethno-religious or cultural context such as parental and community disapproval; and perceived gender and social roles also play an important part in social inclusion

| Sense of belonging 30 | 31

and belonging. On the other hand networks formed through community links, religious commitments, and community networks generate “strong feelings of social connection and belonging” and young people may not be completely dependent on “deeper forms of engagement with the broader community.” 48 For children born of immigrant parents their “bicultural” 49 identity, shapes their sense of connection and belonging to their country of origin; and to their country of birth and therefore their sense of belonging. While their connection to their country of origin is expressed through heritage, food and language; their connection to the wider community may be expressed through sports, music and social activities. Afrose advocates involvement with the wider community through activities such as “sports, debates or voluntary work” that allows these young people to express belonging “biculturally.” 50


Ang et al. 2006, 27


ibid, 2006,27


ibid, 28

47 48

Mansouri and Percival Wood, 2008, 141 ibid,



Afrose 2014, 278


ibid, 2014, 278

Gedalof argues that the work of migrant women in the “reproducing sphere” has been “undervalued and under theorised” 51. The author notes the roles of women/mothers in “knitting together yesterday and today” 52 These performative practices of the remaking of everyday activities such as sourcing familiar food stores, forming links with other women, and reproducing cultural practices at home in the “face of processes of displacement, nonbelonging and isolation”. 53 While lack of affordable childcare, and the absence of family and support systems are barriers to active participation. Belonging for migrant mothers becomes a “web of familiar people, practices and networks.” 54 A disproportionate dependence on women in similar circumstances, limits the access and connection that these mothers make with women outside of these networks thereby impacting their sense of participation and thus a sense of belonging. Learning mundane activities like “shopping, cooking and running the house” “give shape” 55 to the migrant experience. Raman notes the role of food making and sharing practices in creating new physical and social geographies.

By essentialising Australlian-ness as an ethnicity and creating counter discourses ,hybrid-identities are brought forth. These allow for a differentiation from the dominant group and yet make place for similitude 56, 57 By repositioning themselves through discourses of ‘culturedness’ or having a culture that Australians’ lack, that migrant groups create new interstices for a sense of belonging. Halstead in a study of Guyanese Indians in New York notes practices that uphold cultural boundaries become more pronounced post migration.58 Whereas in the country of origin belonging could be taken for granted, post migration the need to belong may result in an “intense display of public culture.”59 In reimaging an ethnic and cultural identity spaces of belonging are invested with a “fixity” wherein cultural performances are a prerequisite towards authentic cultural belonging. 51

Gedalof, 2009,32




ibid, 96


Gilmartin and Migge, 2015


Raman, 2011,171


Zevallos, 2008


Voloder and Andits 2016


Halstead,2012, 150-166


ibid, 153

Literature review

A summary: Migrant belonging is a process of: • Reconstructing/ re-making/ re-negotiating/ re-articulating identity • Forming connections; • Multilayered/ multiscaled; • Producing and re-producing performative practices in the everyday; • Creating counter discourses; and • Creating practices of ‘cultural belonging’

| Sense of belonging 32 | 33

A sense of belonging is impacted by social, political, cultural and policy narratives: One of the many “legacies of colonial history is the multi-ethnic, multiracial and multicultural nature of contemporary Western societies”,60 In the contemporary world processes of globalisation, migration and the movement of capital and goods across the globe have resulted in new urban configurations.60, 61, 62, 63 In this shifting landscapes of persons and ideas the role of the nation state becomes increasingly problematic, as the global and the local are intertwined, and influence each other creating allegiances and ideas that are transnational. Appadurai questions the idea of local belonging as situated in a particularity of place in this process of “deterritorialization”. 64 Yet it is through “strategies for everyday life” and the processes of negotiation, adaptation and change at the level of the city that migrants create “local citizenship”. 65

the full rights of participation to all on the basis of equality, whilst respecting the differences that inevitably come about when peoples of different religions, cultures, histories, languages and traditions are obliged to live together in the same shared space.? 67 This raises two key issues: the rights of citizens; and the notion of identity and belonging: ‘who are we?’ And ‘how do we belong’? In response the apparatus of the nation state develops a national narrative of a “collective self”68 that defines boundaries of inclusion and exclusion.


Hall, Cosmopolitan Promises Multicultural

Realities, 2006, 61

Friedman, 2016


Sassen, 2005


King, 2015

The question for the twenty first century according to Hall is the “multicultural question”. 66“What are


Appadurai, Global ethnoscapes, notes for


Castles, 1157

the chances that we can construct in our cities shared, diverse, just, more inclusive, and egalitarian forms of common life, guaranteeing


Hall, 22 -23


ibid, 23


Singh and Babacan, 2010,1

a transnational anthropology, 1991

Literature review

Moreton Robinson argues that the narrative of the ‘collective self’ in the Australian context is tied to the “fiction of Terra Nullius”. From this fiction has come forth a national identity that is “racialised” wherein the “white body” is the “norm and measure for identifying who could belong”. 70 Brookes notes the Australian anxiety of belonging is rooted in geographic and cultural isolation. As a distant outpost of the British Empire, political leaders grappled with the idea of ‘where do we belong’ in a quest to locate Australian identity. Post –federation an identity based on “British belonging” 71 provided the new nation a foundation to grapple with the question of belonging in the global landscape. Through “kinship and blood ties” “familial relationships”; and “blood and race” 72 a stable sense of belonging was established with a community across the oceans. While the central theme is one of ‘Britishness”, shifting boundaries allow for the inclusion of other relationships, “never to be elevated to the level of ‘family and kinship’, but nevertheless as ‘friends’; “partnerships and alliances” 73. Within the Australian community this sets boundaries that define “insiders and outsiders.” 74 Conflated with the narrative of ‘insiders and outsiders’ is that of population size and ‘carrying

| Sense of belonging 34 | 35

capacity’ or environmental issues. Southphommanse notes that in the public mind population increase, migration and multiculturalism are linked and a growing population is perceived as a “threat to the national lifestyle – a traditional Australian way.” 75 According to Jacobs a fear of being overrun by non-British, nonAnglo population is the grounds for this fear. The spectre of the size of the Australian population has been raised since the 1920’s.76 Debates of population size are legitimised as they are informed by experts. Jacobs argues that such debates are a “proxy for other more vexatious ideological conflicts that lie just below the surface..” 77


Moreton- Robinson, 2015,25


Brookes, 2017,48


ibid, 45-48


ibid, 45


ibid, 87


Sothphommasane, 2012, 130 -131


Jacobs, 2015


ibid, 2015,809

Narratives regarding ‘how do we belong’ are defined by policy responses. In the Australian context these policy responses have ranged from a racially pure ‘White Australia’ at the time of Federation; to an assimilationist framework post World War II to a ‘multicultural’ and ‘culturally diverse’ nation in 2017. In an assimilationist framework migrants move permanently to the host country and cut off the links with their country/place of origin. Learning the language and cultural practices of the host country, along with transferring ones’ allegiance and adopting a new national identity. are seen as the means to adapt. A belief in the “controllability of ethnic difference” 78 and a resistance to any change in the cultural identity of the nation is the subtext of an assimilationist framework. Multiculturalism is based on recognition of “rights cultural maintenance and community formation, and linking these to social equality and protection from discrimination.” 79 Thrust into the public arena in the wake of human rights frameworks, multiculturalism was conceived as a framework to replace assimilationist approaches towards immigrants in western societies and managing ethnic

diversity. 80 Socially, politically and legally the “multicultural promise was unequivocally about a promotion of empowerment, justice and respect for all irrespective of cultural or religious backgrounds.” 81 While Multiculturalism is a recognition of social and cultural changes brought about by migration, the underlying principle is one of “belonging to one society and a loyalty to just one nation-state.”


Castles, 2002, 1155


ibid 1156


Mansouri, Fethi, 2015,6


Castles, 2002, 1157


ibid, 1157

Literature review

Jan Pakulski on the other hand argues that Australian multiculturalism rooted in a “British – liberal philosophy stresses tolerant accommodation of differences, openness and concerns with individual and group freedoms.” 79 While granting equal rights and opportunities, this framework calls for obligations, responsibilities, reciprocity and respect from all sides. Limits placed on the practice of multiculturalism stem from an overriding commitment to the rule of law; basic structures and principles of Australian society such as equality, freedom of speech and equality of the sexes. The idea that multiculturalism is a discourse of discrimination of “ethno-minorities” a “left-libertarian” criticism. 80 The success of Australia’s multiculturalism has been based on the acceptance of immigration as a “nation building project,”81 Australian identity is defined by terms that include immigrants and is based on “common identity” not an identity defined by ethnicity or race. This “compact of citizenship” is based on a commitment to “liberal democratic values, to parliamentary democracy, to the rule of law, to equality of the sexes, to freedom of speech.” As a settler society the journey of settlement for an immigrant is towards citizenship. Mares notes

| Sense of belonging 36 | 37

that while this may not guarantee immediate cultural acceptance and equality in everyday practice, it provides a solid foundation from which to “claim a place, express identity, assert rights and make your voice heard” 82 While citizenship is an institutional arrangement conferring legal rights, it is in the everyday occupation of public space that this right is played out who can belong and who can occupy become the “struggle over space, place and belonging” 83 This belonging is legitimated by narratives about “place and identity” that naturalises people’s relationships with territory in “politically significant ways”.84 Hopkins points to the role of national anthems in extolling place is one to national identity and imagination:

“our land abounds with natures gifts.. .”


Paluski, 2011




Soutphommasane, 2016


Mares, 2016, 49


Hopkins, 2006, 178


ibid, 7

Simonsen 85 argues that national belonging is constructed through a process of boundary drawing or ways for “them to become us”. 86 Policies or the “formal mode” of boundary drawing have a lesser impact on immigrant perceptions of inclusion, rather it is through subtle boundaries experienced in “everyday life” that belonging or non-belonging is experienced. This argument can be extended to note that the everyday experiences are in turn coloured by the ‘formal mode of boundary drawing’. A current example being the Multicultural Policy aptly titled ‘United Strong Successful”. 87 This policy shifts the understanding of multiculturalism from culture and ethnicity to national values of “freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and equality of opportunity - a fair go” with national security foregrounded as an issue of concern along with terrorism, extremism, security and freedom. In a document that celebrates the diversity of the community, this document wittingly/ unwittingly connects the dots between security, diversity and national values.

services for refugees and note the development of civic belonging a way to “claim their legitimacy.”89 Yet the desire to belong in an “emotionally and culturally meaningful way” is “blocked” by experiences of difference, of exclusion by the mainstream population. The authors note the need to “focus on ways of encouraging a sense of belonging within the wider community.” 90 While the process of settlement is one of learning English; gaining employment; and buying a house, a sense of belonging is attained through meaningful participation and integration in the larger community. The process of “being part of the social fabric”, an “active part of the receiving community.” 91 plays a major role towards engendering a sense of belonging.


Baaker-Simonsen, 1166, 2016


ibid, 1166 Australian Government, 2017,3

87 88

Fozdar and Hartley, “Civic and ethno

belonging among recent refugees to Australia”, 2014

So what does this mean for a sense of belonging? Fozdar and Hartley88 acknowledge the role of well provided government funded settlement


ibid, 139


ibid, 140


ibid, 90

| Sense of belonging 38 | 39

A lack of means of participation in the wider society has an impact on the sense of belonging. 92 and social cohesion as noted in the 2017 Social Cohesion Survey 93 . Areas of high immigration concentrations noted “lower levels of trust and sense of safety, lower levels of political participation and involvement in voluntary work, and heightened experience of discrimination”. 94 Gilroy notes that “multicultural society seems to have been abandoned at birth” 95 the culprits being “institutional indifference and political resentment”. Gilroy moots the idea of conviviality as a response to the question “what sorts of insight

in Australia.” Calling for a “makeover to multiculturalism” 99 (173) that considers the changing nature of immigration the world over, Collins (2013) proposes a cosmopolitan multiculturalism, towards creating a “globally oriented identity and belonging that permits more hybrid and fluid notions of national identity”. 100 Such a shift moves the understanding of multiculturalism from presupposing groups as being “discrete cultural groups” to groups engaged in a process of ongoing transformation and towards belonging.

and reflection might actually help increasingly differential societies and anxious individuals to cope successfully with the challenges involved in dwelling comfortably in proximity to the unfamiliar without becoming fearful and hostile.” 96 This process of “cohabitation and interaction” 97 takes up from where from where multiculturalism breaks down. Collins argues that current “static, stereotyped and essentialised notions of ethnicty” 98 embedded in multicultural policy is not in sync with the “fluidity and global connectedness, alliances and identities of contemporary immigrant communities


Wille, 2011


Marcus, Mapping Social Cohesion the

Scanlon Foundation Survey,2017 94

Markus 2017,19


Gilroy, 2005,1


ibid, pxv


ibid, v


Collins, 2013, 178




Collins 174

While multicultural policies from the 1970’s to 1990’s focussed on the benefits of “migrant communities retaining their cultural heritage” the most recent policy 101 , aptly named United Strong Successful is couched in terms of shared values of “freedom, democracy, the rule of law and equality of opportunity – a “fair go””. In noting “a harmonious, egalitarian, enterprising nation, embracing diversity” in a time of “growing global tensions” this policy lays down a ‘checklist’ of belonging in the form of shared values, alluding to a latent fear of terrorism on the global scene The current Multicultural Policy document points to a few positions not taken hitherto. Firstly it attempts to tie the two ends of the population spectrum “we are as old as our first Australians... And we are as young as the baby in the arms of her migrant mother..” 102 Secondly it includes people of Irish Scottish and English descent in the migration story, thereby moving away from being British as the ‘natural position’. In acknowledging the contribution of migrants, this policy notes the role of a number of programs and policies: English classes, Access and Equity policies, pathways for citizenship, multicultural media, Harmony Day celebrations etc. that allow for “social integration for migrants and their

families”. According to this document “feeling connected to their new home and being part of Australian society creates a sense of worth and belonging.” 103 In a somewhat contradictory note Williamson warns that in the Australian context the legal pathways to citizenship are clear, and there is an assumption that “formal citizenship” leads to “substantive citizenship”, (268) which may not always be so.


Australian Government 2017


ibid, 3


ibid 4


Williamson, 2015, 268

Literature review

Summary: Sense of belonging is shaped by: • narratives of who can belong: brought forth from global and national narratives of religion , race and ethnicity • narratives of how one can belong in the form of policy : - Assimilation - Multiculturalism - Cultural diversity - Citizenship These narratives impact belonging and participation in society.

| Sense of belonging 40 | 41

2.1.4 A sense of belonging has a spatial dimension Soja reminds us that ‘we are just as much spatial as temporal beings”105 (p16) and invites us to take a critical spatial perspective to develop an understanding of the powerful forces that arise from socially produced spaces such as urban agglomerations.” 106 Such a perspective, rooted in the everyday, is relevant to understanding the “contemporary condition” of “inclusion/exclusion, citizenship, democracy, poverty, racism, economic growth and environmental policy.” 107 Global theorists have emphasised that in a world characterised by movements of goods, services and people “social life cannot be seen as firmly located in particular places with clear boundaries.” 108 Yet it is through “strategies for everyday life” and the processes of negotiation, adaptation and change at the level of the city that migrants create “local citizenship” 109. This local rather than being a response to the global, is a place of “convenience” and “connections”. 110 affording “local belongings”. through “emplaced localised identity” 111 at the level of the city.

As a key force of transformation” in a contemporary in a globalised world, migration and settlement thus become crucial social and political issues, changing communities in complex ways. These issues play out at the level of the city as migrants predominantly settle in cities. Typically some neighbourhoods become marked by distinctive businesses, associations, social facilities, and places of worship. 112 Reasons such as employment, proximity to “compatriots” affordable rents, accessible migrant resource centres and community services often lend to a “clustering effect” 113 in the early years of settlement.


Soja, 2010, 16


ibid, 14


ibid, 14


Savage, Bagnall and Longhurst, 2005,1


Castles, Globalisation, Migration and

Community Formation Under Conditions of Community Formation, 2002, 1157 110

Savage, Bagnall and Longhurst, 2005,

207). 111

( p 184 Bonish and Brednich


Castles, Understanding Global Migration,

A Social Transformation Perspective, 2010, 1148 113

Flatau Paul et al, 2014

Literature review

These neighbourhoods provide a frame for “productive, reproductive, interpretive, performative” practices. 114 Within these contexts “local subjects” become citizens through enacting “routines, rituals, norms and habits of the everyday” 115 thereby “fixing immigrant identity”116 in particular neighbourhoods becomes a continuous process of negotiation with the host city. While these neighbourhoods may be seen through the prism of “culturification” and therefore containing economic benefits, there is a resistance from the powers that be towards “socio-spatial” 117 expressions of ethnicity. A number of studies note the importance of the neighbourhood in enabling belonging especially amongst young people. In a study of young people in two Australian cities, notes young people develop a strong sense of national belonging through working out everyday “mundane practices” in their local commmunities, 119 It is in neighbourhoods that young people feel the “right to be present” and learn “competencies for belonging” as no one group dominates. In places that have an iconic significace in the Australian imaginary like the beach some sections of the community are excluded. Diverse neighbourhoods

| Sense of belonging 42 | 43

are inclusive by their very diverse nature, whereas places like the central business district and the city centre which are supposedly seen as “unmarked spaces” of “unstructured encounters” were seen as “uncomfortable and unpredictable”by young people. 120 The “right to the city” is first exercised in the local neighbourhood and it is through the “scaling up of local literacies of belonging” ) and a sense of “entitled presence” that leads to the creation of a “new imagining” of Australian citizenship. 121 .


Appadurai, Production of Locality, 1996,

181 115

Harris, 2015 156


Banerjee, Chakraborty and Chan, 2016,

196 117

ibid, 196


Harris, 2015


ibid, 163


ibid, 165


ibid, 164

Engaging in activities of “production, reproduction and representation” local subjects move beyond the confines of the neighbourhood towards newer possibilities. 122 Jacobwicz et al also identify the importance of the “local” and the neighbourhood as a place where young people felt they “belonged and had ownership of their local neighbourhood.” 123 Jacobs in observing the life of streets and sidewalks; neighbourhood parks and neighbourhoods strongly argues in favour of these places as places for contact, building trust and safety 124 From her writings it can be surmised that public trust is the “sum of casual contact” 125 formed “over time from many many little public sidewalk contacts.” 125 such contacts provide people with the opportunity to meet with people different from oneself without the “paraphernalia of obligation.” 126 Noting that diverse uses attract diverse users Jacobs reminds us of the mutual relationship between the social and the physical environment. Mansouri on the other hand notes that belonging is entangled with “layers of intersecting barriers” 127 engendering varying scales and forms of belonging. For some young people networks formed through community links;

religious commitments; and community networks generated social connections and a sense of belonging. In making a call for grasping the multiple scales at which “urban diversity works”, Gifford and Sampson identify four kinds of “therapeutic landscapes” 128 of importance to new arrival refugee youth. Some of the most significant places identified in this study were “their own home, their school, local parks and libraries.”129 The appealing qualities of these spaces ranged from the opportunity they offered for learning, interaction and the possibilities of making connections; aesthetic qualities such as clean, green, comfortable and ‘tranquil’; and the opportunity to connect with nature i.e.. vegetation, grass, trees and flowers. 130


Appadurai, 185


Jacobwicz, 11


Jacob, 1961, 29-128


ibid, 56-58


ibid, 62


Mansouri, 2016,130


Gifford and Sampson


ibid, 121


ibid, 126

Literature review

Focussing on “local sites of everyday encounter” 131 in “mundane neighbourhood places” in three areas in Los Angeles county, Chan argues for a shift from the “festivals of masses, abstract cultural dialogues or vague notions of celebrating diversity” 132 In noting the places such as parks and libraries inhabited by diverse communities, Chan moots the idea of “other third places”, that are not “parochial or exclusive” 133. These places allow for “mingling and meeting”, and prompt “strangers to talk”. The author suggests the need for “capabilities” that can be built into urban spaces that make them conducive to “intercultural living”. These are “ice-breakers” and “bridge makers”. ‘Ice-breakers include: children and dogs; food and eating; visual experiences; and the unexpected and curious. 134 While ‘bridge-makers’ are: planning and design; and qualities of the place. Suggested qualities are: safe, organised programs, common activities, spaciousness, quiet, neutral and accessible. 135 These ‘third places’ are ‘neutral’ grounds; places for people to gather; to come and go as they like; and bring forth the possibilities of forming ‘informal’ and even ‘intimate’ relationships’.

| Sense of belonging 44 | 45

As ‘levellers’ such places are accessible to the general public with “criteria of membership and exclusion”136 and by extension to intersecting barriers some of which are race, gender, religion, class, ability, language. Three significant dimension of ‘third places’ are their accessibility when “people are released from their responsibilities elsewhere” 137 the “largely unplanned, unscheduled, unorganised and unstructured” activities and their “proximate location.”


