MMIC hosts its first summer intern in 2021

MMIC hosted a summer intern for six weeks in 2021 as part of Monash Arts’ Work Integrated Learning Program. Javandi Thirulojan worked on further developing a project on the Sri Lankan diaspora’s use of public spaces in Melbourne and Sydney.

Javandi Thirulojan is an undergraduate student at Monash university, currently completing a Bachelor degree with a major in Criminology. After taking a research methods unit in 2020, she was excited to further develop her research capabilities.

After learning more about Sri Lankan migrants’ experiences of settlement and belonging in Australia, Javandi partnered with MMIC’s Research Fellow, Dr Charishma Ratnam, to work on Charishma’s study of Sri Lankan migrants use and experience of public space in Sydney and Melbourne. Javandi spent the summer honing in on her research skills, which included working on literature reviews, testing research methods, and analysing data. “Completing an internship with exposure to all stages of the research process was a rewarding experience for me. It was my first time examining data, and critically analysing literature to establish a gap in research, which I thought only academics could do”, Javandi stated.

Javandi was particularly interested in learning more about different qualitative research methods, including field observations and photography. To familiarise herself with these methods, she visited a local Temple in Melbourne to conduct fieldwork. “When Charishma introduced me to photography as a research method, I immediately knew I wanted to employ this during my visit to the temple. Learning about photographic data taught me that images can reveal rich details that are not always described in words”. While the project was different to the content she has learned in the Criminology major, Javandi enjoyed the experience of learning more about other social sciences disciplines. Javandi mentioned, “since I am a Criminology student, I was unfamiliar with studies of public spaces within Human Geography. But, I am always interested in other social sciences disciplines, which I know will only enhance my understanding of complex issues that do not rely on Criminology alone. I am grateful to Charishma and MMIC for granting me this opportunity to develop research skills and understandings of migration and social inclusion in Australia. This opportunity has given me many aspirations for a future career”.

MMIC is pleased to have hosted Javandi over the last two months. The collaboration with Dr Ratnam allowed Javandi to strengthen her research skills on a project concerned with amplifying the voices and experiences of an emerging diaspora in Australia. MMIC looks forward to seeing Javandi’s progress over the coming years and wishes her all the best with her future endeavours.

For more information on internship opportunities at MMIC, please contact MMIC’s Research Manager, Rebecca Powell (rebecca.powell@monash.edu).