Welcome Dr Francesco Ricatti and Dr Charishma Ratnam to the MMIC Executive Directorship

From June, we are re-structuring our Executive Directorship with the departure of Deputy Directors Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett and Associate Professor Marie Segrave, who will continue their strong and valuable association and commitment to the Centre in their portfolio lead roles. We are excited to welcome Dr Francesco Ricatti and Dr Charishma Ratnam to the Executive and the energy and direction that their expertise will bring to MMIC. Francesco will take on the role of Deputy Director, while Charishma is MMIC’s Early Career Research (ECR) Director.

The Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre (MMIC) has come a long way since it was established in 2018 under the Directorship of Associate Professor Rebecca Wickes, supported by Deputy Directors Associate Professor Marie Segrave and Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett and Research and Centre Manager, Rebecca Powell, in the MMIC Executive. Together, the Executive Directorship mapped out the strategic direction, research agenda, networking and public engagement opportunities for the Centre at both national and international level. Today, MMIC has over 30 academic members from across a diverse range of Faculties and disciplines at Monash University and an early career and postgraduate network of over 200 next generation researchers. We have connected with peak stakeholder organisations from government and the NGO sectors,hosted a number of high profile public events and completed funded research projects on priority issues associated with migration and inclusion. MMIC was the first non-European member of the International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe (IMISCOE) research network and has recently established a partnership with the Canadian Excellence Research Chair at Ryerson University, Canada.

We are pleased to introduce Francesco and Charishma!

Francesco Ricatti is Cassamarca Senior Lecturer in  European Languages. He has published extensively on Italian migration to Australia, including his most recent book Italians in Australia: history, memory, identity (Palgrave, 2018). He is interested in transcultural, decolonial and intersectional approaches to migration studies, and has also written about the cultural politics of emotions that shape Australian debates about asylum seekers (see Journal of Australian Studies, 40(4), 2016). He also researches informal processes of transculturation through sport. His most recent academic work focuses on participatory, digital and creative practices that can facilitate the social inclusion of migrants within multicultural cities, and the development of transcultural leadership for social change.

Charishma Ratnam is a MMIC postdoctoral fellow and coordinator of our Next Generation Network of over 200 postgraduate and ECR members. She is a Human Geographer and her research spans across a number of areas, primarily focusing on refugee experiences, resettlement, inclusion, and home-making practices. Charishma is particularly interested in employing photographic, filmed, ethnographic, and walking methods with participants to analyse their past and present migration/resettlement experiences. Her current research is focused on regional migration and resettlement in Australia and she continues to work with Sri Lankan refugees to better understand their experiences of home-making during resettlement in Australia.

We want to publicly thank Marie and Helen for their contribution to the establishment of MMIC and we look forward to what comes next from our new leadership team. Associate Professor Rebecca Wickes will continue her role as Director and Rebecca Powell will remain in her position as Research and Centre Manager.