Chan 2013, 250


ibid, 251


ibid, 271


ibid, 274 -278

135 ibid, 278-279 136

Orum, 42 -48


Orum, 48

Extending the idea of ‘third places’, and drawing on the work of Whyte162 Lynch163 Alexander 164 amongst others, Aelbrecht puts forward the idea of “fourth places” 165 or “informal social space closely related to third places in terms of social and behavioural characteristics”166 characterised by “in-betweeness” and “publicness” these places come into being by “leaving certain spaces undefined, empty or underprogrammed” so as to allow for a range of users and uses. These spaces allow for interactions and encounters that have the potential to evolve. Such places differ from “third places’ by 1) their primary activity - that of “people watching, walking waiting or killing time” 2)social and spatial familiarity determined by “novel and complex uses” determined by a “broad spectrum of strangers”; and 3) their spatial in-betweeness. Aelbrecht suggests four such ‘inbetween’ places that function as fourth places. These are: thresholds, paths, nodes and props. 167 In concluding Madinapour 168 reminds us of the need to focus on the processes that produce the built environment and the role of policy in shaping spatial belonging.

Amin notes that an audit of “civic ease in public space” might reveal “how the design and lay-out of mundane intermediaries such as sewage systems, traffic rules, public toilets, street furniture, spaces for dogs, children, cars and pushchairs, affect not only the social experience of space but also the civic remains of such experience.” 168


Whyte, 1980


Lynch, 1960


Alexander et al, 1977


Aelbrecht, 2016,126


ibid, 2016, 126


ibid, 130-140


Madinapour, 2011


Amin, 2008,19

Literature review

Williamson argues for the need to adopt more inclusive planning strategies. 166 In focussing on everyday “socio-materialities that shape belonging” 164 in Campsie suburban Sydney, the author notes the “ethnic branding” strategies of places and suburbs used by local governments. While they create a “sense of civic pride” they may lead to “forms of exclusion and essentialism”. Policies that flow on from larger national agendas of social cohesion and belonging are played out at the local level through the formation of “Multicultural Access Committees” made up of local groups and migrant service providers. In a call to urban designers and planners Williamson points to the need to “grasp the multiple scales at which urban diversity works”165 and identifies three spatialities to this end: “spatialities of recognition” or spaces that allow for “ambiguous presence” and the possibility of “micro-public” encounters; “spatialities of indifference” or spaces wherein the claim to being present is based on “unremarkable difference” i.e. places like the local park; and “spatialities of conviviality” or spaces where ‘thrown-togetherness’ necessitates a negotiated use. 166

| Sense of belonging 46 | 47

Wise and Velayutham in their ethnographic research in Sydney and Singapore, also note the role of “enabling and conditioning” factors that order the built environment” and “modulate interaction between residents..” 168 Wise and Noble note that while the idea of conviviality has become one of those “groovy things” (p423), in a “culturally complex, mobile and global world” (423) it encompasses “rubbing along and not happy togetherness” 170 (p425) The transition from the “unfamiliar to the familiar”, and places that provide a “sense of welcome”, are crucial towards developing a “sense of belonging.”


Williamson, 2015, 269


ibid, 274


ibid 277


ibid, 277-278


Wise and Velayutham, Conviviality

in everyday multicuturalism, Some brief comparisions between Singapore and Sydney, 2013 168

ibid, 141


Wise and Noble, Convivialities an

Orientation, 2016, 423-425

Considerations for design: • Building ‘capabilities’ into urban spaces that make them conducive to diversity through food, children, visual experience, and organised activities • Ensuring such places are ‘neutral’ • Accessible to the general public • Inclusive of the general public and • Inclusive planning and design policies and practice Conclusion: In concIuding the literature review it can be said that four entangled domains come together towards understanding a sense of belonging for migrant communities. These are: • Affective domain • Process domain • Narrative domain • Spatial domain. The following themes emerge from a reading of these domains: • A feeling of safety is an important aspect of a sense of belonging; • Physical, social, economic. cultural and psychological access play an important role in engendering a sense of belonging; • The capacity to make connections with other human beings with an underlying premise of reciprocity is a crucial aspect for a sense of belonging; • Policies play a vital role towards ensuring a sense of belonging; and

• A sense of belonging is multilayered as individuals can belong to many different things at the same time; and has a performative dimension • A sense of belonging is practiced in the public realm.

Literature review

| Sense of belonging 48 | 49

2. Mapping at the urban scale

“Cities are the product - the material and spatial expression - of their times�1

Mapping: urban scale

Introduction: In this section the Perth metropolitan region is read through the four domains identified in the literature review. Within each domain an attempt is made to locate how a sense of belonging is engendered or hindered. It is through a process of mapping that a presence is declared, and a place is called forth from a space. 2

| Sense of belonging 50 | 51

based on a land grant system”, 5 the growth of this colony was affected by a lack of funds, an infertile soil unconducive to agriculture and the ‘tryannny of distance’. Exploring “themes of place-making”, Whitbread notes that the establishment of the “town of Perth in 1829 was an imperial inscription in the landscape.”6 These “first gestures” in the laying down of Perth as a formal grid have “encoded all future design responses in the city.”

A context: Built on the on the lands owned by the Noongar people - the traditional owners and located on the Swan River the capital city of the state of Western Australia, Perth, was proclaimed the Swan River Colony, by a small gathering of newly arrived settlers and officials from England on the 18th of June 1829. Archeological evidence from Perth and Albany suggests that Noongars have occupied the South West of Westen Australia for the last 47,000 years.

Fig 8

1 Fig 9 Cosmopolitan Promises, Multicultural Realities 2006, Hall,

“‘first’ gestures”:




English settlement in Western Australia was largely a “response to enthusiastic marketing by Captain James Stirling, of opportunities for business and profits.” 4 Funded “exclusively for private settlement

Carter, 2010, pxxiv


Whitbread, 2010, 41


Department of Treasury and Finance 2006


ibid, 2


Whitbread, 2010, 41

Making place - the ‘other’ ‘

as the percurser to the Restricted Immigration Act of 1901, along

In 1849 there were approximately 4,645 Europeans in Western Australia an increase of only 2,545 from 1830. From 1829 - 30 immigration to Western Australia was mostly “retired service men on half pay, professional men and their families, artisans and servants”. 7 In an effort to boost the population of Western Australia a number of schemes were devised from 1829 - 68. These being: - ‘bride ships wherein single women arrvied on the shores of the state; - a scheme whereby 1499 male juvenile offenders from the Isle of Wight’s Parkhurst Prison, as young as 13 years of age were granted pardons as a condition of “permanent exiles” to fulfilll the need for labour; and - convicts and indentured labour from many parts of Asia. 8

with two decades of anti-Chinese sentiment around the Pacific rim within the Commonwealth. What made this piece of legislation different to Canadian, American and New Zealand legislation of a similar time was its essence of “preserving national unity by restricting Asian immigration 11 the cultural legacy of the White Australia is still powerful and persistent.

The beginning of the 1890’s gold rush and the decade that followed saw over a 100,000 men women and children came to Western Australia to seek their fortunes 9 (museum gold rush) bringing an era of prosperity to Perth. 10 This period also saw the migration of non-Europeans particularly Chinese migration to Australia. While the numbers were not overwhelming this was the period that can be seen


State Library of Western Australia n.d.


State Library of Western Australia, 2016


museum gold rush


City of Perth n.d


Fitzgerald, 2006, 2

Mapping: urban scale

| Sense of belonging 52 | 53

Greater Perth pop.:1,943858 persons Overseas born : 505,403.08 persons (26.5%)


= 1% = .50%

Fig 10 Overseas born population in Western Australia: 2016

Afghan, Pakistani and Turkish camel drivers and camel owners in the later half of the 19th century were critical in the opening up of the interior of Australia. The end of the second world war saw a mass migration of displaced peoples from Europe with assisted passage scheme for ex-service men from the Bristish Empire, the United States Netherlands, Norway, France, Belgium, and Denmark.13

In the following pages,Greater Perth Metropolitan Region is mapped according to the four domains as per the literature review. • Affective Domain • Process Domain • Narrative Domain • Spatial Domain

While displaced people from camps in Europe where also setteled in Australia. these included people from Malta, The Netherlands, Italy, West Germany, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Austria, Greece, Spain, Belgium. With the dismantling of the Whilte Australia Policy in the 1970’s and a migration policy based on merit there has been a slow shift in the ethnic, religious and cultural make up of the Australian population. These communities have made their ‘first gestures’ on the land by building places of worship, community halls, schools, planting gardens, growing fruit and vegetable, and celebrating festivals thereby making place for belonging. 13

home nd

Mapping: urban scale

| Sense of belonging 54 | 55

Affective domain: The following map is an incomplete attempt at presenting a rich history of making a space, of ‘feeling at home’. This map has been constructed by identifying places that are of importance to ethnic/ religious/cultural communities of non- British descent. A significant number of the places on the map are places of worship. The process of marking these places on the map reveals clusters of placemaking that co-relate to migration patterns. The co-relation between the growth of the city; period of migration of a community; and the availability and affordability of real estate to build these places of belonging can be noted. This pattern can also be read to indicate the manner in which places of belonging are constructed in suburbs or neighbourhoods where a significant number of people from a particular community settle, a signifier of ‘arrival’.

Mapping: urban scale

| Sense of belonging 56 | 57

Fig 11, Perth Metro Region, places of belonging

Process domain: The process of belonging takes the form of reconstructing/ re-making/ re-negotiating/ re-articulating identity; of forming connections at multiple scales and creating practices of ‘cultural belonging’. These displays of culture a reimagining of ethnic and cultural identity are invested with a ‘fixity’ that that dictates a prerequsite towards authentic cultural belonging.14 This map is a ‘list’ of practices that occur at the scale of the urban. The practices noted are in the form of festivals and cultural gatherings. While there are myriad festivals, cultural and religious gatherings at the urban scale, the map on the opposite page denotes celebration that occur in public spaces; are acesssible to the general public and do not charge an entry fee have been selected. Alongside the process of place making is that of community making of the formation of a formal community organisation that caters to the social, spiritual, cultural or recreational needs of a community. A total of hundred and five such organisations are listed on the Office of Multicultural Interests website.


Halstead, 2012

Mapping: urban scale

| Sense of belonging 58 | 59





Fig 12

Narrative domain As noted in the literature review policies as narratives are a particularly crucial domain in the shaping of a sense of belonging. As “textual forms” of “presenting and re-resenting the world or aspects of it” policies seek to ‘project a particular version of the reality, seeking to organise it in a certain manner” 15 and never ‘really innocent’. This sction is an overview of a few yet important ‘organising narratives’. Settlement Policy: At the national level the Department of Social Services is reponsible for the formulation and implementation of settlement policy. Acccording to the Department’s website 16 the role of the Department in this area is to work to

“ improve the lifetime wellbeing of migrants and refugees settling in Australia by responding to their specific needs, encouraging their independence and participation in the Australian community. We support a productive, harmonious and diverse society for all Australians.” The Department funds eligible service providers across the country to deliver settlement programs. These range from: • Humanitarian Settlement Program

providing early “practical support and to humanitarian entrants on their arrival in Australia” (dss) and assist them in building the “skills and knowledge they need to become self-reliant and active members of the Australian community.”. • Settlement Grants Program: the broad aim of which is to deliver services to “eligible clients to become self-reliant and participate equitably in Australian society, with a focus on fostering social participation, economic well-being, independence, personal well-being and community connectedness” 16 • Career Pathways Pilot for Humanitarian Entrants to help new humanitarian entrants to use their professional or trade skills and qualifications in Australia. • Youth Transition Support Services assist young humanitarian entrants and vulnerable migrants aged 15 to 25 years to participate in work and education. • Free Interpreting Service The Free Interpreting Service aims to provide equitable access to key services, that are not government funded, for people with limited or no English language skills. • Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) - English tuition to eligible migrants and humanitarian clients who do not have functional English. It should be noted however that while

Mapping: urban scale

there are a seemingly large suite of available programs there are larger factors at play that impede or assist settlement. Factors that impede settlement are: - language barriers; - worrying about family and friends; - being homesick; - lack of employment opportunities; and - financial problems. While factors that assist settlement are: - feeling safe - children are happy - have family in Australia; - feel welcome in the community; and - good living conditions.

15 16

Atkinson,2000, 213

policy/settlement-services last updated 23 Oct 2018

| Sense of belonging 60 | 61

State Planning Strategy 2050: The State Planning Strategy 2050 is the “highest order planning instrument in WA”17 . Providing a “credible state strategic content for the integration and coordination of land-use planning and development across state, regional and local jurisdiction”.18 Acording to this strategy the fundamental role of planning is that of “a collaborator, enabler, coordinator, facilitator, decision-maker and catalyst” 19This strategy notes the role of migration as a driver of change and the impact on “the resources and productive capacity of the state”. 20 The importance of a sense of belonging and identity in “creating social capital towards accepting diversity, safety and the ability to manage change” 21 is noted. The importance to people of the role of culture heritage and the arts towards contributing to a sense of belonging is also acknowledged. In noting places that foster a sense of belonging and identity this strategy suggests the following places “meeting places in the form of community gardens, public open spaces, physical recreation facilities, civic squares and designated outdoor recreational areas”. 22 As such this strategy reiterates the places identified through the literature review; interviews and mapping

process and the case studies. While acknowledging migration this strategy does not directly address the connection between a sense of belonging for culturally and inguistically diverse communities and the built environment.

17 18

19 20 21 22

Western Austraian Planning Commission, 2014 ibid, 6 ibid, 8 ibid, 12 ibid, 22 ibid, 96

Mapping: urban scale

Liveable Neighbourhoods:

Liveable Neighbourhoods 23 is the Western Australian Planning Commission’s primary operational policy for the design and asessment of regional, district and local structure plans and subdivisions in metropolitan Perth, Peel and major regional centres. A performance based policy that sets out high level objectives and design principles and requirements for strategic and operational issues, the idea of connectivity is an important theme in this document: • walkable neighbourhoods; • interconnnected movement networks that facilitate walking, cycling • a public transport system that is accessible; and • a hierarchy of activity centres. It is through these strategies that “a sense of community local identity and place” 24 is formed. Engagement with stakeholders is mooted, with the view that the process of engegement will lead to “liveable communities” 25 Liveable Neighbourhood aims to provide “educational, cultural and recreational opportunities capable f adapting over time as the needs of the community change” thereby providing a more integrated approach”. Integral at the local level: • “well distributed public open space networks”26;

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• site responsive local steets 27; and • housing diversity 28 While community needs, local needs and a hierarchy of needs are integral parts of this document, the underlying thread in this policy is a formulaic application of urban structures and forms with an assumption that logical planning will lead to a sense of community and local identity and by association a sense of belonging.

23 24 25 26 27 28

Western Australian Planning Commission, 2015 ibid, 11 ibid, 11 ibid, 19 ibid, 74 ibid, 64

Office of Multicultural Interests Western Australia The Office of Multicultural Interests is a division of the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries. This division advises the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests on developing policies and programs at the level of the state “to achieve the full potential of multiculturalism” 24 The office sees it’s role as working across the whole community “including business and industry groups, government and nongovernment agencies, culturally diverse communities and the wider community.”25 This office has a strong emphasis on civic citizenship. To this extent the office funds a number of community groups and organisations through: • Harmony Week activity funding; • community language program grants and community grants program; • coordinating across government networks; • developing directories of services available to and for culturally diverse commmunities; • a civics an citizenship program; and • resources on langage and translating services. Discover Multicultural Perth is a nod to the contribution of Western Australia’s many culturally and linguistically

diverse (CaLD) communities. Three trails have been mapped to “discover this abundant and diverse heritage.” 26

24 25 26 ibid Office of Multicultural Interests n.d.

Mapping: urban scale

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Spatial Dimension: Suburbs and settlement: The map on the facing page shows the second largest community by country of birth after Australian born. Castes notes that migration affects “both sending and receiving countries.” 27 In receiving countries especially in North America and Australia it is cities that large concentrations of migrant commmunities occur with some neighbourhoods becoming centres for settlement. These neighburhoods become the basis “for ethnic community formation and linguistic and cultural maintainence.” According to Forrest et al in the Australian context the emergence of ‘ethnic enclaves’ is a transitory phenomena. Refering to this processs as a “gentle form of assimilation,” 28 the authors note that migrant inorporation into the host community is dependent on a number of factors ranging from policy, the values and prejudices of the receiving society and the characteristics of the ethnic immigrant group”. Arguing that immigrants from a non-English speaking background face “initial -disadvantage”, the authors argue that this dissolves over time. In situations where communities are disadvantaged economically rather than socially factors such as “recency

of arrival” the national economic situation, and the capacity for the next generation to transition occupationally in the host community thereby creating access to the full range of housing market opportunities that otherwise determine spatial segregation.


Castles, 2002, 1148


Forrest at al 2006, 442

Mapping: urban scale

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British born China: Wilson, Crawley, Churchlands

India: Balga, Westminster, Nollamara, Tuart Hill, Bennett Springs, Dayton,Brabham Riverton, Caversaam Italy: Balcatta. Stirling

Malaysia: Carrawara, Bentley, Waterford, Winthorp, Bateman, Bullcreek, Canningvale, Willeton, Parkwood Myanmaar: Koondoola

New Zealand: Kiara, Midvale, Redcliffe

Fig 13

Phillipines: Spearwood, Bertram Town Centre, Midvale, Cloverdale Vietnam: Marangaroo, Girawheen, Mirrabooka, Alexander Heights, Noranda,

Soci-economic disadvantage: SEIFA or Socio-Econmic Indexes for Areas scores assist in understanding the relative level of social and economic well-being of a region.29 These indexes define relative socioeconomic disadvantage “in terms of people’s access to material and social resources and their abilty to participate in society�30


Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006


Mapping: urban scale

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Fig 14 Lower than average socio-

Higher than average socio-

economic index

economic index

3. Voices from the field

“In this country we need to go into the white place ..� (particiant #6)

Voices from the field

Methodology Carmona argues that urban design is a “mongrel discipline” drawing theories from many established and diverse “intellectual roots: sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science, economics, ecological, physical and health sciences, urban geography, and the arts; as well as from the ‘professional’ theories and practices of: architecture, landscape, planning, law, property, engineering and management.”1 The small size of the discipline means “urban design occupies key interstices between larger and longer established academic disciplines spanning the arts, sciences and social sciences.”2 An interdisciplinary project, this research sits in the ‘interstices’ of the social sciences and built environment disciplines. Drawing from social science methodologies and methods, the task of which is to “analyse the collective behaviour of human beings”3 and the links to “social structures and institutions” within specific historical contexts; and seeking to understand the ‘richly textured’ experiences of human beings and “reflections about those experiences”.4 Sitting within the purview of qualitative research methodology, this research

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aims to understand the world inhabited by the participants with “objectivity, ethical diligence and rigour”. 5 Research in urban design that crosses “traditional disciplinary boundaries allows for the discipline of urban design to “move beyond the particular views of the territory”6 wherein the physical form and the “socio-economic” potential of space are reconciled towards the production of new knowledge. While not all knowledge produced has practical significance, the “theoretical work will be most powerful if, perhaps overtime it also informs practice.” 7


Carmona, 2014,2




Castles 2017,3


Jackson, Drummond and Camara 2007


ibid 27


Carmona, 2014,4



The philosophical position this inquiry takes as an ethnography is “the study of social phenomena requires an understanding of the social worlds that people inhabit, worlds which people have already interpreted by the meanings they produce and reproduce as a necessary part of their shared activities.” 8 9 notes that as a research process “ethnography can be conducted across people, place and process as long as patterns of behaviour are central”. It is through the process of field work that the researcher learns the meanings that people use to “organise their behaviour and interpret their experience.” According to Givens “an ethnographer enters the field with an open mind, not an empty head” and is guided by the concept of “cultural interpretation.”10 The two most important concepts guiding ethnographers are: culture - includes “ the ideas, beliefs and knowledge that characterize a particular group of people.” 11; and cultural interpretation: the researcher’s ability to describe what he or she has heard and seen within the social group’s view of reality.”12 It is through appropriate methods that these meaning and meaning making practices are revealed.

Appadurai reminds us that in a deterritorialised world, the “ethno in ethnography takes on a slippery non-localised quality.” 13 Referring to these as “landscapes of group identity” as “ethnoscapes” or the landscapes of persons who make up the shifting world in which we live: tourists, immigrants, refugees, exiles, guest workers and other moving groups and person’s..”, 14 no longer can the complexity be captured by the “localising strategies of traditional ethnography alone”. Instead Appadurai proposes an ethnography that captures the “impact of deterritorialisation on the imaginative resources of lived experiences.” 15 The task of ethnography is to unravel the conundrum “what is the nature of locality, as a lived experience in a globalised deterritorialised world.”16. It is with this philosophical and methodological orientation that fieldwork was undertaken.


Bryne 2017


Salkind 2010


Givens, 2008, 10


ibid, 28w


ibid ,28


Appadurai, 1991,191


ibid, 191


ibid, 196



Voices from the field

Methods: The methods for this research have been chosen to reveal social and spatial phenomena from the standpoint of the community. For the purposes of this research three fieldwork methods defining ethnographic research are used: a) place mapping; b) semi-structured interviews; and c) non-participant observation ( see mapping at suburb scale). Limitations: Gender of participants: It should be noted that the researcher’s gender played a part in the recruitment process. Being female the researcher had far greater access to women’s groups and women than the men in the community. Failed methods: Prior to using mapping as a method, the researcher attempted engage the women in mapping their neighbourhoods through the use of models. Given the conceptual nature of the process, lack of familiarity with design tools and methods participants were unable to engage with the model. It was in response to this failed method that the activity map was developed.

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Recruiting participants: Snowballing technique was used to gather research subjects. This involved identifying an initial subject who then provided the names of others, thereby opening the possibilities “for an expanding web of contact and inquiry.” 17 This technique sits within a wider set of methodologies that “takes advantage of the social network of identified respondents” providing the researcher with “escalating contacts.” A strategy for accessing hard to reach populations, the value of this technique lies in research where “higher levels of trust are required to initiate contact.” 18 .


Atkinson and Flint 2011, 2-3


ibid, 2-3

Access to the experiences of “some of the more marginalised populations” (ibid) and an “entry to settings” that cannot be reached through conventional approaches is one of the major advantages of this technique. The two noted disadvantages of this technique are: ‘selection bias’; and ‘gatekeeper bias’. As a researcher depends on her contacts to make new contacts there is a possibility the process becomes self-selecting. To avoid the possibility of self selection and “gate-keeper bias”, contacts were sought through a few sources. The researcher made contact with service providers and community members in the Mirrabooka area to recruit participants and attended three women’s groups to explain the research project and the process for participation. Project Information Forms ( See Appendix) were handed out and explained. Consent Forms were provided to willing participants. ( See Appendix ). The recruitment of largely female participants is a reflection of access to possible participants dictated by the researcher’s gender and age. A process of staged recruitment was employed with women participating in the mapping exercise, conversation and later being invited to participate in longer interviews.

Place mapping: Two mapping sessions were facilitated at two separate venues in Mirrabooka. The mapping exercise had a two-fold purpose as a scoping exercise to recruit participants for the interview process and as a way of understanding spatio-temporal practices in the everyday . As noted earlier an open ended mapping process was unsuccessful and a more directive format was used allowing for flexibility should participants choose to write more than one word answers.

Voices from the field

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Participant Information - Mapping:

The Process:

Number of years in Australia: 6 mths - 7 yrs

24 women participated in the mapping process, conducted at two community centres. The participants were provided with an overview of the mapping exercise, an A3 map (see figxx), colouring pens and pencils. The researcher was assisted by the English teacher and two volunteers. The process of mapping took approximately an hour and a half with a half hour tea break. The maps were collected by the researcher and analysed.

All 24 participants resided in Mirrabooka or surrounding suburbs. Participants by age 21-

















Country of origin: Afghanistan
















Not known






A number of places were identified in the maps as everyday places of inhabitation along with the activities that occur at those places. The places that have emerged through this process have assisted in developing a typology of places, and were further drawn on as triggers for further exploration in the interviews.

INTRODUCTION: This mapping exercise is part of my research to understand how new migrant communities make home in Perth and especially in the suburb of Mirrabooka and the surrounding areas. Through mapping everyday activities I aim to gain an understanding of how to design urban places that create a sense of belonging for new migrants. PROCESS: STEP 1w Write your: NAME, GENDER, COUNTRY OF BIRTH, and NUMBER OF YEARS IN AUSTRALIA in ► ME

STEP 2 List the many activities that you do or are part of ... Some examples: My church, park, share food with my community members, shopping etc... List as many as you want to, especially those tat are important to you. Use this shape ►

STEP 3 List the places where you do these these activities .. Some examples: I walk in the park near my home, I eat with my friends at their house ... Use this shape ► WHERE

STEP 4 Write why you like the places where you do your actvities and what makes them special. Some examples: I like the park because it makes me calm... Use this shape ►

STEP 5 Write in what yoou do not like about some of the places and why. Use this shape ►


Fig 15

Fig 16

Centrelink 1 Cafe 2

Hairdresser self care 3 Mosque /temple/church 4 Other people’s homes 5 English classes 5 Health gym /pool 7 Community cente 17 School pick up 13 Local park 17 shopping 20 home duties 24

Places identified by participants n = 24

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Fig 17

Fig 18

Fig 19

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Voices from the field

Interviews: This research uses a theoretical or purposive sampling strategy. According to Emmel “a theoretical or purposive strategy develops and tests arguments through strategic sampling strategies chosen to get at what it is the researchers want to know about a universe that they will specify as the research progresses”. (Emmel 2013 p 45) The validity of the research lies in ‘retracing’ and ‘reconstructing’ the routes taken by the researcher. Ten interviews were conducted over a six month period. Of these 7 were female and 3 male. All ten participants lived in Mirrrabooka and adjacent suburbs. Participants were invited to a longer interview process at the completion of the maping exercise. Approximately twenty people were invited. Of these invitees three decided not participate, three women did not return messages and calls and four participants could not find an approriate time. Qualitative research is interested in the “detail and richness of the narrative” and the choice of participants to that end is for their lived experiences. Emmel (xxx) notes that there are “no guidelines, tests of adequacy, or power calculations available to establish sample size in qualitative research”, and the numbers game can become a distraction, with its

focus on ‘how many’ rather than ‘for what’. A total of thirty hours of conversations were taped and transcribed verbatim. Interviews were conducted at the following places: Local library - 5; participants home - 4; and place of work - 1. Participants by age 21-















Country of origin:









Sri Lanka








The transcribed interviewes were closely read through the four domains identified through the literature review (see page xx). Each particiant has been given a number and quoted as P with a number to protect pricacy. The following is a collation of the interviews. Affective domain: A sense of belonging is a feeling of ‘being at home’ of feeling safe. An interviewee said just knowing that she was coming to Australia was enough to feel safe “they ask me would you

like to come to Australia... yes I say yes I want to be safe my life.” (P 1) In recounting her first day in Perth she noted, “When I arrive in Australia my

first day... Because I am not worry too much because I my feeling my life already safe...this my first feeling... when my aeroplane already arrive in Perth I talk to my husband ohh safe .. Is this Australia...and feeling is happy.. I safe I don’t want to scared any more... government care about everything .. That is my first feeling” (P 1) This feeling of safety and a concomitant sense of being accepted enable this interviewee to inhabit her everyday with a confidence she recounts as, “when I see people

almost face to face I say Hi.. in my

country if we don’t know we go straight only .. here we don’t now we say Hi we smiling .. smiling face but it is relaxed .. I like because .. not too much but say Hi I also fresh .. my feeling and my mind is free” (P 1) This interviewee also recounted an incidents were these feelings of safety were threatened, “One day I am …

we go to the city near Myer that public holiday too much people .. public holiday right .. people dancing there singing there .. some children took bag and run away ,.. then I feel like it is not safe .. my husband is there with me so I am feeling safe .. when I saw like this so is really worry about because in Australia lot of password and card and if you lost to everything I don’t want like this, I worry that it is not safe .. lot of homeless people lots of drugs .. when you meet some people drug then take bag .. but this place is safe..” (P 1) While one interviewee recounted his experience with being burgled and the effects on feeling safe and accepted, “my house got broken into

my car broken into it is not the value of the stuff.. my shops broken into one of them .. somebody threatened my daughter with a big knife I had to close the shop until now I am in debt before I was secure I was happy …. they break the shop from the ceiling

Voices from the field

Fig 20

Fig 21

Fig 22

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they steal the thing which I can’t clam back the most important thig is not the value of the computer it is the information that I can’t get s .. I lost my money ..Lost the photos .. people break into my house … I lost my papers .. I got the ring from my grandfather .. not the value of the ring it is the emotional value .. it is not replaceable .. I got photos with my sister growing up .. the valuable stuff it can be replaced the emotional stuff ..” (P 4) The presence of family and friends in ones’ everyday was important towards creating a sense of belonging and a ‘feeling of being at home’.. “yes

feels like home .. because we have friends here we family, kids, husband my sister too she lives in Canada I talk to her. We have other cousins living in my house I have my cousin .. she came from Nairobi .. it is good .. my mother and father live in Kenya so I talk to them everyday .. I have kids too they born here we live together here” (P 9) and yet there was a sense of longing for ‘somewhere else’ as mentioned by the same participant:

“last time we went for three months and I spend time with family and sometimes when I sit down I think I miss home there is too much here to do there we just relax and sit down and talk to friends and chat..” (P 9)

The absence/breakdown of family connections and the lack of support had the opposite effect on a person’s sense of belonging “Unfortunately

from the first day at the airport there was no support there was no body waiting for us . Just imagine you arrive at a new country there is no body waiting for you at the airport.” ( p4) While recounting the breakdown in relations with the extended family this interviewee noted that the family has made new connections to replace the extended family “sometime I feel like

yes I belong because sometime I feel like I am working, I have good friends.” (p4). Yet this feeling of belonging is disturbed through exclusionary discourses, “…, if sometimes I want to

build up this feeling I belong I can see here one of these racist people on TV about foreigner about migrant about refugees that means ... it destroy everything” ( P 4)

they will tell you go back to your country you know.... and you know it is very disappointing”. (P 7)

Voices from the field

For others the experience of exclusionary discourses is more direct when questioned by the broader community. “I sort of feel like I belong

here, home is New Zealand .. I think of yeh .. I know people discourage you from that when they say go back to your country, even in New Zealand they will tell you go back to your country you know.... and you know it is very disappointing”.(P 7) Belonging and not-belonging hinged on physical appearance according to one of the women: “they don’t see us

that we are part of NZ or Australia .. the minute they see you they think you are African person and automatically they label you are not from here ..”. (P 7) For this particular women dealing with this non-acceptance was not easy as she grew up in New Zealand and saw herself as a New Zealander In an effort to shield their children from exclusionary discourses, one of the women had this to say “what I tell my girls … what we try to say to them yes

you were born here but you belong to originally where your parents came from….(P 7) She goes on to say while this may confuse the children,

“we say yes we understand you grew up here but still people you see they will say where are you from …”. (P 7)

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While this may seem like exclusionary, it is an attempt to inculcate a sense of pride in the second generation: “you

are originally from there you were born here and grew up here you are part of this society as well but you have to be proud of where your like root is.” (P 7) While for others this would never be ‘home, as ‘home’ was a place where one was born and had childhood friends, “for me it is different this is not

my home my home is Somalia I miss for big family … when you younger just playing a lot .. from here is new friend but when you younger you never forget the friend that is different …. and when you younger just friend or each other playing like class or school that is why I miss friends ..”. (P 8).

“what we try to say to them yes you were born here but you belong to originally where your parents came from..” (P7)

The ease of communicating with friends and family through technology was important in maintaining a sense of connection: “last time we went

to Kenya I met two of my friends in Kenya they married they have kids so I give their number everything I talk to them now .. I talk to them everyday Whats App Face to Face . I can talk to them, my mother, my friends.” (P 9). Support and connection with people from the broader Australian community had an impact on belonging and feeling at home, “I was so lucky my

sponsor was Red cross, they give me two ladies which we are friends till now .. like other migrants e never suffered may be I was home sick .. the migrant was less here from my community was three or four .. these two ladies they became like my homeland for me they are Australian but they did not give me a chance to be homesick they looked after me my children whatever I need I ask they took me I never struggled.. (P 10) Along with support and connection, learning from people within the broader Australian community was seen as a way of feeling like one belonged, while at the same time maintaining a connection to one’s culture “it is sort of we can be a part

of the community but we don’t have to loose our what we believe and our

culture and we have to take what is good and bad”. (P 10) These connections were vital in allowing these women to ‘make their way ‘into the ‘Australian culture’ and learn what this interviewee called “good things”. “Western country is

people are very respectful. It is not It is not the whole of Australia that is rude criminals and bad I say that is every community there is good and bad and there is racism and so we do face a lot of racism” (P 10)

“we can be a part of the community but we don’t have to loose our what we believe ..” (P10)

Voices from the field

Process domain: As noted in the literature review it is through the process of negotiating and re-articulating identities within the ethnic community and the wider community that a sense of belonging acquires a shape. It is in the ‘everydayness’ that migrants make space into place to create alternative discourses of belonging. The shape of this ‘everydayness’ is expressed in the form of connecting with and participating in mundane and not so mundane activities with one’s community and the wider community. The role of connections with members of ones’ community was highly regarded not only in the process of settlement but also in choice of the city of settlement as noted by this interviewee “I come to Perth. I

have one family friend they give me address and when we go to Australia embassy I give my friend address and so they send me here. Other place Melbourne, Sydney I don’t know anybody so I request them I have one family so they give me Perth”. ( P 1) These community connections play a critical role in learning the ‘everyday’, and are echoed by other interviewees:

“we have some friend here too when we come, 15- 20 people from one place we know each other... Some

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people come before us they come like five six years before us and we have their number and when we come we contact them.. for myself there was one of my friend she was coming before me … when she come here she say there is this study like day care if you want to go .. can go and learn English”. ( P 9) Interviewees mentioned a number of places where meeting people from their commmunty and other communities was possible. Some noted meeting people from their community and other communities at the local park, community centres, and shopping centres: “I meet new

people like picnic like swimming and come like meet.. like different like white people like Sudan Arabic ladies..” (P8). Another noted the shopping centre as being a place where one often met people from ones’ community: “we

come to shop we see another Somali we talk ..”(P9) An interviewee explained how she met her now close friend in the park “my

friend same friend she come first and then … and I know (her) him when go to park and I saw her I think ohh she is Karen then I said her hello and I ask her and talk and now we friends” (P2). This friend is now a vital source of information for the family.

Places of worship provide a vital connection with similar others: “We

know a lot of people from Mainland China and Taiwan here. We meet them in Language school Tzu Chi School.” (p 6) One of the interviewees talked

Burmese food so I gonna help like someday sometime old people their garden or cleaning out so I go and help... if house cleaning it is okay I can come... my favourite job because I don’t have child ..”

about how she tries to go to different church on the weekend to meet new people: “go to different church ...

different times sometimes morning Sunday evening Saturday ... there are lot of different country people there ... they ask me where are you from haven’t seen you before you are new yes ..intro yes I am new migrant I am from Burma like this... they invite people party or something like this .. I try to go there. I explain I am really not good English... so they explain slowly and they take care...My first time I met myself other people here I don’t any friends all strangers ( at the church) .. first time myself I make friends .. “ohh you seen here before”? in my first time or second time and I explain them once a month I go to Burmese Church and I come here .. And they polite and they intro everybody... and Father also ohh welcome” (P 1) An interviewee noted that it was through her church that she was introduced to the idea of ‘volunteering’, “I like in Australia one

thing this volunteer job... volunteer and help other homeless people... I help with the church. They help selling

“I go to different church ... different times sometimes morning Sunday evening Saturday ... there are lot of different country people there ... (P1)

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While connections with people from one’s community were vital, there was also a downside as noted by one interviewee, “I used to work as

support worker we meet the people we give them information we lead them everywhere but they try to listen to others their own people they don’t listen what you say they are going to listen to the others .. After they hit their face in the wall they say sorry..” (P 10). This interviewee recounted an interaction with a member of her community, “another lady I give advice

listen to teacher not your son your son he don’t want education he want to go ... if you want to fix your son listen to the teacher .. the boy he going to do for own benefit he destroy himself .. the uncle say pull from this school and send to other school they shift the child … they don’t fix the problem I say next time don’t call me because you take my time half an hour explain you the situation then you go to your uncle .. uncle never been to school what you expect from your uncle .. we have a problem the confidence in ourselves.” (P 10) While networks with members of ones’ community are vital in finding one’s place, they can also translate into a paucity or almost non-existence of connections with people unlike oneself. This is what

one interviewee had to say about her contact with local ‘Australian’ people; “I don’t have Australian

people friend only my case worker husband he is Australian people, I only know one man .and my teacher.” (P 1)

“I don’t have Australian people friend only my case worker husband he is Australian people, I only know one man .and my teacher.” (P 1)

Settlement policies and programs play an important role in social connections and finding ones’ way into the everydayness of a new place and shaping belonging. This interviewee came to Perth in the early 1990’s and had a very different settlement experience with a strong involvement from ‘local people’: “I

was so lucky my sponsor was Red Cross .. they give me two ladies which we are friends till now .. like other migrants we never suffered.. maybe I was home sick .. the migrant was less here from my community was three or four .. these two ladies they became like my homeland for me they are Australian but they did not give me a chance to be homesick they looked after me my children whatever I need I ask they took me I never struggled.. they teach me these two ladies how to stand in my own feet .. to have independence . how to look after my children properly let the children to study in good quality school myself I need to study English” (10). These early social connections with people from the local ‘Australian’ community have shaped her ability to negotiate her space and create alternative belonging discourses: “I know..

