Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Survey of Humanitarian Migrants

The Department of Social Services is funding and managing the longitudinal survey of humanitarian migrants settling in Australia. Building a New Life in Australia is tracing the settlement journey of recently arrived refugees and asylum seekers from their arrival in Australia through to eligibility for citizenship. The survey commenced in 2013 and is planned to run through to 2017-18.

The survey has recruited and will follow a large group of new humanitarian migrants on the course of their settlement journey, checking in on them at different stages along the way. The findings are intended to build the evidence base on the factors that aid successful settlement and lead to improved policies and program delivery.

Initial steps

Since 2010 detailed survey development work has occurred, first in the then Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) starting with the Following Migrants Forward workshop held at the ANU.

In 2011 a Survey Reference Group was established comprising Commonwealth government officials and external stakeholders and experts. This group met at regular intervals during development of the survey and now meets annually.

A Technical Advisory Group, comprising experts in refugee resettlement and longitudinal survey methods and analysis, has been assisting the Survey Reference Group. This group provided advice and recommendations on technical matters and has now been merged with the Survey Reference Group.

Three background papers were prepared to guide the survey’s development.

The study's methodological and technical position paper is available.

Current Status

The Australian Institute of Family Studies was appointed to manage and implement the survey on behalf of the Government. Data collection is being conducted by Colmar Brunton.

Early in 2014 Departmental responsibility for the study moved from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to the Department of Social Services.

The first wave of data collection commenced in October 2013 and was completed in February 2014. Future data collection waves will occur approximately annually until 2017-18.

Further information and updates on the development and progress of the survey and survey results, will be made available on the Building a New Life in Australia website or on the Australian Institute of Family Studies website.

Last updated: