Dr Caroline Lenette

Senior Lecturer
Forced Migration Research Network, School of Social Sciences


130 Morven Brown
Kensington Campus
Fields: Mental Health, Communication and Media Studies, Cultural Policy Studies, Migrant Cultural Studies

Caroline Lenette is a Senior Lecturer in Social Research and Policy, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Senior Research Associate of the Australian Human Rights Institute. She is affiliated with the Forced Migration Research Network (FMRN@UNSW) and Sydney Health Ethics (University of Sydney).

Caroline is interested in the links between arts-based research and policymaking, and how storytelling through creative means can influence decision-makers towards meaningful change. She also explores how ethics in research practice is conceptualised in participatory research. Caroline undertakes social-justice focussed research in collaboration with community-based organisations on different aspects of forced migration. She is the author of Arts-based methods in refugee research: Creating sanctuary (2019, Springer).

Her current projects include: a participatory video collaboration with young people from refugee backgrounds who attend university in Sydney to share their perspectives on what the higher education system could do better to support refugee students (Australian National Commission for UNESCO); a visual ethnographic project on how meanings attached to ‘home’ take shape across settings and over time, with a comparison among the Australian, Canadian and UK contexts (Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development grant); and an exploration of the experiences of Syrian and Iraqi refugee children and young people with disabilities who have recently arrived in Sydney via arts-based methods (South West Sydney Research Small Grant Scheme).

Caroline was awarded a University Medal (Bachelor of Human Services) from Griffith University in 2003 and was the valedictorian. She was also shortlisted for the FASS Dean’s Research Award for Achievement as ECR (2016).

Recent research grants

  1. Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage 2014: Developing Best Practice for Settlement Services for Refugee Women-at-Risk (QUT, $225,000).

  2. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) grant: Women and girls and the Global Compact on Refugees (UNSW, $788,500).

  3. Australian National Commission for UNESCO grant 2018: Changing lives one degree at a time: Refugee students' digital narratives of higher education experiences ($12,000).

  4. Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Development Scheme (Ryerson CAD74,000): Finding Home: Housing, Migration & Research-Creation

  5. South West Sydney Health Small Grant Scheme (STARTTS $20,000): Disability in South Western Sydney: Experiences of the Iraqi and Syrian refugee communities.

  6. UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme Cross-Faculty collaboration (del Favero): 3D Virtual prototyping system ($120,000).

  7. UNSW Collaborative Research Scheme Grant 2015 ($8,000) & 2016 ($3,000).

  8. UNSW School of Social Sciences Project/Conference) 2015-16 ($12,700); 2017 ($23,500).

  9. Queensland Centre for Social Science Innovation (QCSSI) Grant 2013: Best Practice in Settlement Services for Refugee Women-at-Risk (QUT, $22,000).


  1. 2017 European Union – Durham University Co-fund International Senior Research Fellowship in Research and Enterprise: Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, Durham University, UK.
  2. 2014 Endeavour Executive Fellowship ($19,500) – Visiting Scholar: Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Canada.

Current teaching

  • SRAP5102 Theory, Ethics and Social Impact
  • SRAP1001 Social Research and Society

Affiliation: Forced Migration Research Network (FMRN), UNSW; Kaldor Centre Emerging Scholars Network, UNSW; Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW.

University of Sydney: Sydney Health Ethics (2019).



    • Lenette C, 2019, Arts-based methods in refugee research: Creating sanctuary, Springer

    Book Chapters

    • Lenette C;Baker S;Hirsch A, 2019, 'Systemic policy barriers to meaningful participation of students from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds in Australian higher education: Neoliberal settlement and language policies and (deliberate', in McBrien J (ed.), Educational Policies and Practices of English-Speaking Refugee Resettlement Countries, pp. 88 - 109
    • Lenette CD, 2019, 'Mental health and critical multicultural practice: An arts-based approach', in Nipperess S; Williams C (ed.), Critical Multicultural Practice: New perspectives in Australian social work
    • Lenette C;Procopis B;Caballero P, 2018, 'They’d just “flown away”: Reflections on shifting gender norms in the context of engagement with asylum seekers and refugees through community music', in The Routledge Handbook of Community Development Research, pp. 41 - 54, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315612829
    • Sunderland N;Istvandity L;Lakhani A;Lenette CD, 2017, 'Community Music Research and Evaluation Through a Social Determinants Lens', in Sunderland N; Bendrups D; Bartleet B-L; Lewandowski N (ed.), Music, health and wellbeing: Exploring music for health equity and social justice, Springer, https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/978-1-349-95284-7_7
    • Lenette CD, 2017, 'Visual depictions of refugee camps: (de)constructing notions of refugee-ness?', in Liamputtong P (ed.), Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences, Springer, Singapore, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2779-6_47-1