I came to this country I will face something too. But there is a benefit too. The benefit of my children going to study, of settling, this is we are

going to consider our homeland too.. We live in here. We need to deal with this.” (P 10)

“this is we are

going to consider our homeland too.. We live in here. We need to deal with this.” (P 10)

Voices from the field

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A recent arrival had this to say about her settlement process: “ they have

some interviewees learnt ‘Australian’ culture: “I ask her sometimes the

the housing agent so they help me find the house and bond also they help me and they settle TV washing machine everything kitchen everything they help me .. all complete for me..” (P1). This interviewee and

culture for example... and body language... they teaching in the class Australian culture sometime we ask how much you have salary that is very rude and how old are you .. They say how old are you is not to ask if they tell me is you listening. If they divorce husband and wife don’t ask question too much... and I say ohh why... and the teacher say if you not happy at home sometimes some problem don’t show at school you must be show your face must be smiling... because my teacher explain WHY .. If I am not happy at school if I am not happy at home why I must show smiling... she explain me you must show smiling so other people happy ..Like that they teach me... they give experience for me... very different culture...(P 1)

her husband stayed at a supported accommodation for nine days, and were then into a private rental market with help through a real estate agent contracted through the settlement program, as the demand on supported accommodation was higher than the supply. (FOOTNOTE SGP). “When our case worker give

me the one house my friend house and the house is very near already close by, because we arrive one week and we find new house but they say other people they come in too much so if you want to move you find a house so my agent find house ..” (P1). English language classes were an important source for connecting with ‘dissimilar others’. Of the ten participants four had attended or were attending English classes. These places were a critical part of forming connections; reconstructing identity within an ethnic community and the wider community; and finding ones way through everyday practices. It was through these programs that

“they teaching in the class Australian culture sometime we ask how much you have salary that is very rude” (P1)

For another, it was through English classes that she met people from her country of origin and even got the opportunity to learn the national language: “I meet the people from my

country, when I study English class I got one of my friends they come from another country and they speak the national language. First I can’t speak it but one of my friend she come from another country and she teach me ... I speak only a little bit. The driving and English language and friends we make the new friends and culture you know”. ( P2). Yet her ambivalence with the language comes through when she talks of the kind of work she would like; “I like

cleaning job .. No I didn’t get the job but if I find job it is easy for me I can do it because we don’t need to learn any more English” ( P2) For those who have not had the opportunity to attend English classes because of their migration status, their capacity to interact with dissimilar others is limited: “not too much little

when you go shop you understand.. when you make a shopping you, you go like office .. it is not too much but understand if you say someone talking .. So I am learning like different.. I am learning just my language and Arabic (in her country of origin) it is not English” (P8).

“we cannot communication with the people and lost more information from the society” (p 6).

Voices from the field

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Two interviewees noted that they depended on their adult children and their religious group information as they were not confident about their ability to speak English. They had a few friends that they met as part of their temple and sometimes spoke to their neighbour. When asked if they felt like they were ‘missing out’ this couple noted: “Yes because

something too. But there is a benefit too, the benefit of my children going to study, of settling. This is we are going to consider our homeland too we live in here. We need to deal with this.”

we cannot communication with the people and lost more information from the society” (p 6).

problems anyway..” (P4).

This interviewee also mentioned that in the three years that were here in Perth, this was the first time they had ever had a conversation in English with someone outside of their family. Their main form of communicating with friends and colleagues in their home country was through internet aided programs. Neighbours are an important source of connection and support as noted by this interviewee; “We stuck one

Indian lady and you know neighbours we go somewhere we go together. She look after my children I look after her children. My children and her children they play together in the park when they go together when they go the park white kids don’t play”, with an awareness of her difference and the impact of that difference: “I know

I now I came to this country I will face

(P 10) While another interviewee noted the lack of support from extended family and friends as, “they got their own

The role of the school as a place for providing information is also recognised in settlement policies and the mothers were provided with an eight week course on arrival: “we have

A meeting just only Karen women the teacher from Centrelink they come talk, and how to grow up our children .. one day every week for eight week when we first come .. for the healthy.” (P 2).

An interviewee noted that school was also a place where they met mothers from other communities while waiting to pick their children after school:

“many (mothers) some Karen some people come from Afghanistan .. they wear a scarf ..”, . When asked if they met ‘Australian’ mothers, this interviewee said: “No just only people

come from Afghanistan India .. … Yes we wait our kids we talk about how are you how is your children”. (P 2) While re-negotiating ones’ place in the larger community is an ongoing process for many migrants. For some the process is rather painful, As one interviewee noted: “I came over here I

and difficulty trying to find job because my qualification was not recognised .. I had to go back to technical college to study welding and the welding teacher told me to stop wasting my time because I was more superior to him.. but we became good friends eventually and I got a job as I came but it was second class welder and I was doing only dong chipping of other people’s faults welding .. anyway I put up . I went to TAFE I got my welding ticket with my background I was fitter welder boilermaker in my country I started getting these jobs and I started getting good jobs anyway … “I came in for a depression because I was home doing nothing ..also my family situation was not very good

so I did chefing .. went to technical college and did chefing .. see all these structures and features that I have made I was a fitter a tiler a carpenter everything .. all these patios I built .. and all this work here is my art background . I was an artist a singer and dancer when I was younger.” For this interviewee making connections with the local church and using the skills he had have been a way of creating a sense of belonging:

“I take my tools and show them how to fix the pews and bit of rockery and how to trim roses .”. (P 3) It is through his role as the volunteer ‘go to’ maintenance person for the local church that this interviewee has found a way to belong to the community.

“Yes we wait our kids we

talk about how are you how is your children”. (P 2)

Voices from the field

For others the process allowed for new freedoms to break with expectations and norms of their community. “in our culture is we

wearing different clothes and we see different clothes. We see the people wearing the sexy clothes like that (points out to her shorts) now we wear like that. (Laughs) sexy clothes for me.. we wear sarong and scarf on top the shirt ..” (in her culture) ( P 2). If we go shopping or anywhere the people look at you “sexy” or “not sexy” no body care .. you can go anywhere you can wear .. feel free when we in the camp you wear different the people they loooook (her version) and they talk about you .. different.. Here no body talk about you nobody care you .. Good .. because the people don’t care you they don’t talk about anything. When I see the other people they wear the makeup they look beautiful if we love we copy them .. yes we copy.. we come and buy new clothes we just bring only our culture clothes .. we wear our culture clothes just only church on Sunday.” (P 2) While some noted that it is a balancing act, one of keeping ones culture and religion, respecting the culture and religion of others and finding spaces in between to belong: “the community

is like this very attached and I can like understand because you know even you are a girl going in a different

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direction .. because they think that if they go can mix with other cultures they are gonna loose their identity and loose their religion and their culture and all that but it depends on the person and on the parents on how you train them and equip them to face the world because I always tell my girls that you gonna face different people different faiths.. you don’t have to impose your belief on others as long as they are gonna respect your belief and you have to respect them .. I want to challenge that that you can’t do physical activity because you are a girl and in Islam it is not true (meaning that in Islam it is allowed).. Meaning that you can do in good manner you can do I always tell my girls that you can play soccer and everything you can enjoy life being modest and covered so you don’t have to isolate yourself from the rest of the world.” (P 7)

“so you don’t have to isolate yourself from the rest of the world.” (P 7)

For others it is a challenge to their personal relationships, “And the men

Learning to inhabit the city is a critical part of the process of settlement:

it is the same. to be honest .. I work hard go home my expectation is ..first of all I expect the house smell of nice food .. because from outside you can smell .. secondly she is already looking nice she is getting herself ready what else do you want you feel like this is (his eyes light up) the happiness that is what we really need you have no reason to fight no reason to have problem .. but the moment we arrive here it is totally different . you work hard you come back home .. there is no food at home .. why you can go and buy from there okay back home it is easy to buy may be just next door deli ..” (P 4). This challenge extended to relationships with children and the role of the state in what is considered ‘family affairs’: “Nobody will care my kids more than me no body care the interest of my kids more than me .. for little child I know the police number .. that child is not making stories they are told at school .. you don’t listen your parents .. I am free I can do whatever I like to do . maybe they can take him they can take him away putting with somebody else . they pay more money to somebody else to look after my kids .. when a kid leave home just imagine he is not staying in an ideal world .. some people who can take care of him”. ( P 4)

“First thing I want to know how to transfer (travel) and my suburb this good or not good... because this unit right not separate house so I worry everything. Because this unit is good or not good safe or not safe... and the price also not too much expensive for us per week $ 245 so we can handle we can manage or money..”(P 1).

“I learnt everything... I learnt shopping example how to transport..”(P1)

Voices from the field

Learning to shop to use and work the transport system was an important part of reconnecting an ‘everyday’ in action: “I learnt everything... I

learnt shopping example how to transport... Burmese shop and Coles and Coventry and I look catalogue promotion discount... I know .. …. I know about my grocery I want to cheap one so I learn everything”, when she requires assistance “I ask my friend my teacher my class mate my case worker or my community . If don’t now I call them and ask them can you help me and if I am not really understand I ask my teacher... and my friend and sometimes I ask my neighbour..” (P 1). While another noted: “in the holiday

I take my kids to the Fremantle we go by bus and train and we just go to the park and my children just to playing and we buy some food for them .. Chips sometimes fried rice..” (p2). This interviewee also spoke about other places they visit often as a family: “we go John Forrest .. we drive

there we walk there we go there my family and we bring some food we go there we eat together we look we go to the river to Swan River .. Kings Park .. we walk on the Bridge they like the bridge ..we bring some food we walk walk and then we eat at the park .. Bbq in the park when we live in camp we never have bbq it is different from

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here .. we take some meat and juice and fruit .. “ (P 2) Yet this process of inhabiting may not feel safe for everyone. One of the interviewees noted her being visibly different made her and her children, especially the younger girls a target. While recounting incidents

of being made to feel unwelcome she said “it is not safe because we have Islamicphobia now .. I don’t walk unless I have someone with me .” (P 7)

“I don’t walk unless I have someone with me .” (P 7)

The role of social media in inciting fear was noted “social media as well you

will see lot of people being targeted especially this month and they put a “punish a Muslim” for the 3rd of April. Yeh (through) facebook and three people died .. this Somali girl she got acid thrown at her .. 3rd of April (2018).. and they get rewarded. Even the imam at the mosque he said you have to be careful because they putting bad statement “Punish a Muslim” it is very sad and even this morning my mum was talking to this lady and she said some people that she knows or her family knows died got stabbed .. No this has not happened in Perth..”(P 7) Creating new spaces of and for participation are yet another facet of shaping belongingness. This interviewee was talked about how she was trying to get young girls in the community involved in a youth development program with focus on sport, as young girls in her community missed out on participating in mainstream sports due to religious restrictions: “the

program aims at young girls age of 10 to 17 .. we started doing as a holiday program so the girls can learn about their language cultural dance history and sport and in our culture especially Islamic the girls they are forgotten by the community .. so my aim is to have

that girls can do sport and they can enjoy it and being part of Australian society.” (P 7)

“my aim is to have that girls can do sport and they can enjoy it and being part of Australian society.” (P 7)

Voices from the field

Having grown up in New Zealand she was well aware of the lack of opportunities for young girls and women from a Muslim background and was keen on ensuring that her daughters did not miss out. Recounting a recent incident of a school camp she had this to say:

“ but still the parents will say you know.. she is girl she can’t do this .. for example camping is a huge thing .. I was pregnant with him ( her little boy).. the parents when I called them and told them about the camp they were like are you going .. like the children are going to get rape and lost and killed and all that .. because we sort of not educated .. even we and my husband we are totally different when we are parenting .. I told him he is older that his dad because he has that mentality that cant do this .. I say girls so they can enjoy life our religion does not limit you have to follow principles and as long as they follow and they not disobeying God they can enjoy life ..” (P 7) Currently this interviewee’s children participate in Girl Guides and play sport.

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Narrative: A sense of belonging is shaped by narratives of who can belong and how one belongs. These narratives are further entangled with historical and contemporary events at the global, national and local scale. Interviewees recounted personal experiences that were a direct response to their being visibly different. These responses can be seen in the light of who can belong and ‘what is an Australian’ : “The

good things in the Western country is people are very respectful. It is not the whole of Australia that is rude criminals and bad I say that is every community there is good and bad and there is racism and so we do face a lot of racism”. (P 7) This interviewee spoke about her experiences growing up as a visibly different child “ when I went to school

we were like sort of the new migrants to New Zealand I used to get bullied they would pull my scarf or call out why you wearing the curtain.. they would call out names why do have to wear the long thing .. because you have no hair can I see your hair .. we faced that ..”(P 7). Schools as places where narratives of difference are performed was further illustrated by the following comment, “

“then we deal with the school and you know how the school is not easy for the migrant some bullying some time .. even my children they were told tell your mum to have a good shower because your skin is too brown . and then the child come to me mum I am brown could you make me a little whiter.”(P 10) Recounting a recent experience at a local shopping centre this interviewee had this to say, “a couple of months

ago was in the shops and a little girl said Hi to me and I said Hi to her and I think it was her grandmother I don’t think it was her mother she goes “DON’T SPEAK TO HER” I was shocked I was like that is your ignorance it is just what you heard may be you should learn about it and come and talk to me after that .. she is like “NO YOU ARE BLOODY BARBARIC” .. it because people they hear it through media and that .”(P 7)

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In another incident , again at a shopping centre, “I was doing

shopping there and I had my sister and my kids in the car and a young boy he is like my sons age he called me hey terrorist. Even my children heard it because I was putting the shopping in the car .. I just shook my head what can you say it is very sad..”

.. because the house we need some answers because he told us come tomorrow bring the bond money and we give you the key .. so we say what happened .. she say ahh the owner he want the house back and the house it is still on the market ..” (P 7)

It is incidents such as these in the public domain that are a reminder of ones’ difference and acceptance or lack of it and shape a sense of belonging. These reminders of difference and belonging find their way into people’s private lives as recounted by the following incident “we found the

house but they say again they want the house back .. the say they want the house back .. I don’t why it is happened out of the blue I don’t know.. may be no idea we were getting ready they take like the bond also but the owner say we want this house back so .. we don’t know we think they are ‘white’ from the name .. we didn’t ask the owner because we were rent from the agency this morning my friend came she saw l the clothes she say where are you going I say we were going to another house but they say no. Two days I was so angry I stay at home I didn’t do anything .. So I called them but no body answer my call. Send email

“.. even my children they were told tell your mum to have a good shower because your skin is too brown ..” (P10)

This interviewee noted that accepting that one was different and finding a way to fit in led to a sense of belonging, “we have to deal with

this we are African these are white people we are coloured we are African. I never teach my children the discrimination at all .. you know the children they are like tree. You teach them bad things they are growing like that. My children we say we are human they are human. We are brown they are white . They are from different culture we are from different culture. But we came here we need to fit in.” ((p10). While noting narratives of difference this interviewee also spoke about the positives of being in Australia “why not Australia is

good country. If you another country Europe Australia is 100% very good. We are lucky to be in Australia. We need to say the reality. I went to other countries we are lucky so lucky. So we need to work in this country and so this country our country.” (P 10) The following captures a migrant sense of belonging the ‘here and there’ ‘in-betweeness’ of a sense of belonging, “The heavy part of me

is in Australia.. but the question is do Australian people think we are Australian .. we say we are Australian, we pay taxes we work, we participate in work. For a white people they

sometimes because you want to do good things in this country too why not .. I am doing the right thing in this country....P10)

Voices from the field

say Australian. But for me they say Eritrean or Muslim. The kids who are born in here they work. They graduate they got Masters. They work in go company but still they don’t consider them Australian… We are Australian we live here. We have children here. Even though the children they finish their education. They work here. Still they don’t consider them Australian. Even though the kids they don’t consider them Australian. Still they are going to say African or Middle East or Arab like this .. Sometimes we can make this point this place not your place .. sometimes because you want to do good things in this country too why not .. I am doing the right thing in this country why I don’t feel the same like them maybe sometime I am better than them I work I am earning .. my children study work paying a lot of tax they have good money why not .. we participate in everything .. maybe sometime I feel better than them ..” (P 10) For this interviewee the impact of narratives of difference was indirect. While not having to deal with comments, he noted his being different led to him being discriminated against when seeking work “A lot of time they, the bosses

when went for the interview they told me we don’t need so many qualifications I suppose they would

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have to look over their shoulders I could see a lot of blunders and they knew .. they did not want me to step into their shoes .. I went from one job to another” (P 3) The impact of larger narratives on a sense of belonging is best illustrated by the following: “Sometime I feel like

yes I belong because sometime I feel like I am working I have good friends sometimes we have some places if sometimes I want to build up this feeling I belong I can see here one of these racist people on TV about Lebanese about foreigner about migrant about refugees that means .. it destroy everything . “ (P 4)

Spatial: A sense of belonging has a spatial dimension. It is in the everyday an “actual material setting, an actual local and particular place in the world” (Smith 97) expressed through a social organisation and material form that a sense of belonging acquires shape. This everyday takes the form of a choice of a home ; a neighbourhood; the nature of relationships with neighbours; frequenting parks and open spaces, shopping centres and ethnic food stores; and temples and churches. Interviewees recounted how they came to stay in a particular place. For one it was her husband’s employment, “because my husband

job this side .. he drive bus they shift him to Morley Mirrabooka .. Mirrabooka to Warwick come this side .. this is a good neighbourhood there is no theft there is no broken house nothing like .. we can leave the house door open” (P 9). At the time of the interviewee this interviewee was in the process of looking for new rental accommodation to suit her growing family, “I like that

side better because the houses ohh beautiful houses there rooms are much bigger that this side much bigger than Balga and Mirrabooka like

420 pw same price but the rooms are much bigger…” (P 9). Another interviewee noted that while she did not choose the suburb, the size of her current house suits her large family and is conveniently located, “I did not choose the suburb,

the house we were living in was very small for all of us and I was looking for a house I didn’t like the path (walkway adjacent to the house) my daughter and I we came to check we came and saw nah old and my husband say I am never going to look for another house we are searching or a long time the other house was very crowded four of them lived together .. so my husband said if you don’t like the house we are done (looking) .. so I said okay I don’t care sort of and I like it now and he is now shall we find another house because this is very old it is leaking we get a lot of water charge and all that and the owner’s son- in- law he come to fix the place .. and it’s back and forth but I like the area and the house it is big. It is vey safe quiet .. the shops, it is not far the mosque it is not far the madrasa is not far the school takes me like 10 minutes 15 min.” (P7)

Voices from the field

While affordability dictated this interviewee’s choice of housing and suburb, this story is an interesting example of the manner n which communities tend to congregate in particular places. “They show me

one in Merriwa far away .. Balga was scary place so many flats Homeswest accommodation drinking and drugs in 1996 .. the lady said look there is another house big house 50% for the Housing Commission and 50% for us because Housing Commission start to change the accommodation in Balga .. the house was so damaged this Housing Commission House .. Aborigines used to live there .. was a big problem special our house was a big problem for the neighbours .. all the neighbours six all Australians but this accommodation was a big problem I need to borrow money.. no no we are going to fix it for you we are going to give it to you .. my children cry mum Balga is not a good place our friends say and we are so lucky the flats knocked down .. and they start to sell the land the area and our street all owners .. our community start to buy accommodation .. when we move and say everything is fine for us Follow .. we are followers .. our people if you go to hell they go with you .. come come come .. they came to see our house because I was worried form the crime I make secure the house from the outside inside

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screen doors everything people see my house our community start to buy the house over there .. 7 or 8 people buying the house over the there .. it is safe .. one day people broke into my car because he don’t have a car park garage .. maybe one day they broke my car but we never see again .. and we knew all the neighbours now .. and we knock down the house and we build a new house .. the children start to work so they help us”. (P 10) .

“.. this is a good neighbourhood there is no theft there is no broken house nothing like .. we can leave the house door open” (P 9).

Relationships with neighbours were noted as being important. These were often the first time some of the interviewees had interacted with people from cultures and religions different to themselves. Interviewees mentioned how they made the effort to introduce themselves to get to know the neighbours. “ I remember

when I moved to a new place and I introduced myself and I meet .. I am a new migrant and that .. so what .. I said I invite you for a barbeque .. my lecturer taught us something that really until now I really admire him you now .. some people attended the barbeque .. our Lebanese food .. when I invited somebody I never expected anybody to bring anything with them .. when I invited you it means I got everything at home .. I don’t expect you to bring anything …unless it is a gift not food like you bring a plate .. if I invite you to my place to share food why you bring a plate .. you know that story that people bring an empty plate because they think there are not enough plates ….” (P 4). Children played an important role in fostering relationships with neighbours. This interviewee spoke about the friendship her daughter has with the daughter of a neighbour,

“our neighbours is Indian we live here seven years their daughter

she is seven years like mine they play she bring her gift everyday gift when she go school .. “S” I have this chocolate for you I have this lolly for you everyday she bring, and my daughter whatever she got I have this 2$ for you .. I have this paper for you. Now every day they play dress ups’ . We have a lot of friends even our neighbours some Italian ones last year they went to Italy they bring us some pots and pans stuff gift” (P 9).

“when I moved to new place and I introduced myself and I meet .. I am a new migrant and that .. so what .. I said I invite you for a barbeque ..” (P 4)

Voices from the field

Noting these relationships have led to ongoing social contacts and sometimes special celebrations she explained “if they have like party we

go their house, we have birthday we give like some gift maybe my daughter .. we don’t celebrate but they come they bring for her gift we have some small cake and coffee and tea and drink for kids only us and our neighbours we have some tea together .. we don’t celebrate but if someone wish happy birthday for you we say thankyou even for us we go to them.” (P 9) While another talked about children being instrumental in creating relationships in the neighbourhood

“.. the children innocent when my children play outside these children they come to play I say to my children play together .. the mum start to come to our house .. we start to drink coffee together... we stay in Yokine two years .. where she go somewhere she leave her children with me .. I look after them .. I show her this is my food I give my children sandwich.. We start to exchange she took my children to school when I am sick.. I take the children to school we exchange ..The other lady she see us she start to come ..For Christmas she gave present to us. My kids took the present from her slowly slowly she started to come she don’t have kids her husband old and senior ...

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the kids start to help her she dig the garden they help the kids were 7 1/2 and 5 ..” (P 10)

“these children they come to play I say to my children play together .. the mum start to come to our house .. we start to drink coffee together.”(P 9)

While relationships with neighbours were often positive and contributed towards a sense of belonging, one interviewee noted that it was different from “ back home”. He had this to say “if you live in Mirrabooka

you they pull you to share ..” (P 4) Not having found relationships of this nature this interviewee noted he was ambivalent about his sense of belonging.

you know every single person in Mirrabooka by name by profession where they live even the extended family of that person .. where I live it is better .. I live close to the mosque.. most of the people around the area as well we meet we see the same people .. we see them in the shops so we know them .. okay sometime I cross the road where I live now I know the neighbour Hi Hi.. some time they got drunk they start swearing for no reason .. they are moody and you know no manners and all sort of things”. (P 4). That the

Parks and open spaces were talked about in the interviews as places that were frequently visited, “every

situation was different ‘back home’ was explained as follows: “... as said

the relationships from neighbours from brothers back home you go to work .. we finish we eat something for instance you come home you eat something .. worst scenario you go out to a restaurant you can visit inlaws sisters or brothers or whatever .. and you sleep you relax happy life find that real support you go somebody house you .. first of all they offer you what you like to drink tea coffee juice whatever are you hungry we have to share food whatever .. they put pressure to have they push

Sunday I am going because the every other day is very busy I have children, school I go home. I looking after homework. Sunday is the my off day because my husband is off day because no working my husband because then I go Balga Park” ( P8)

“green grass is good for eyes good for health” (P 8), while another noted “feeling happy we go there for fresh air”. ( P 2)

Voices from the field

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Another mentioned that she and her friends walked in the park a few time a week, “not everyday but two three

bring some food we walk walk and then we eat at the park.” (P 2).

days a week I have to have like you know sort of like .. like two or three of us and mainly in the afternoon like after school or in the weekend we will go like five.. we will go walking and talk to each other ..”( P 7).

Health benefits of park and open spaces were noted, “green grass is

Parks and open spaces were places where one enacted newly learnt ways of being Australian. When asked “what else did you learn that is new” the answer was “ BBQ in the park

when we live in camp we never have BBQ it is different from here .. (we take) Some meat and juice and fruit .” ( P 2). This interviewee also ventured to other suburbs in the city,

“yes in the holiday I take my kids to the Fremantle we go by bus and train and we just go to the park and my children just to playing and we buy some food for them .. Chips sometimes fried rice. We go to John Forrest.. we drive there we walk there we go there my family and we bring some food we go there we eat together .. we go with my friends or sometimes we go only family.. I like going only family if we go only family we don’t need to wait other people we go and we come back ..Just my husband we look we go to the river to Swan River .. Kings Park .. we walk on the Bridge they like the bridge ..we

good for eyes good for health” (P 8), while another noted “feeling happy we go there for fresh air”. ( P 2) Walking playing ball, children riding bikes, sitting in parks and watching children play was also mentioned in the interview process.

“near my house only five house or six house one small park but almost sometime we go and sit there I like that chair .. what their shape is like if you sit like this all relax muscles” (P1)

This interviewee mentioned the restorative qualities of the park near her house, “near my house only five

house or six house one small park but almost sometime we go and sit there I like that chair so same up chair .. what their shape is like if you sit like this all relax muscles .. can you try can you try .. the small park under the tree this one chair the chair shape is like this .. if your sit here all muscle is relax ..” (P1) Parks with good amenities were preferred to parks without, “we have

one park but there is not much to play with kids .. I don’t know the name but it is next to Mango Street not a good park ” (p9). When asked what is a ‘good park” , the response was “ like green grass they don’t have green grass, they have nothing for the kids to play,..they have only swing .. we take them ball sometimes..” (p 9) Reiterating this view one interviewee mentioned that they made an effort to travel to parks that had good amenities, “(this park) is very big and

good for children .. yes sometimes we go close by .. but this favourite Park, It is better because it is very wide and big and have a playground . many people go there..” (P 2). Introduced to parks and picnics through her English class, this

interviewee talked about her class outings “in our class they take to bush

or park or beach a Honeyman House (??) and zoo we go with our class and teacher... We cook food... we go all together.. (p 1). This interviewee now visits parks and open spaces with her husband not only to recreate but as a way of knowing history andculture,

“ I go Kings Park with my husband not take him because same class... and if we don’t know the way we ask information centre... then ask I want to go there can you show me please and the address bus and how many bus stop and how many minute and sometimes I find in google map .. Because I want to go there I want to find out how. I feel very confident for myself I feel I can do it... I go and find the memories place and I go and read and I took the picture because I want to know about Australian public or what happened really I want to know .. Because I study... sometime I share my friend and my teacher sometime we write letter for the test and I want answer and I want to know know everything .. The memory is my husband favourite so we want to learn reading listening..” (P1). While reflecting on her recent experience in the park this interviewee also recounted an incident that took place in a park that made her feel unsafe “last year we were there and

Voices from the field

still my children have that memory and wat happened was there was this lady she was sitting there and she had a big dog and I was taking two of my children to the toilet and she goes go get them the dog ran and me and the children just ran into the toilet locked ourselves in the toilet. I called the police. We said we are locked in the toilet and then a man saw her the police did not turn up I think for them it was not an emergency sort of s they send the rangers .. while we were locked in the toilet she went to my friend nose to nose she started calling her all the names and the children are there and they didn’t fight or say anything to her … she was in the wrong but then we will be in the wrong and the children are watching to this day my son an my daughter cannot stand dogs they will run if they see a dog .. really you face those kind of this very confronting you don’t feel safe .. yeh and I don’t think it is everyone it is just those ignorant that don have enough knowledge are not accepting .. good and bad in society .. you don’t have to put up with it ..” (P7). Larger public parks were mentioned as places where religious festivals are celebrated “Eid in Kings Park ..

we do prayers there every year all Muslim .. non-Muslim they all come here .. not Botanic Garden the other

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side near Charlie Gardiner .. the other side they have like big park and café.. some people hey bring bbqs some sandwiches we go every year full of kids full of people all community Iranian Pakistani Asian white people even non-Muslim they come to .. you can buy .. they sell food also do some coffee and tea you can bring your own or buy from them just own .. sausage meat pie chappati salad too” (P 8,9)

“I go and find the memories place and I go and read and I took the picture because I want to know about Australian public or what happened really I want to know” (P 1)

While the role of religious organisations in forming social connections has been noted (pgs.56,57), they are important places of social gathering, “every

Sunday we go to church and my husband he teach the Sunday school to the children..”. This is the place where young people from the community meet every Monday and the community celebrates festivals and important days, “we have

December we celebrate first Sunday in November and first Sunday in December we have food like that .. we have a concert singing we have a competition youth competition of songs.” (P 2). Approximately 300 people attend this church. The use of church premises by people of other faith groups was also noted, “We had an old people’s club

there and we got another club who comes there on Tuesday and they do meditation and they are Buddhist and Hindus and they come from different countries … They look at the back of the church they open the hall and thy look at the trees in the distance and they meditate with them...They open the church to look outside at the garden .some of them sit on the corridor of the church and they look out and they things like that..” (P 3) Other spaces in the neighbourhood that are well frequented are the local

shopping centre community centre and library. Local shopping centres are frequented because they are affordable “I usually go to Mirrabooka

shopping I buy food for my children fruit for my children. They bring to school and I just like only xxx (store’s name) shopping,cheaper Bread milk anything is cheaper there” (p2) . While another noted that she frequented the local shopping centre as “I seem to

belong there because to seems like to be a safe environment like I will see a Somali person and chat with them you won’t see anybody like looking at you like strange way ... like if I go to Joondalup it is different .. sometimes I go yeh it is totally different like you see people staring at you where is she from Karrinyup is worse ..yeh I do because I like the shopping at xxx (store name) for Eid .. for Eid you will go everywhere to find the clothing so they will look at you like they have never seen a person with like a long hijab Mirrabooka is like part of the community like safe environment ..” (P 7) Ethnic food stores also play an important role in shaping a sense of belonging. Here people meet other people like themselves, shop familiar foods, learn how to substitute ingredients and the very trip to the shops becomes a way of negotiating and knowing the city. ”My friend

Voices from the field

showed me the Burmese shop .. second week or third week .. when I first come to here nearly eight or seven day she show me “sister this Burmese shop” . I happy ohh Burmese shop I like to go .. Some ingredient is very different so I buy and cook all the time . when I move here I try to walk there how far about 45 minutes one way . We go slowly and relax only one bus from my house and too long ..Burmese shop is between Mirrabooka and my house .. 67 or 68 ( bus route) the bus only one hour or 45 minutes I don’t to take too long so I walk faster .” (P 1). The shopping centre was this interviewee’s favourite place to meet people, “ almost at the shopping or at

home that is my culture .. at Coventry .. we talk and look and we discuss grocery and I show what price is good what price is cheap .. ( New arrivals???) no old people or new arrivals same .. we share information .. some friends they don’t know brand is better because the taste is very different .. I show them .. almost we meet at home ..” ( P 1) Places that were not in the neighbourhood were also mentioned. These included the beach and places like the Elizabeth Quay. Having had the opportunity to learn the city through her relationship with

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her two sponsors who were ‘local’, this interviewee feels comfortable inhabiting many places in the city,

“I don’t like Mirrabooka shopping Centre I don’t know.. in the city I like St. Georges place I don’t know .. I like a high street I like walking from end to end.. sometimes I have work in hospital then I have another work in (the children’s hospital) then I like to walk ..”. When asked what her favourite place in the city was she replied “coffee I go to you know the

Fremantle shopping centre now is the Coles I go there and sometimes near the train station . I go with my husband sometimes the two ladies come with me .. sometimes I go to Cottesloe to the Shopping Centre to go to Myers ..I go just near Mosman Park ..I walk Balga little bit but just the mosque only” ( P 10) .

“then people can sit and listen to each other like a park a place like a gazebo you can sit down and talk and you know..” (P 4)

For this interviewee places that she visited with friends included the beach and temples; “sometimes we go

together picnic quite far you know where bush or where ever.. I don’t know where one hour we drive .. you now the Thailand Temple .. very far. Very peaceful place .. we go to the beach . but we scared shark .. on the beach . I play with my friends kids .. we go to the baby swim place .. Hillary’s and City Beach is two times. One time with my English class with my teacher and one time with Burmese people. Just walk not swimming..” (P 1). Recounting her experience at the beach, “fresh air and relax that time

not too much people windy we just walk and happy and we say hello hi to “Australian people” and they say hi they are drinking .. they are different we are different we walk just half an hour not stay too long because it is windy ..Because they already drunk too much so I don’t want to too much talk because my husband also never drink ..i am scared for if they drunk I don’t want problem ..”. (P 1). Interviewees were asked if there was a need for public places where they could meet and mingle with other members of their community and the wider community. The following is a response, “an appropriate meeting

place well you know there is so many public places like park you know tavern you know it is not appropriate for our people okay there is some but for the majority this is not appropriate place to meet and there are some other places as well ..”. (P 4) Amenities such as playgrounds for children, fenced off areas, toilets, barbeques and gazebos were mentioned as being important. It was mentioned that only one park in the Mirrabooka area has any of these amenities. The size of that park did not make it useable for large community gatherings. “In Mirrabooka

this is missing the barbeque area . If we go to Floribunda we can’t fit 11 cars 20 cars so it is very small, for one family two families okay but in Mirrabooka I haven’t seen any place with barbeque facilities. Only in Herb Graham Centre and we have to pay money every time we use the centre.” (p 4). This interviewee also brought up the need for other places where people can informally meet others in their community, you meet in a place where you can share a cup of tea, play card for instance play chess, ladies can talk together you build up a good relationship .”OPEN OPEN .. you

know for everybody. This built up and strengthen the relationship between neighbours in the same street and even across the other street as well and that is how you build.. and when

Voices from the field

you have a meeting place .. today and tomorrow you can see more people coming and it is good to have .. the only thing I said the barbeque area .. we see other communities they are getting together in the park for the barbeque and sport activity it is there. A drop in place for instance like a place .. like in Herb Graham Rec centre .. could be free hall .. pool table tennis table .. The weather and then people can sit and listen to each other like a park a place like a gazebo you can sit down and talk and you know..� (P 4)

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“could be free hall .. pool table tennis table .. The weather and then people can sit and listen to each other like a park a place like a gazebo you can sit down and talk and you know..� (P 4)

Conclusion: A feeling of being safe has consistently been noted by interviewees as having a crucial impact on belonging. . Connections with family; people from one’s ethnic religious and cultural community; neighbours; and significant people like community workers and English teachers are considered vital in learning how to make one’s way into the Australian community. It is through these connections in people’s everyday that a sense of belonging acquires a shape while a breakdown in these connections has a detrimental effect on a sense of belonging. Some interviewees noted that despite all the connections they make, there would always be a longing for a ‘place somewhere else’. Part of the process of belonging is renegotiating one’s identity in a new place. This can be a painful process for some; while for others it brings new freedoms to break with community norms; and for some it challenges their beliefs and values and in turn impacts personal relationships. Being accepted by others in the community especially the larger Australian community is also important in feeling like one belongs and impacts not only the interviewees’ psychological state it also plays a

significant role in the manner in which public spaces are inhabited. Larger exclusionary discourses of religion, race and ethnicity disturb a sense of belonging within the larger Australian community and lead to communities creating counter discourses of belonging. While some discourses are psychological as in reminding the younger generation of their roots and culture; other discourses may be in the form of creating new spaces in the public realm as in places for young girls to play sport. Connections with similar others are made in small places where people congregate for a purpose like the ‘school pick up’; English classes and community centres; neighbourhoods; local parks, places of worship and shopping centres. While these places are vital, it should be noted that some of these places may inhibit connections with people unlike oneself. Places like the school-pick up , while not a defined public space is nevertheless a meeting place for parents, especially mothers. For the interviewees this is where they meet other mothers from a range of ethnic, religious and cultural communities. While these interactions are casual they play an important role in the exchange of information.

Voices from the field

English classes and community centres have been identified as a place where connections with dissimilar others is possible. The lack of English language skills is a cyclical bind as it plays an important role in ones’ ability to make connections beyond the’ ethnic, religious or cultural group and in turn inhibits the ability to learn or practice language skills. Neighbourhoods are important places in making connections and creating a sense of home and thus belonging. While affordability dictates the choice of a neighbourhood, it is in these neighbourhoods that interviewees’ note they made connections, supported and sought support from dissimilar others for the very first time. The role of children as catalysts is important. Initiating relationships with other children from the neighbourhood, children bring other children home and the family follows leading to friendships. Neighbourhoods also become places where particular communities congregate as they come to see some places as being more conducive to who they are then other suburbs. Parks and open spaces play an important role as places where people meet people like themselves and as places where people can practice ways of being ‘Australian’. Parks are places for recreation,

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relaxation, watching people and meeting friends and people in general. . These are also places where children play with other children creating connections, and relationships. Parks with amenities are preferred to parks without and interviewees note the lack of amenities in parks in their suburb. Community celebrations and gatherings take place in the larger parks and open spaces in other parts of the city. . Places of worship play an important role as gathering and meeting places. This is where people meet for regular prayer; community celebrations and learning religious practices especially for young people. While they paly an important role in the life of a community and are places of belonging, such places are not conducive to meeting people dissimilar to oneself. Other spaces in the neighbourhood that are well frequented are the local shopping centre, community centre and library. Other than being affordable these centres are places where interviewees meet other people from their communities, shop at ‘ethnic food stores’. , Learning to inhabit the city is a critical part of the process of settlement. It is through learning

to shop, use the public transport system, These places include parks like Kings Park, regional parks, the beach, public places in the city like Elizabeth Quay and Hillarys Boat Harbour. A need for amenities was identified. Amenities such as playgrounds for children, fenced off areas, toilets, barbeques and gazebos were mentioned as being important. It was mentioned that only one park in the Mirrabooka area has any of these amenities. The size of that park did not make it useable for large community gatherings. Other places were suggested were places and spaces where people can meet informally and develop connections and relationships with neighbours, play chess, share a cup of tea. In concluding the interviews and mapping process while reiterating the information from the literature, the mapping process, provide many insights on the inhabitation of public space in the lives of the participants. Understanding public space as a “cluster concept”, “ownership, accessibility and intersubjectivity (whether it fosters communication and interaction)”; 1 the use aspect; and the performatiive potential of the places require consideration in designing places that engender a sense of belonging.


