Ms Ibolya (Ibi) Losoncz is a PhD scholar at the Australian National University, School of Regulation, Justice and Diplomacy. Her thesis explores the adjustment of South Sudanese refugees settling in Australia and their relations with Australian regulating authorities as they strive to establish themselves in their new environment. Since 2000 she has been a senior research analyst with the Australian Public Service. Her most recent works with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) are on post-separation parental arrangements, including compliance with child support agreements, and work-life balance of Australian mothers. Prior to joining FaHCSIA Ibi has worked in various research roles with the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics and the Australian Institute of Criminology focusing on the issues of social capital, spatial distribution of crime and drug use of offenders.
Refugee studies; African studies; Quantitative and spatial analysis of social data
Lack of respect is a recurring theme in the literature exploring the settlement of South Sudanese Australians with refugee experiences. Preliminary interviews with the community indicates that this sense of disrespect in the community brought about by blocked employment opportunities and a sense of threat to their cultural identity and moral values impelled by the intervention of regulating authorities. The aim of the thesis is to explore the space between regulatory authorities and the Sudanese community to understand which specific aspects of the engagement and intervention give rise to the current responses from the community. The intent is to draw together and locate the links between my selected theories, relevant elements of South Sudanese cultural values and institutions, and the narratives and interpretations of the community of what is happening to them to understand the disjuncture between the intent of the regulating authorities and the response evoked in the community. This understanding will provide a useful foundation and framework to formulate more effective family conflict management systems which the community considers fair and legitimate and which are also consistent with Australian family law.