Immigrant Teachers in Australia

Jock Collins
Carol Reid


One of the features of contemporary society is the increasing global mobility of professionals. While the education industry is a key site of the demand for contemporary global professional migration, little attention has been given to the global circulation of education professionals. Over past decades, immigrant teachers have been an important component of skilled and professional immigration into Australia, there is no comprehensive contemporary national study of the experiences of immigrant teachers in Australia. This article aims to fill this gap and to answer questions about their decision to move to Australia, their experience with Australian Education Departments in getting appointed to a school, their experiences as teachers in the classroom and in their new Australian community. It draws on primary data sources - in the form of a survey of 269 immigrant teachers in schools in NSW, SA and WA conducted in 2008-9 - and secondary sources - in the form of the 2006 national census and Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Australia – to provide insights into immigrant teachers in Australian schools, adding also to our understanding of Australia’s contemporary immigration experience.

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