Carmona, 2014,171

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4. Case studies

Thorncliffe Park - Toronto Kolenkitbuurt - Amsterdam

Superkillin : Norrebro - Copenhagen

Fig 23

Case studies

Introduction: Three case studies have been chosen for this research. • Superkilin - Norrebo • Cascoland - Kolenkitbuurt • Thorncliffe - Toronto Common themes running across these case studies making them paticularly pertinent to this inquiry are: 1) All three projects have been facilitated and built in areas with notable migrant populations in developed Western countries. 2) The locations of these interventions are in places with: - high levels of rental accomodation; - low use of public and open space by residents; and - family incomes and education lower than the national average.

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Thorncliffe Park - Toronto: Location: Eastern Toronto Year Built 1960’S Designer: UNKNOWN Site area: 2.2 Sq km Public open space: R.W. Burgess Park 110 sq mtrs No.of Dwellings: 7,225 Private dwellings Fig 24

Fig 25

Typical section

Case studies

Location and description of the area: Located in the eastern part of Toronto, Thorncliffe is a geographically distinct and culturally diverse neighbourhood developed in the 1960’s as Toronto’s first high rise communities, Occupying an area of 2.2 sq km., this neighbourhood comprises thirty four high rise apartment blocks housing over thirty thousand residents. With a population density of 6,787 persons per km.2 in comparison to Greater Toronto’s 849 persons per km.2. 1,2 This “self-contained multicultural community”3 includes a shopping centre. As a “landing mat” 4 for immigrants, this community is a concentration of South Asian, Filipino, Latin American, Arab, Chinese and Hungarian immigrants. These immigrant communities make up 68% of the population of Thorncliffe while immigrant communities are 48.61% of the total population in the Greater Toronto Area. Thorncliffe Park is also characterised by a high level of rented accommodation - 91%, low income; families on incomes lower than the city average; and a higher that average population of children under the age of 14 years.

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Barriers of culture, language and high levels of isolation are some of the major issues facing individuals and families in this area. Engaging the community: A group of residents , mainly mothers came together to form the Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee to: increase community participation; create space for networking for women; and increase civic engagement. 5 The objectives of the Committee were to: • transform public space into a place that builds and enriches the community and the neighbourhood; • engage newcomers to Canada with their new community; and • encourage newcomers to take responsibility for their public spaces and strengthen their commitment to their neighbourhood.


population/#Immigrants_in_Toronto 2

Neighbourhood%20Profiles/pdf/2016/pdf1/ cpa55.pdf 3

City of Toronto n.d.


Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee


Ryerson University, Cities of Migration, n.d.

Engagement strategies: The project commenced in the northern summer of 2008 on Friday’s with invitations to children from the apartment blocks. Artists, magic shows, science shows, storytelling were some of the activities initiated in the park in the centre of the neighbourhood. Staff from the City of Toronto were invited to participate. After the show/session the children took part in cleaning up the park to engender a sense of ownership and thereby a sense of belonging. It was through making connections with the children that other activities were initiated. 4

the residents. Here too engaging residents; making a place for sharing stories; and thereby building community were critical underlying processes. Nature walks were initiated in partnership with naturalists and conservationists in the Ravines of the Don River. Building a community tandoor was yet another tactic particular to this project. This item carries a special meaning for South Asian communities and was the very first of its kind in Canada. These community partnerships and programs have led to a refurbished public space.

Programming and tactics:


The arts in the park was the first program to get of the ground in this community. The next program of Community markets was initiated to get the women out of their homes and into the park. These markets were an opportunity for the women to operate their businesses in the park to: expand their client base; build language skills; and operate in a place they were comfortable in. These markets started out with five vendors, and currently has hundred and fifty women participating. A community garden was initiated with twenty four garden plots for

• Community engagement and building trust is a crucial part of the success of these interventions. • The projects progressed from small interventions to larger organised programs; • Engagement with government organisation, non government organisations, artists and other interested business is a crucial aspect of success; and • Programming or ensuring that ‘someone does something to keep it going like the Thorncliffe Women’s Committee is an integral part of these community driven initiatives.

Case studies

Fig 26, Night markets

Fig 27, Community celebration

Fig 28 Children’s Park

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Kolenkitbuurt: Amsterdam Location: Western Amsterdam Year Built: 1950’S Designer: UNKNOWN Site area: 2.2 Sq km Public open space:10,060.89 sqmtrs. No.of Dwellings: 7,000, predominantly through the social housing setor

Fig 29

Fig 30: Kolenkitbuurt

Fig 31

Typical sections

Case studies

Location and description of the area: Kolenkitbuurt a neighbourhood in Western Amsterdam - Netherland was built after the second world war as part of a major urban expansion. Based on ‘Garden City’ principles, this development is characterised by a “repetitive pattern of monotonous four storey tenement blocks”. 5 . Approximately ninety five percent of these tenements are occupied by about 7000 people predominantly through the social housing sector. .Most of the occupants are immigrants with large families. The name Kolenkit meaning a coal scuttle, was given to this neighbourhood by its residents as it was built around a coal pit. In the year 2004 this neighbourhood was “proclaimed the least popular neighbourhood of Amsterdam”6 Having fallen into disrepair this neighbourhood had a number of social issues such as “high unemployment rates, poverty, youth crime and a relatively high rate of school drop outs.”7 A 2003 urban renewal program saw the demolishing of over a thousand homes and buildings with an attempt to build larger homes and diversify the housing stock. In the year 2007, neighbourhood livability and social security became

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a political agenda , and over forty neighbourhoods in Amsterdam were targeted to ‘prevent ghettoization and improve the physical, social and economic situation.” 8 Of these Kolenkit was listed as the “worst neighbourhood” 9. Engaging the commmunity Neighbourhood liveabillity programs were to be carried out by “coalitions of partners such as housing associations and muncipalities.” 9 Community art group/organiser Cascoland was the successful bidder for the Kolenkitbuurt project, an example of a partnerships between residents and community organisations to achieve positive outcomes. .

5 Kee and Miazzo eds,2014, 27 6 ibid, 27 7 ibid 27 8 ibid, 27 9,ibid,28

Engagement Strategies: - Research Phase: From August 2010 to March 2011, Cascoland initiated weekly activities in the neighbourhood to develop an understanding of “what services or activities were lacking in the area.” 10 One of the first activities in the research phase was an open neighbbourhood dinner to exchange ideas. - Intervention Phase: Ideas gathered in the research phase were translated into small interventions with the following outcomes: sense of participation; responsibility; and empowerment. Programming and tactics Examples of interventions: • Henhouses: The need for a meeting place had been expressed by the residents. An adjoining fenced off one acre plot was the site of such an intervention with activities organised around the perimeter of the fence so as to “interact positively with the fenced off environment.”11 • Mobile henhouses designed as a response to community requests soon became meeting/gathering place for the community with children from the community assisting with the tasks of cleaning, feeding and maintaining these henhouses.

•Creating a picnic area with barbeques where residents could cook together and share a meal were also part of the “social asset” of the community. A guesthouse that could be booked by members of the community for overnight guests, a very community specific response was also a very succesful intervention. • Since 2010, over twenty such interventions have been implemented leading to an empowered community. Learnings: - Bottom up projects allow for ‘risks’ as the interventions can be small and temporary. Driven by commmunity the interventions sit comfortably outside the ambit of bureaucratic decision making without contravening the law. - Temporary interventions allow for trial and error and the development of community -specific gestures. - The role of “mediator with a high social and geographical embedent in the neighbourhood is important.” 12

10, Kee and Miazzo eds,2014,29 11ibid, 30 12 ibid, 33

Case studies

Fig 32, Chicken coops

Fig 33, Community gardens

Fig 34, Picnic space

Section showing relationship of picnic space to apartment bolcks. Author’s redention. Not to scale

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Superkilin - Copenhagen Location: Norrebro - North-Cenrtal area of Copenhagen Year Built: 1950’S Designers: Topotek 1+ BIG Architects + Superflex Neighbourhood area:2.2 Site area: 4273.46 sq km .

Fig 35

Fig 36

Section showing relationship of park to surrounding urban form

Case studies

Location and description of the area: Superkilen or “super-wedge “ in Danish is a narrow one kilometer park occupying an area between housing built in the 1980’s in the north-central area of N­orrebro-Copenhagen. The suburb of Norrebro occupies an area of 4.10km2 is considered one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged area in Copenhagen. 13 The site occuped by the current park was a derelict green space known as the “shooting gallery” due to the number of violent incidents and deaths associated with drugs. Having been on the ‘ghetto list” of the city of Copenhagen this park was an attempt to address the social challenges of the site. While “parks alone cannot solve social problems” 14 they can “bring simple pleasures to what was once no-man’s land”. 15 Stretching 750 mtrs through the Norrebor neighbourhood, this park is a nod to the diversity of the residents of the neighbourhood. Engaging the community: The designers for ths revitalization project were chosen through a competetion where entrants were asked to “address the immense challenges of the site” . The

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design team conducted what they called “extreme participation” 16 to locate objects reprsentative of the cultures and countries of origin of the neighbrhood rsidents. These objects included benches, bins, trees, playgrounds, manhole covers and signage. The nominated objects were either produced as a 1:1 scale copy or purchased and transported to the Superkilen. One of the design partners also travelled with five different groups to their countries of origin to source appropriate objects.17150 objects from over 60 countries are installed in the Park representing “the pleasure of cultural memory, things once lost and now found”18.



Bridger, 2013




image 17 superkilen


Bridger, 2013

Programming and tactics:


The Superkilen can be thought of as one giant exhibition made up of three interconnected yet seemingly separate zones: Redsquare; Black Market; and Green Park. The Red Square: is an extension of the internal life of the Norrebrohall with physical activities and games. This area is covered by a giant red carpet.

• Projects like Superkilen provide a new ways for designers to work with the public. • “By engaging the local population and acknowledging the true complexity of urban environments in design, we can get beyond aesthetic questions and beyond even questions of use and program” 19 • Superkilen responds to the the broader cultual and social mileau in which it is situated; • This project sets up a mediative space between the user groups in the neighbourhood and the larger urban context, wherein objects considered ‘ethnic’ occupy the public realm creating new spaces of ‘who beongs’ and ‘what can belong’.

The Black Market: A classic square with fountains and benches, this is an area for locals to meet; play a game of chess or backgammon; or simply play on the giant Octopus playground. The Green Park: Soft green hills that appeal to children, oung people and families are a feature of this part of the Superkilen. Sports faclities such as hockey pitches and basket ball also part of this green park. Here residents can be seen sunbathing, picnicking or simply taking a nap. Other interventions incude: • new bike paths that run through the park and are part of the larger city wide network; • new connections linking neighbourhoods; and • bus passage areas.


Bridger, 2013

Case studies

Fig 37: Red Square

Fig 38: Park

Fig 39: Black Market

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Conclusion: Three common themes can be discrened across these projects that have contributed towards their overall success. • Engagement: Engagement emerges as a key ingredient in all three projects with high levels of consultation and ongoing involvement. This occurs at various levels: with the residents/ community/ users; relevant government organisations and city authorities; other non-government organisations, businesses, artists and experts. • Co-creating: The theme of co-creating or the presence of a core group with a vision to realise a spatial intervention is common to all three projects. In Thorncliffe the Thorncliffe Women’s Committee take on this role; while the art group Cascoland work with the community to create spaces, and in the case of Superkilin through the processs of “extreme consultation” the consultants work closely with the community to realise the project. • Connectivity: All three projects act as the ‘heart’ of the neighbourhood, connecting the surrounding community both socially and spatially.

Interventions or tactics make these places successful are: - Commmunity gardens - Vegetable garden plots - Play grounds for children - Quirky street play equipment - Animal farming (small domestic animals) - Play spaces for adults - Picnic spaces - Barbeques and outdoor cooking facilities - Community art projects - Street board games - Bike paths - Walk trails • Programing: Programing has been an important part of the process in all three projects. Programming or ensuring that ‘someone does something to keep it going’ ranges from community based committees to a virtual presence. While some tactics like night markets require greater programming to keep the commmunity engaged, others like Superkillen have a large presence on the internet that includes apps for use of the park..20, 21 in the park. 20

superkilen/id535457470?mt=8 21

Case studies

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5. A Conceptual scaffolding....

and when you have a meeting place

.. today and tomorrow you can see more people coming .. (p 10)

Conceptual scaffolding

In this section the findings from the literture review; urban mapping; interviews and community mapping; and case studies, are brought together to develop a conceptual scaffolding

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or an “ an interim meaning structure around which a fuller interpretation is fleshed out over time.� 1(p494 Veale Conceptual scaffolding).

A review of the literature with a focus on a sense of belonging for migrant communities KEY PRINCIPLES (5a)

Mapping at the Urban Scale

Community mapping and interviews to develop an understanding of how a sense of belonging is engendered.



Review case studies where spatial practices have led to an increased sense of belonging 1 Veale, 494

5.a Key Principles

Safe and accessible to diverse communities;

Enables social interacion and the possibility of new relationships with similar and disimilar others

Inclusive policies that respond to the diversity in the community;

Multiscaled;multilayered performative potential Has a physical and spatial presence in the public realm.

Conceptual scaffolding

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5.b Process

Engagement: Across a wide range of stakeholders, to include: residents/community/ users; relevant government organisations and city authorities; other non-government organisations, businesses, artists and experts.

‘Finding the heart’ Connectivity: Connecting the dots spatially and socially. Social and spatial maps of the community that reveal opportunities and potential.

Co-creating: A group of people, “ideally with diverse perspectives and disciplines, come together to work on developing solutions to a defined challenge.” The most important aspect of co-creating is “the outcomes of the work end up in a place different than any one person’s incoming ideas, and more unexpected than any one person might have been able to land on their own.”2

Programing: Spatial activation and interventions that emerge through the preceeding processes. Programming in this context is used as a broad brush term that ranges from temporary place activation projects to longer term projects that include the configuration of the neighbourhod, locality and suburb.



5.c.i Place characteristics PLACE CHARACTERISTICS: Ownership: Ownership ranges from private ownership eg. private residence, to public ownership eg. local park with combinations along that continuum. Accessibility: Access to a place is an important consideration in the ‘publicness’ of a place. While some places are acccesible to all in theory; social, religious, economic and cultural barriers impede access. Interaction and communication: Aligned to access is interaction and communication. Access to a resource aids interactions amongst those with access, and in turn facilitates communication and interaction amongst the beneficiaries of that resource. Some places facilitate interaction and communication between people who are of similar cultural, religious, ethnic or language groups; while other places facilitate interactions amongst people who are from dissimilar cultural, religious, ethnic or language groups.

Similar others Dissimilar others

Performative potential: These are the activities and behaviours enabled through the spatial characteristics of a place; or cultural or religious characteristics imbued in a place.

Conceptual scaffolding

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5.c. ii Place typology PLACE TYPOLOGY A place typology has been developed based on the characterctics of the places noted through the mappng an interviews Private: Places of residence or domestic activities. Fixed places: Privately owned public’ places. Places of worship are an example of such places. While open to the public in theory, in practice are inhabited by a particular public. Hub/town centre: A central commercial and retail place or activity centre. These places are activity hubs and include range of commercial activities. Third places: 3 Public owned places wherein activities are conducted in a ‘private place’. Inhabited by people dissimilar to oneself with the potential to create connections and interactions.

Micro-spaces: ‘Small’ spaces, the interactions are “casual contacts” without the paraphenalia of obligation”. People inhabiting such places have a common purpose wbich may/may not extend into other relationships beyond this space. Neighbourhood: Defined as “a spatial construction denoting a geographical unit in which residents share proximity and the circumstances that come with it”4. Here “local subjects” become citizens through enacting “routines, rituals, norms and habits of the everyday” 5 (Harris p156).

Local park: Open green spaces/parks at a range of scales in a locality amenable to recreational use by the public 3

Carmona, 2010,169 4 Chaskin, 1997, 522 5 Harris, 2015, 155

Unpacking place types: The following is a an attempt to develop an understanding of the types of places that engender a sense of belonging. In the first instance places noted in the mapping process are analysed so as to categorise them into Place Types. (p.144,149) Following this process, these places rated against the Key Principles to evaluate their appropriateness as possible places for design interventions.

Conceptual scaffolding

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Home: Who owns: Privately owned space Who can access: As per resident Foster communication and interactions amongst similar others Performative potential: NURTURING, MEETING, GATHERING, CELEBRATING Evaluating against established principles

PLACE TYPE: PRIVATE PLACE Other people’s homes Who owns: Privately owned space Who can access: As per resident Interaction and communication limited and controlled by resident Performative potential: MEETING, GATHERING, CELEBRATING Evaluating against established principles.


Front yards Who owns: Privately owned publically visible Who can access: Access controlled by owner Potential to foster communication and interaction amongst neighbours Performative potential: MEETING. GREETING, SECURITY Evaluating against established principles:


Public courtyards in a cluster of villas Who owns: Privately owned ‘public space’accessible to a group of users/ residents Who can access: Visually ‘public’ privately owned controlled use Potential to foster interaction and communication with similar and disimilar others. Performative potential: MEETING, SECURITY, CO-OPERATING Evaluating against established principles


Conceptual scaffolding

| Sense of belonging142| 143

Shopping centre Who owns: Private owned ‘public space’, commercial interest Who can access: Privately owned, public can access Potential to foster interaction and communication with similar others and dissimilar others Performative potential: COMMERCIAL, EXPERIENTIAL, SCENE (WATCHING PEOPLE/BEING SEEN), MEETING. Evaluating against established principles


Health centre/Gym: Who owns: Privately owned ‘public space’; commercial interests Who can access: Private owned accessible to public has commercial interests Interaction and communication controlled by users Performative potential: EXERCISING, RECREATING Evaluating against established principles:


Cafe/club Who owns: Privately owned “public space” commercial interests Who can access: Private owned public accessible to public has commercial interests Interaction and communication dependent on users’intent Performative potential: MEETING, RELAXING Evaluating against established principles

PLACE TYPE: THIRD PLACE SPACES Mosque/temple/church Who owns: Privately owned “public space”, religious/cultural Who can access: Accessible to select user group Fosters Interaction and communication amongst user groups Performative potential: MEETING, GATHERING, CELEBRATING, WORSHIP Evaluating against established principles:


Conceptual scaffolding

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Community centre/Library Who owns: Public owned “private space” Who can access: Public owned public can access Potential to foster comunication and interaction with similar others and dissimilar others . Performative potential: LEARNING, MEETING Evaluating aganst established principles

PLACE TYPE: THIRD PLACE SPACES TAFE/ English class Who owns: Public owned “private space” Who can access: Public owned, accessible to particular user group Foters interaction and communication limited to users Performative potential: LEARNING, MEETING, ENACTING (PRACTISING NEW LEARNING) Evaluating against established principles:


School pick up: Who owns: Public owned Who can access: Public can access Potential to foster intercation and communication with similar others and disimilar others Performative potential: MEETING, LEARNING, ENACTING LEARNING Evaluating against etabllished principles

PLACE TYPE : MICRO -SPACE Verges and streets: Who owns: Public space Who can accces : Public owned accessible to public Potential to foster intercation and communication amongst neighbours. Interaction with dissimilar others. Performative potential: MEETING, GREETING, CONNECTIVITY, COOPERATING, RECREATING Evaluating against established principles:


Conceptual scaffolding

| Sense of belonging146| 147

Local park: Who owns: Public owned Who can access: Public can access Potential to foster communications and interactions with similar others and disimilar others Performative potential: PLAYING, MEETING, RELAXING, RECREATING, GATHERING Evaluating againt esteblished principles





Private/ owned/ residence


Private owned ‘public space


Private owned ‘public space


Pubic owned ‘private space’


A mix of private owned’public’ visible place and public owned public place


Public owned public space


Public owned public space


Conceptual scaffolding



| Sense of belonging148| 149




















5.d Tactics .