    Journal articles

    • Lenette C;Maror A;Manwaring S, 2019, 'Mothers & Daughters: Redefining cultural continuity through South Sudanese women’s artistic practices', Journal of Intercultural Studies
    • Baker S;Ramsay G;Lenette C, 2019, 'Students from Refugee and Asylum Seeker Backgrounds and Meaningful Participation in Higher Education: From Peripheral to Fundamental Concern', Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, vol. 21, pp. 4 - 19, http://dx.doi.org/10.5456/wpll.21.2.4
    • Jops P;Lenette C;Breckenridge J, 2019, 'Lessons of Survival: Exploring the Social Networks and Coping Mechanisms of Chin Refugee Women in Delhi', Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2018.1550230
    • Vromans L;Schweitzer RD;Brough M;Correa-Velez I;Murray K;Lenette C, 2019, 'Psychometric Properties of the Multidimensional Loss Scale with Refugee Women-at-Risk Recently Arrived in Australia.', J Immigr Minor Health, vol. 21, pp. 271 - 277, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10903-018-0750-5
    • Blomfield I;Lenette C, 2019, 'Anonymity and representation: Everyday practices of ethical documentary filmmaking', Alphaville : Journal of Film and Screen Media
    • Botfield J;Zwi A;Lenette C;Newman C, 2019, 'Ethical considerations of using walking interviews to engage migrant and refugee young people in health service research', SAGE Research Methods Cases., http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526473073
    • Lenette C;Banks S;Nunn C;Coddington K;Cook T;Kong ST;Stavropoulou N, 2019, 'Brushed under the carpet: Examining the complexities of participatory research (PR)', Research for All, pp. 161 - 179
    • Yeung J;Lenette C, 2018, 'Stranded at sea: Photographic representations of the Rohingya in the 2015 bay of Bengal crisis', Qualitative Report, vol. 23, pp. 1301 - 1313, https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol23/iss6/3/
    • Schweitzer RD;Vromans L;Brough M;Asic-Kobe M;Correa-Velez I;Murray K;Lenette C, 2018, 'Recently resettled refugee women-at-risk in Australia evidence high levels of psychiatric symptoms: Individual, trauma and post-migration factors predict outcomes', BMC Medicine, vol. 16, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-018-1143-2
    • Vromans L;Schweitzer RD;Farrell L;Correa-Velez I;Brough M;Murray K;Lenette C, 2018, '‘Her cry is my cry’: resettlement experiences of refugee women at risk recently resettled in Australia', Public Health, vol. 158, pp. 149 - 155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2018.03.010
    • Botfield JR;Newman CE;Lenette C;Albury K;Zwi AB, 2018, 'Using digital storytelling to promote the sexual health and well-being of migrant and refugee young people: A scoping review', Health Education Journal, vol. 77, pp. 735 - 748, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0017896917745568
    • Blomfield I;Lenette C, 2018, 'Artistic representations of refugees: What is the role of the artist?', Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 39, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07256868.2018.1459517
    • Hall S;Lenette C;Murray S;Chan C;Flannery A;Vickery K, 2018, '#LetThemStay: Visual representations of protests and community mobilization for asylum seekers in Australia', Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, vol. 7, pp. 38 - 55, http://dx.doi.org/10.31274/jctp-180810-105
    • Lenette C, 2018, 'Access to higher education: understanding global inequalities', HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, vol. 37, pp. 224 - 226, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2018.1403414
    • Lenette C;Botfield J;Boydell K;Haire B;Newman C;Zwi A, 2018, 'Beyond compliance checking: A situated approach to visual research ethics', Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, vol. 15, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11673-018-9850-0
    • Lenette CD, 2018, 'Political cartoons and host nations’ public dispositions towards integration', Peace and Conflict: journal of peace psychology
    • Lenette CD;Brough M;Schweitzer R;Correa-Velez I;Murray K;Vromans L, 2018, ''Better than a pill': Digital story telling as a narrative process for refugee women', Media Practice and Education, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/25741136.2018.1464740
