Is a community falling apart if there are many community organisations and structures? No, argues PhD candidate and former refugee Atem Dau Atem. In his analysis of South Sudanese community structures in Sydney, he sees the large number of community organisations and structures as a sign that communities are meeting their own needs, and helping people settle.
In the paper, Atem argues that the experiences of South Sudanese before they came to Australia must be understood before we can understand how their communities here have developed. The paper draws on RCOA’s 2014 discussion paper on the role of refugee community organisations in settlement. This also reflects the importance community organizations play in settlement outcomes and support given to new arrivals in Australia.