Commmunity gardens /

Small plots, ease of access: spatial and social, proximity

Vegetable garden plots

to residence, not isolated from other tactics, places to linger, seating, shade

Play grounds for

Play equipment, quirky equipment ie. Japanese Octopus


in Superkilin, shade, seating, play areas are safely connected to foot paths and clearly marked, play areas have a visible and physical connection to the surrounding community

Street play equipment

Interactive street furniture, interactive art,

Animal farming (small

Animal pens, chicken coops that can be moved around,

domestic animals)

space for animal pens/coops, places to linger in proximity to coops, seating, shade.

Picnic spaces/

Shade, seating, cooking/barbeque facilities, connected

Barbeques and outdoor

visibly and physically to children’s play areas, physically

cooking facilities

connected to footpaths and car parks, toilets, water and washing facilities

Community art projects

Art projects with an engaged community, projects are produced by the community with assistance and expertise, projects are community directed eg. Superkilin objects

Street board games

Game table in accessible places eg. Chess, backgammon,

Conceptual scaffolding | Sense of belonging150| 151























Summary and conclusion: - Key Principles - Process - Place Typology and Characteristics - Tactics - Performative Potential of tactics and places In the following section these elements are brought together in a coherent Design Framework.

Conceptual scaffolding

| Sense of belonging152| 153

6.Design framework

“OPEN PLACE .. you know for everybody. This built up an strengthen the relationship between neighbours in the same street and even across the other street as well and that is how you build .. “( P 7 )

Design Framework

| Sense of belonging154| 155

This design framework is held together by four processes that have been defined in the earlier section. . ENGAGEMENT



‘FINDING THE HEART’ CONNECTIVITY Each process is: • assesed against the Key Principles (5 a pg 138) • laid out as a Goal with a set of Objectives and Strategies • provided with a resource list to allow for further exploration. It should be noted that this format is to be used as a process map rather than a tool kit.


Process goal: That the process of creating or transforming a space is transformative for the people Performative potential of engagement: - Relationships are based on trust and commitment; - The people are the ‘experts’ and this is ‘their’ community; - Partnerships are based on an acknowledgement that all stakeholders bring valuable knowledge to the project; and - That the level of commitment required is stated upfront. Objective: To ensure community input, partnership and commitment are integral to the design process. Strategies: 1) Engage with a range of stakeholders - Residents - Community groups - Ethnic community organisations

Rating 4/5

- Religious leaders and organisations - Non-government organisations working with migrant communities - Migrant Resource Centres - Women’s Health Centres - Local governments - Multicultural Officers in government departments - Local schools and Parent Associations 2) Mechanisms: Public meetings Focus groups Meeting with individuals Mapping with the community Online forums/Social media

Design Framework

Resources: • • www.theoryof • http://www. au/plan/community/communityengagement-ideas/ • programs-and-resources/engagedcommunities/ • CommunitiesNetworks/Pages/ MetropolitanMulticulturalNetworks. aspx • • Brunton, G., Thomas, J., O’MaraEves, A., Jamal, F., Oliver, S., & Kavanagh, J. (2017). Narratives of community engagement: a systematic review-derived conceptual framework for public health interventions. BMC Public Health, 17, 1–15. https:// au/10.1186/s12889-017-4958-4  

| Sense of belonging156| 157


Process Goal: Collaboration between a diverse range of people conceives and gives form to places that engender a sense of belonging. Performative potential of co-creation: - Relationships with dissimilar others is central to co-creation; and - The capacity to hold and implement ideas ‘outside the box’. Objective: To enable collaborative relationships that draw on a range of knowledge, expertise and perspectives. Strategies: 1) Connect with people, communities, organisation that are ‘traditionally’ not part of the ‘solution’; 2) Relationship maps that reveal the nature of the relationships and the gaps in knowledge and expertise. 3) Mechanisms: - Workshops - Training programs

Rating 4/5

Design Framework

Resources: • beyond-buzzword-co-create-evenmean/ • christinecrandell/2016/06/10/ customer_cocreation_secret_ sauce/#1654c8fc5b6d • cocreation-101 • Marco Galvagno, Daniele Dalli, (2014) “Theory of value co-creation: a systematic literature review”, Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 24 Issue: 6, pp.643-683, MSQ-09-2013-0187 • deborahtalbot/2018/05/22/isparticipatory-community-co-creationthe-key-to-urban-economic-growth

| Sense of belonging158| 159

‘Finding the heart’ - Connectivity

Process goal: Connections between spatial and social elements are uncovered and opportunities for interventions are brought forth through the process of ‘Finding the heart’ -connectivity. Performative Potential of ‘Finding the heart’- Connectivity; - A visual dimension to the process of data gathering; - Data is accessible to people where language skills are a barrier; and - Reveals connections between people’s lives and the spatial context in which they are located. Objectives: To bring forth connections and possibilities that are hidden or invisible. Strategies: - Community maps; - Mapping by place types; - Photo-voice; - Social media to create interactive maps; and - Walking tours

Rating 4.5/5

Design Framework

Resources: • • Walks of Life: Jane’s Walk watch?v=hEz8FZpYDcw • uploads/2013/02/Services_How-ToKits_Community-Map-Making• Place-making, settlement and wellbeing: the therapeutic landscapes of recently arrived youth with refugee backgrounds. Health Place. 2010 Jan;16(1):116-31. doi: 10.1016/j. healthplace.2009.09.004. Epub 2009 Sep 18. • (2015-2017): Earnest, J. Empowerment and mental health promotion of refugee women through photovoice. Special Research Initiative on Disadvantaged Groups: • Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th anniversary ed.). New York: Continuum. • Maps created as part of this research. (see pages : 50 -69; 169 -209

| Sense of belonging160| 161

Programming Process goal: Spatial interventions and activation that engenders a sense of belonging. Performative potential: - Places that facilitate and support community relationships and interactions through a diverse range of activities programs towards engendering a sense of belonging. Objectives: To develop a matrix of tactics that are possible in a place. and create places that engender a sense of belonging. Strategies: - Strategies that engage and build awareness; - Soft interventions’ and - Long term changes These strategies are fully explored in Section 7a.

Rating 5/5

Design Framework

| Sense of belonging162| 163

7. Testing the framework in Mirrabooka

Testing the framework in Mirrabooka | Sense of belonging164| 165

Introduction: Having determined a Design Framework, this section attempts to test the applicability of the Framework at the level of the suburb of Mirrabooka.


• Through the process of interviewing and community mapping.(Chapter 3)


• This process cannot be tested and is the limitation of this research

‘Finding the heart’Connectivity

• Tested through the mapping process; 7 a • Scenarios in section 7 b

Programming • Suggested through scenarios in Section 7 b and Section 8

7.a ‘Finding the heart’ - Connnectivity

Finding the heart connectivity

In this section a mapping exercise is undertaken to interrogate the spaces that are inhabited in the everyday so as to make visible characteristics of these spaces that may otherwise remain invisible and reveal and opportunities for interventions. The first part of this section lays out a historical, spatial and demographic context for this suburb. Having done so a mapping exercise is undertaken through the lens of the Place typologies developed in section 5.

| Sense of belonging166| 167

7 a i Mirrabooka a context

Mirrabooka suburb

1 Fig 40: Perth Metropolitan Region


1 Mirrabooka 2 Mirrabooka Town Centre

Fig 41: Suburb of Mirraboka

Not to scale

Finding the heart connectivity

Historical context: The suburb of Mirrabooka is named after the Aboriginal word for the Southern Cross 1 and forms part of the lands of the Mooro people of south-west Australia. 2. European settlement in this area dates to the mid 1880’s. In the 1950’s State Housing Commission acquired 3000 hectares in this area with the idea of building a satellite city to accommodate the booming post war population. Between 7500, to 20,000 dwellings were to be built here to attract workers from Perth and the industrial areas of the North. 3 Named Yirrigan in 1954, this area comprised the suburbs of Nollamara, Balga and Yirrigan with the first development in this area beginning in 1955 in Nollamara. Plans for a satellite city were abandoned by 1982, and suburb known as Yirrgan was named Mirrabooka. Development in this area began along Mirrabooka Drive in the 80’s. In time the western parts of the suburb, closest to Mirrabooka Avenue, were subdivided, with the first residential development occurring in this area. A curvilinear and cul-de-sac street layout typical of the era dominates this area. Most homes built at that time were single dwellings of brick and tile

| Sense of belonging168| 169

in addition to some unit type developments. As the population of this area grew, development grew towards the eastern parts of the suburb towards Alexander Drive in the 1990’s.


Suburbs/Pages/Mirrabooka.aspx ) 2

Local area Plan, 2010,1












Scale: 1: 5000 @A1 Fig 42: Mirrabooka: boundary roads


Finding the heart connectivity

Flanked by four major roads, the South West section of the suburb has been cut off from the residential area of this suburb by Reid Highway. This separation affects safe and easy access to the shopping centre, and encourages car usage.

| Sense of belonging170| 171


2 5 3




Not to scale

Fig 43: Mirrabooka Town Centre

1- Herb Graham Recreation Centre 2 - Community Service hub 3 - City of Stirling Community Hub 4 - Department of Housing 5 - Sudbury House 6 - Mirrabooka Shopping Centre 7 - Community Services hub

Fig 44, Aerial photo, 1985

Fig 45, Aerial photo, 1985

Finding the heart-connectivity

| Sense of belonging172| 173

Mirrabooka Town Centre: 2 The Mirrabooka Town Centre is the regional shopping hub for the suburb of Mirrabooka and the surrounding suburbs of Balga, Dianella, Nollamara and Koondoola. Opened on the 3rd of October 1978 by the then Premier Sir Charles Court, this Centre sits on the South- West corner of the suburb. Located within this Town Centre is the Local privately owned shopping Centre. Across Chesterfied Road is City of Stirling Community Hub in the Mirrabooka Library, Ishaar Women’s Health Centre. A total of 23 non-government organisations operate from a two kilometre radius of this centre, making this one of the most service dense centre in all of Perth.

Fig 46, Mirrabooka shopping Centre, 1985

Fig 47: Mirrabooka shopping center, 1985

The regional bus station is located in Mirrabooka and bus routes from this station connect the middle ring suburbs.

Fig 48, Mirrabookaa Shopping Centre 2018 2

For a detailed discussion of the Town Centre see pages


Planning context: As a suburb of the City of Stirling Mirrraboka is subject to planning policies of the City of Stirling. The plans noted in this section are those related directly to the suburb. Enquiry by Design: In 2001 the WAPC along with the City of Stirling and a few stakeholders conducted the first comprehensive planning workshop identifying the Mirrabooka Regional Centre as having the “hallmarks of a centre in crisis”. 3 This plan was an attempt to get consensus and ownership from invited participants and stakeholders. This Planning options and strategies relating to land use are laid out in this document and include attractiveness of the regional centre, connectivity, relationship of the centre to the surrounds, community ’ownership’ of the centre and accommodating the needs of the Aboriginal community. Art work that resonates with the local Aboriginal community is mooted to make visible connection to place so as to engender a sense of belonging and identity. 4 The presence of new and emerging communities in Mirrabooka is not noted in this plan. The focus is on: space hierarchy: town, precinct, neighbourhood;

connectivity i.e.. streets, verges, walking, cycling, parking, safety, environmentally and culturally responsive design, with public art as a way of connecting the community to its history and setting forth future aspirations. There is an assumption that once the spatial elements are organised the rest will follow.


Western Australian Plaanning Commisssion,

2001 4

ibid, 21

Finding the heart connectivity

| Sense of belonging174| 175

Fig 49: Mirrabooka Tavern

Fig 50Mirrabooka bus station

Fig 51: Mirrabooka, edge of Chesterfield Road

Mirrabooka Local Area Plan 2010:5 The first comprehensive plan produced for the locality of Mirrabooka was produced in 2010 as part of the Local Area Planning process. While this document has been superseded, it was the product of community consultations and provides many insights into the needs of the residents. The centrality of the Regional Centre is recognised in this plan and a number of issues related to the centre are noted in this plan. Issues raised by the community include the improvement of the Local Mirrabooka Shopping Centre, limited and infrequent public transport, street layout which suburb does not lend itself to walkability and issues of safety. The planning response has four areas: Built environment, natural environment, Movement network, economic outcomes. What the community asked for was local business opportunities, entertainment facilities, range of housing choices, community safety, cultural events that promote integration and awareness, well maintained parks, safe open spaces and outdoor facilities, improved public transport and preserving bushland. 5

City of Stirling 2010

Finding the heart connectivity

| Sense of belonging176| 177

Fig 52: Fragrant Gardens Reserve

Fig 53: Mirrabooka Village Shopping Centre

Town Centre Structure Plan: In 2015 the City of Stirling developed the Mirrabooka Town Centre Local Development Plan 2015 6 and the Mirrabooka Town Centre Structure Plan. 7 These twin documents draw their legitimacy from the WAPC’s State Planning Policy 4.2 Activity Centres for Perth and Peel. Mirrabooka has been named as a secondary activity centre in this policy and it is incumbent on the Local Government to develop this regional centre as per specific guidelines. This plan sets out “specific standards to regulate the interface between the private buildings and the public realm” The focus of these plans is the development of the Mirrabooka Town Centre as a predominantly commercial and civic centre that primarily services the City of Stirling’s north western suburbs an extends beyond the City’s boundaries. Adopted by the City of Stirling Council on 15 March 2015, the Mirrabooka Town Centre Structure Plan has been developed with a vision to “create a centre with a diverse range of uses, which is attractive, safe and is a focus for the region’s shopping and service needs.” 8.

In recognising that the Town Centre has a “poor street presence and car dependence” the Structure Plan seeks to develop the Town Centre as a mixed use precinct by incorporating “higher density residential dwellings and additional office and commercial facilities.” These moves are based on the proposed introduction of the light rail system to act as a “catalyst for land use change and built form transformation.” As a legal document it provides a framework towards detailed planning on any future development in the The Plan outlines twelve objectives summed up as: an increased density and diversity of housing, increased diversity of non-residential use that contributes to overall employment opportunities, enhanced public transport and movement network, the development of a main street and redevelopment opportunities for the shopping centre to develop spatial and a relationship with the surroundings.


City of Stirling,2015


City of Stirling, 2015


ibid, 6 ibid, 6

8 9

ibid, 6


ibid, 6

Finding the heart connectivity

| Sense of belonging178| 179

Fig 54: New development, Sudbury Road

Fig 55: New development, Milldale Road

Fig 56, Apartment blocks, Ashbury Crescent

The role of Public Open Spaces is noted as being important as these are places for : meeting, socialising, recreating, a habitat for local animals and birds and gathering. In acknowledging the need for “placemaking as a central focus to encourage community pride and engagement, in order to make the centre more vibrant, safe and sustainable” 10 and notes that without a place-making strategy “visions and initiatives” for the Town Centre cannot be “effectively implemented”. In order for such a strategy the Plan notes the need to identify “programmable places” 11 within the town centre. Places suggested by the Plan are: local parks, neighbourhood parks, street scapes, bushland,


Town Centre Plan, 80


ibid, 80

Finding the heart connectivity

Better Suburbs Project: Description: The Better Suburbs Project is a three year integrated planning strategy for the north-east part of the City of Stirling comprising the suburbs of: Balga, Dianella, (north of Morley Drive, Nollamara, Mirrabooka and Westminister). These suburbs are typically zoned R40, R 20, with pockets of R 30. According to the City the aim of the project is “to deliver a plan to encourage development of a range of housing types, improved open spaces and more tree coverage”.12 The project will also identify residential areas to be retained for family housing and opportunities for growth around centres”.

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- eight listening posts in the Better Suburbs project area; - face to face surveys; and - online surveys. According to the City’s website 864 responses were received by the city. In the months of March and April 2017 the city conducted five visioning and design workshops to generate design options. These workshops focussed on three areas : - My home; - My street; and - My neighbourhood. Visioning workshops were held in - Dianella , Balga and part of Hammersley, Nollamara (parts of Balcatta, Tuart Hill, Westminster and Yokine), Mirrabooka and Corridor Workshops ( Wanneroo Road and Morley Drive)

This planning strategy is a response to the infill requirements of the State Governments Perth and Peel @3.5 million strategy. Project Objectives: - Review residential density - Opportunities for mixed use along transport corridors and centres - Greater tree coverage - Private open space Process: The process for seeking community input was initiated in December 2016, and included:


City of Stirling 2017

The following is a wish list as identified by the project from the community consultation. This list pertains t the area of Mirrabooka.13 Apartments • Small homes • Granny flats • Shop-top houses • Houses in groups • Taller house with smaller footprint • Shared homes • Large family homes • Near parks • Maintain existing low density R-Code 50 -100% shade cover • Green streets linking parks and centres • Prioritisation of people over vehicles • People friendlier • Light rail and buses • Transit boulevards • Street trees New centres • Play spaces within centres • Community facilities (in or near centres) • Life on the street • Children’s play areas • Community events • Community gardens • Parks for relaxing • Picnic areas • Community facilities • Community facilities with multipurpose rooms • Places to meet • Increased heights on major roads

and around centres • Strong support for 2 to 6 storeys • Some support for 6 to 10 storeys • Community library, toilets and changes rooms • Crèche • Training spaces, clubrooms and information spaces


City of Stirling,2017

Finding the heart connectivity

Conclusion: In concluding it can be noted that a number of issues identified in the first planning exercise in 2001 have largely remained the same. All the planning processes identify similar issues - a centre disconnected from it’s surrounds - safety - connectivity - poor planning - lack of public places In the mapping process on the following pages the relationship between the buit environment and these issues becomes apparent.

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Who lives here:

Population: 8110 persons 19 Female: 49.6% Male: 50.4% Median age: 32 years Mirrabooka


Average ppl per household

3.2 persons

1.9 persons

Children aged 0-14

23.8% of the pop.

14.7%of the pop.

People over 65

10%of the pop.

7% of the pop.

Weekly income

$433 pw

$949 pw


14.1% of the pop.

8.2% of the pop.

Top ten countries of origin for overseas born population in Mirrabooka •

Oceania and Antartica - 47.46%

South- East Asia -

North Africa and the Middle East- 7.75%

Southern and Eastern Europe - 6.87%

Sub-Saharan Africa - 6.07%

Southern and Central Asia - 5.22%

North - West Europe -3.42%

Americas - 0.70%

Others - 0.17%



Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018


SBS Broadcasting 2017

Finding the heart connectivity

| Sense of belonging184| 185

7 a ii Place types in mirrabooka

Finding the heart connectivity

| Sense of belonging186| 187

In this section the locality of Mirrabooka or the North-Eastern mapped accroding to Place typologies (5 b). . This area encompases a majority of the suburb of Mirrabooka. The Town Centre south of Reid Highway has been excluded from this mapping process as it is part of larger planning processes at the regional level. Location: 10 kms North of Perth CBD LGA: City of Stirling Total Area: aprox 4 sq kms.

Fig 57 Mirrabooka North East 0


SCALE: 1: 5000 @A1



Private places

Block sizes: 600 m2 to 800m2 Typologies: • Detached family homes • Strata/group housing Media housing age: (housing strat) Detached family homes: 30 yrs (1988) Strata/group: 27 years (1991) Median house price: $346,775 Rent: 3 Bedroom - $300 pw 4 Bedroom - $335 pw 12

SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0

0 100mtrs


12 realestate .com Scale: 1: 5000 @A1





Finding the heart connectivity

| Sense of belonging188| 189





16 mtrs

Fig 59

B: 2010 onwards

Fig 58

A: 1980’s housing typology


4 1.9



Fig 60

C: 1991 (aprox) strata/group housing typology



Third places

0 100mtrs


Scale: 1: 5000 @A1

1000mtrs SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0




Finding the heart connectivity

| Sense of belonging190| 191

Fixed places




Fig 61

Fig 62

Fig 63

Fig 64

Fig 65

Edge conditions impede connections between and within these places.


Fig 66 Not to scale


The Mirrabooka Village Shopping Centre located on Honeywell Boulevard is the local shopping precinct. This Centre is fronted by a four lane 20 mtr connector road, and surrounded by car parks on three sides and a fence that cuts it off from the adjacent park. Images on the opposite page are some examples of the edge conditions of this shopping precinct.

Finding the heart connectivity

Fig 69

Fig 67

Fig 68

Fig 69

| Sense of belonging192| 193

Third places - community centres

Fig 70 Not to scale



Finding the heart connectivity

Edge conditions: • Mirrabooka Family Centre has no physical connection with the park adjacent to it. The center is physicaly and visually connected to Honeywell Boulevard. . • The Community Centre while located at the edge of Pendula Gardens opens onto the car park connecting it physically and and visually to the car park.

| Sense of belonging194| 195

Third places -schools


Years : K- 7 Number of Students: 205 (2018) • 68% of the students attending this school come from non-English speaking backgrounds; • the school runs a breakfast program three days a week; • vegetable garden program; • playgroup for children from 0-4; • 27% transiency due to high levels of rental acccomdation in the area;

Finding the heart connectivity

| Sense of belonging196| 197

Third places -schools

Fig 73 Not to scale


Years: K-7 Number of students: 247 (2018) • 75% of the children attending this school come from a non_english speaking background • community garden program


Road and street network Cycle paths Verges Bus stops

SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0




Finding the heart connectivity

Road and street network: This suburb is designed around a curvilinear and cul-de sac street layout. The Local Area Plan 2010 notes that these layouts are associated with “poor pedestrian legibility” and “permeability” . A lack of direct pedestrian routes discourages walking or cycling and such suburbs become car oriented. The lack of foot traffic in turn makes people feel less safe on the street. Three road typologies can be noted in this suburb: • 20 mtr connector road • 12 mtr neighbourhood road • 6 mtr local streets

| Sense of belonging198| 199

Roads and street networks






20 mtrs.

Finding the heart connectivity

Honeywell Boulevard : 20 mtr connector road A front yard, deep 7mtrs. road verge, a pedestrian path and yet another verge ensure the houses on Honewell Boulevard are disconneted from the street and in turn street life.

| Sense of belonging200| 201

Roads and streets

12 mtrs


12 mtrs




Finding the heart connectivity

Fences fronting the street at corner blocks are often a regular occurance. Here again wide verges form a physical and visual barrier betweeen the street and the homes.

| Sense of belonging202| 203

Pedestrian/cycle paths

SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0

0 100mtrs






Scale: 1: 5000 @A1

Typical pedestrian path Boyare Avenue

Fig 79

The pedestrian and bike path network is aligned to the 20 mtr connector road and 12 mtr neighbourhood connectors, and does not extend into the smaller cul- de-sac’s thus detering walkability. Factors affecting

walkability in the area include a lack of street trees and shade, a lack of street trees, large setbacks and road verges and fences abbutiing the street. These create poor quality pedestrian environments.

| Sense of belonging204| 205

Finding the heart connectivity


Fig 82

SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0



Fig 81 Typical pedestrian paths in cul-de-sac situation Redunca Way

Fig 80 Typical verge: Chalice Rise


Bus stops

SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0 100mtrs



Scale: 1: 5000 @A1

Access to public transport is an important aspect in the way in which people are able to carry out their daily lives. Lack of access to timely and efficient public transport hinders the manner in which people can participate in daily activities in any community. Designed around the use of a car, this locality is poorly connected to and by a public transport system. The map above denotes the range of public bus stops.





Finding the heart connectivity

Fig 82

Fig 83

Fig 84

Fig 85

| Sense of belonging206| 207


Mirrabooka has eighteen parks and reserves. These range from 2007 sq mtrs to 37,777 sq mtrs. The average size being 7,867 sq mtrs. With the number of residents in Mirrabooka at 8110 (2016 census), making it 172 sq mtrs of open space per person. The table on the opposite page givess an idea of the facilities available.

0 100mtrs


Scale: 1: 5000 @A1

1000mtrsSCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0




Finding the heart connectivity

• Apple Blossom Polayantha Reserve: 2.32 ha, playground, walking path, seating, • Allamanda Gardens: 1.29ha., reticulated gras, gardens, walking paths • Barrilier Circle Reserve: 0.3ha., seating • Cedar Court Reserve: 0.42ha., no facilities • Coppercups verlasting Reserve: 0.47ha., playground,reticulated grass, seating • Cunningham Loop Reserve: no information available • Dampier Loop Reserve: no information available • Farnesian Wintersweet Reserve: no information available • Fragrant Garden Reserve: 2.94ha., sporting facilities, playground, reticulated grass, walking paths, seating • Floribunda Reserve: 0.4ha., sporting facilities, reticulated grass, walking paths, seating, picnic tables, public art

| Sense of belonging208| 209

• Indigo Close Reserve: 0.4ha., gardens, seating • Knapphill Reserve: 0.4ha., no facilities • Kelsey Allspice Reserve: no facilities • Macallister Garden Reserve: 1.28ha., playground, walking paths, seating • Mottlecah Reserve: 0.22ha., playground, seating • Pendula Gardens: 3.68 ha., sporting facilities, playground, reticulated grass, walkng paths, seating • Preiss Way Reserve: 0.27 ha., playground • Twinning Reserve: no information available


0 100mtrs


Scale: 1: 5000 @A1


SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0




Finding the heart connectivity

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Scenario 1 Connectivity through parks and public open spaces

SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0


0 100mtrs



Scale: 1: 5000 @A1

Concept drawing. Not to scale


1000mtrs In this scenario parks and public open

spaces become are percieved as points of connnection. An assumption is made that this connectivity will allow for walkability, inncrease a feeling of safety and create public spaces for meeting dissimilar others. While streets and verges become a part of this scenario by default, this scanario does not consider places such as fixed places or third places.

Finding the heart connectivity

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Scenario 2 Pedestrian paths, cycle paths as connectivity

SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0


0 100mtrs




Scale: 1: 5000 @A1

Concept drawing. Not to scale

1000mtrs In this scenario existing cycle paths

and pedestrian paths become the organising framework for connectivity. Here too n assumption is made that this connectivity will allow for walkability, inncrease a feeling of safety and create public spaces for meeting dissimilar others. The larger open spaces become part of this framework by default. While creating connection, this scenario fails to coalesce into a connective ‘heart’.

Scenario 3 Connectivity through a range of place typologies

SCALE 1: 500 @A 1 0





Scale: 1: 5000 @A1

In this scenario, Boyare Road is percieved at the spine and connects 1000mtrs the suburb across the centre. In doing so other place typologies are also connected. In this scenario, there is a central connection and it also draws in the fixed and third places. This central connnecton sits closest with the idea of findng a heart and is the suggested scenario for this area.


Concept drawing. Not to scale

Finding the heart connectivity

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7.b Programming


Having interrogated the spaces inhabited in the every, this section suggests tactics as per place typologies.

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“I want to challenge that you can’t do physical activity ..”

“sport is good ”


“good for us we can go anywhere

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“safe means safe...”

““when i see people say Hi”

“we can be a part of the community ..”


“Safe means how my feeling”

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“green grass is good for eyes, good for health”



Market in the park



Community garden

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This inquiry began its journey by asking the question: “HOW CAN WE DESIGN BUILT, FORM AND OPEN SPACES IN SUBURBAN CONTEXTS IN PERTH THAT ENGENDER A SENSE OF BELONGING FOR NEW AND EMERGING COMMUNITIES? In attempting to answer the question a comprehensive literature review was undertaken to unpack the idea of a sense of belonging. From the review it can be discerned that four entangled domains come together towards understanding a sense of belonging for migrant communities. The following strands run across all four domains. These being: - A feeling of safety is an important aspect of a sense of belonging; - Physical, social, economic. cultural and psychological access play an important role in engendering a sense of belonging; - The capacity to make connections with other human beings with an underlying premise of reciprocity is a crucial aspect for a sense of belonging; - Policies play a vital role towards ensuring a sense of belonging; - A sense of belonging is multilayered as individuals can belong to many different things at the same time; and has a performative dimension; and - A sense of belonging is practiced in the public realm.

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The domains from the literature review were employed as a lens to create ‘belonging maps’ at the scale of the urban so as to understand how a sense of belonging manifests at the urban scale. Patterns of settlement, celebrations, and place making emerge through this process. This analysis led the research to the suburb of Mirrabooka as the site for inquiry as it had the necessary characteristics to test this question. These being: high levels of overseas born population; low SEIFA score; and place making strategies by migrant communities. Somewhere in the process of talking to the community and attempting to make sense of the data, the research changed its focus from a design oriented endeavour to an inquiry only endeavour. In starting the conversation of “HOW” with people in their everyday about their everyday, this research has reiterated that starting from where people are at provides a set of solutions that may not have been otherwise emerged. The importance of engaging community at the very early stage of any design process is also reiterated in this process. ¬While this research may not have been successful in laying out a range of design propositions, it has laid out a process for working with a

community that ties the everyday with space and place. It is also important to note the community that this research specifically turned its attention to. As noted in the literature review and as has been evident through the interviews, people from communities that are marginalised / perceive themselves to be marginalised may never participate as full citizens in a ‘public’. It is through the process of engaging with public spaces of varying types that public participation is engendered. While this research may have suggested small moves, it is hoped that each small move leads to the next move and to bigger moves as to how we design our suburbs and cities. In concluding it can be said that this inquiry has aptly answered the question it set out to unpack. In answering the ‘HOW’ in the research question the bottom up approach employed by this thesis has allowed for this inquiry to bring forth voices that may otherwise not be considered in a design process. In tying this thread back to the beginning of this inquiry, that of the idea of a performance of citizenship requiring active participation and and where better than in the publicspaces of the suburb.

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Human Ethics Office of Research Enterprise The University of Western Australia M459, 35 Stirling Highway Crawley WA 6009 Australia T F E

+61 8 6488 3703 / 4703 +61 8 6488 8775

CRICOS Provider Code: 00126G

Our Ref: RA/4/20/4026 26 October 2017 Dr Julian Bolleter UWA Design School MBDP: M433


Ethics approval for the above project has been granted in accordance with the requirements of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (National Statement) and the policies and procedures of The University of Western Australia. Please note that the period of ethics approval for this project is five (5) years from the date of this notification. However, ethics approval is conditional upon the submission of satisfactory progress reports by the designated renewal date. Therefore initial approval has been granted from 26 October 2017 to 25 October 2018. You are reminded of the following requirements: 1. The application and all supporting documentation form the basis of the ethics approval and you must not depart from the research protocol that has been approved. 2. The Human Ethics office must be approached for approval in advance for any requested amendments to the approved research protocol. 3. The Chief Investigator is required to report immediately to the Human Ethics office any adverse or unexpected event or any other event that may impact on the ethics approval for the project. 4. The Chief Investigator must submit a final report upon project completion, even if a research project is discontinued before the anticipated date of completion. Any conditions of ethics approval that have been imposed are listed below: Special Conditions None specified The University of Western Australia is bound by the National Statement to monitor the progress of all approved projects until completion to ensure continued compliance with ethical principles. The Human Ethics office will forward a request for a Progress Report approximately 30 days before the due date. If you have any queries please contact the Human Ethics office at Please ensure that you quote the file reference – RA/4/20/4026 – and the associated project title in all future correspondence. Yours sincerely

Our ref: Your ref: Date: Participant Information Form

Project title: Sense of Belonging Name of Researchers: Leena Bakshi Invitation: Dear ______________________ You are invited to participate in this study as Leena Bakshi is conducting interviews with migrants communitity members towards her dissertation for a Master’s in Urban Design.

Aim of the Study: The purpose of this research is to understand how new migrant communities make home in Perth and especially in the suburb of Mirrabooka. It is hoped that through these interviews we can gain an understanding of how to design urban places that create a sense of belonging for new migrants. The topics she would like to talk with you are: -

Needs to do with food and preparation


Appropriateness of housing


Public space use


Local parks


Public space – streets, shopping centres, plazas, other


Festivals and markets in public places


Public expression of culture

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Our ref: RA/4/20/4026 Your ref: Date: Participant Consent Form Project title – Sense of Belonging

I, ________________________________________________ have read the information provided and any questions I have asked have been answered to my satisfaction. I agree to participate in this research project, realizing that I may withdraw at any time without reason and without prejudice. I understand that all identifiable information that I provide is treated as confidential and will not be released by the investigator in any form that may identify me unless I have consented to this. The only exception to this principle of confidentiality is if this information is required by law to be released. I agree to have my conversation audiotaped.  I agree to be photographed and / or videotaped : Yes  No  (if optional) I agree to participate in this research project but withdrawal is not possible once data are submitted.

_________________________ Participant signature

_______________ Date

Approval to conduct this research has been provided by the University of Western Australia, in accordance with its ethics review and approval procedures. Any person considering participation in this research project, or agreeing to participate, may raise any questions or issues with the researchers at any time. In addition, any person not satisfied with the response of researchers may raise ethics issues or concerns, and may make any complaints about this research project by contacting the Human Ethics Office at the University of Western Australia on (08) 6488 3703 or by emailing to All research participants are entitled to retain a copy of any Participant Information Form and/or Participant Consent Form relating to this research project.



Affective dimension

Process dimension

Narrative dimension

Spatial dimension

• Importance of connections with family and friends

• Connections through cultural and religious comunities • Making new connections and accumulating new knowledge • Places conducive to connections: neighbourhood parks, community fcilities, shopping centres, school pick up points, English classes and ethnic food Impact of global and national narratives experienced as direct comments, through behaviours of members of the mainstream community and/or commentary in the media • Places of belonging: home; neighbourhood; suburb; shopping centre; ethnic food stores; local parks; regional parks and public open spaces; community centres; and places of worship. • In these places new migrants: - seek new relationships - develop friendships - practice new ways of being These places provide: recreation, relaxation, goods and services, and connections.

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Affective dimension

• Attachments; • Feel safe/feel at home; • Learning in an environment that fosters participation; • Psychological well being; and • Historic/institutional/economic/ social/cultural/ barriers.

Process dimension

• Forming connections • Multilayered; • Multiscaled; and • Produced in the everyday

Narrative dimension

• Shaped by global and national narratives; and • Impacted/shaped by policies .

Spatial dimension

• Importance of nighbourhood • Places of belonging - streets - neighbourhood parks - religious and community organisations - schools - libraries • Places provide: - safety - connection - relaxation

Affective dimension

Thorncliffe Park - Toronto An environment that: • fosters participation; and • seeks to remove barriers to participation. Kolenkitbuurt - Amsterdam • creating a safe community; and • an environment that fosters participation.

Superkilin - Copenhagen • A celebration of diversity; and • Sense of home.

Process dimension

Thorncliffe Park - Toronto • Community engagement; • Bringing people together through activities; and • Opportunities for new learning, relationships.and social connections Kolenkitbuurt - Amsterdam • Communty engagement • Bottom -up community owned response; and • Opportunities for new learning, relationships and social connections. Superkilin - Copenhagen • Community involvement and participation.

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Narrative dimension

Thorncliffe Park - Toronto • A bottom up community driven response; and • Engaging with policy and procedures at the city and local level Kolenkitbuurt - Amsterdam Renewal program a respose to policy

Superkilin - Copenhagen • Revitalization a policy

Spatial dimension

Thorncliffe Park - Toronto • Community garden • Night market/eid market • Community cafe • Refurbished park • Transformed public space • Valley walks Kolenkitbuurt - Amsterdam Lodging house • Cookout house • Mobile hen house • Community garden • Neighbourhood renewal Superkilin - Copenhagen • Bike lanes; • Spaces for cultural activities, sports activities, picnics, socialising and relaxing • Linking the neighbourhood



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Image list Images that have not been noted re the property of the author.

Fig 8: CN 50 71/D Battye Library, Perth Water – Plan of Townsite of Perth as surveyed by Asst Surveyor A. Millman, published in 1838 by J. Arrowsmith. Fig 9: CN 1/71C, Battye Library, Plan of townsite of Perth published in 1833 by J. Arrowsmith, Cartographer of London Fig 10: Author’s redention author; Source: http://quickstats.censusdata.abs. Fig 11/12 Image created by author; Image source: (mosque) / (re store) (tet festival) (holi) Fig 14: Author’s redention, Source: interactive/2017/struggle-street/ Fig 15: Instruction Sheet for mapping, see Appendix Fig 16: Mapping Sheet for mapping, see Appendix Fig 17,18,19, Author’s own, mapping at Herb Graham Recreation Centre, 15/6/2018 Fig 20,21,22, Maps from mapping session at Herb Graham Recreation Centre 15/6/2018 Fig 23: Author;s own, Source: google maps and images Fig 24: Google maps, accessed 15/4/2018 Fig 26, 27,28, Source: Fig: 32,33,34 Fig: 35 Google maps, accessed 15/4/2018 Fig: 37,38,39, Source: perflex/5088ce0728ba0d753e0000f8-superkilen-topotek-1-big-architectssuperflex-photo iwan baan perflex/5088d02d28ba0d752a0000e4-superkilen-topotek-1-big-architectssuperflex-photo/ jes lindhe Fig 41:Mirrabooka suburb, Google maps, accessed 12/8/2018 Fig 44,45: Aerial photographs Mirrabooka, Dianella and the Mirrabooka

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Square, 22 Mar. 1985 [picture], Aerial Surveys Australia. Photograph | 1985. Fig 46: (internal ) Fig 47: 328663PD: Mirrabooka Square shopping centre on opening day, 3 October 1978 Mirrabooka Shopping Centre Image, Source: Fig 48: Author’s own, Mirrabooka Shopping Centre, Fig 49 – 56: Author’s own Fig 58 – 61 Near map images accessed 10/10/2018 Fig 66 – Near map images, accessed 10/10/2018 Fig 70 – 71 Nearmap images, accessed 10/10/2018 Fig 72- 81 Nearmap images; accessed 10/10/2018


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Australian Urban Design Research Centre Š AUDRC | Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2015

Profile for The Australian Urban Design Research Centre

Sense of Belonging. Leena Bakshi. AUDRC Master of Urban Design Thesis 2018  

How can we design built form and open spaces in Perth’s suburbs that engender a sense of belonging for our new and emerging communities? AUD...

Sense of Belonging. Leena Bakshi. AUDRC Master of Urban Design Thesis 2018  

How can we design built form and open spaces in Perth’s suburbs that engender a sense of belonging for our new and emerging communities? AUD...

Profile for audrc