    • Lenette CD;Miskovic N, 2018, '“Some viewers may find the following images disturbing”: visual representations of refugee deaths at border crossings.', Crime, Media, Culture: an international journal, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1741659016672716
    • Wright C;Lenette C;Lewis-Driver S;Larmar S, 2017, 'The revised 'Common Time' program as a strategy for student engagement and retention at university. A Practice Report', STUDENT SUCCESS, vol. 8, pp. 79 - 86, http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/ssj.v8i1.354
    • Curry O;smedley C;Lenette CD, 2017, 'What is ‘successful’ resettlement? Refugee narratives from regional New South Wales in Australia', Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2017.1358410
    • Cooper S;Olejniczak E;Lenette C;Smedley C, 2017, 'Media coverage of refugees and asylum seekers in regional Australia: A critical discourse analysis', Media International Australia, vol. 162, pp. 78 - 89, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1329878X16667832
    • Vromans L;Schweitzer R;Brough M;Correa-Velez I;Murray K;Lenette CD, 2017, 'Contributions of Loss Events to Loss Distress and Trauma Symptoms in Recently Resettled Refugee Women-at-Risk', Journal of Loss and Trauma, vol. 22, pp. 357 - 370, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2017.1296302
    • Lenette CD;Karan P;Chrysostomou D;Athanasopoulos A, 2017, 'What is it like living in detention? Insights from asylum seeker children’s drawings', Australian Journal of Human Rights, vol. 23, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1323238X.2017.1314805
    • de Jager A;Fogarty A;Tewson A;Lenette CD;Boydell K, 2017, 'Digital Storytelling in Research: A Systematic Review', The Qualitative Report
    • Weston D;Lenette C, 2016, 'Performing freedom: The role of music-making in creating a community in asylum seeker detention centres', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY MUSIC, vol. 9, pp. 121 - 134, http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ijcm.9.2.121_1
    • Laney HM;Lenette C;Kellett AN;Smedley C;Karan P, 2016, 'The most brutal immigration regime in the developed world":1 International Media Responses to Australia's Asylum-Seeker Policy', Refuge, vol. 32, pp. 135 - 149
    • Lenette C, 2016, 'University students from refugee backgrounds: why should we care?', Higher Education Research and Development, vol. 35, pp. 1311 - 1315, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2016.1190524
    • Jops P;Breckenridge J;Lenette CD, 2016, 'A context of risk: Uncovering the lived experiences of Chin refugee women who are negotiating a livelihood in Delhi, India.', Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, vol. 32, pp. 84 - 94, http://refuge.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/refuge/article/view/40348/36423
    • Cooper S;Olejniczak E;Lenette CD;Smedley C, 2016, 'Media coverage of refugees and asylum seekers in regional Australian press: A critical discourse analysis.', Media International Australia, pp. 1 - 12
    • Lenette CD;Cleland S, 2016, 'Changing faces: Visual representations of asylum seekers in times of crisis.', Creative Approaches to Research, vol. 9, pp. 68 - 83, http://creativeapproachestoresearch.net/wp-content/uploads/CAR9_1_Lenette_Cleland.pdf
    • Lenette C, 2016, 'Writing with light: An iconographic-iconologic approach to refugee photography', Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung, vol. 17
    • Weston D;Lenette CD, 2016, 'Performing freedom: Accidental communities and cultural spaces in detention', International Journal of Community Music
    • Sunderland N;Graham P;Lenette CA R O L I N, 2016, 'Epistemic communities: Extending the social justice outcomes of community music for asylum seekers and refugees in Australia', International Journal of Community Music
    • Lenette CD;Procopis B, 2016, '‘They change us’: The social and emotional impacts on music facilitators of engaging in music and singing with asylum seekers.', Music and Arts in Action, vol. 5, pp. 55 - 68, http://musicandartsinaction.net/index.php/maia/article/view/theychangeus
    • Lenette C;Ingamells A, 2015, 'Mind the Gap! The growing chasm between funding-driven agencies, and social and community knowledge and practice', COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL, vol. 50, pp. 88 - 103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsu024
    • Lenette C;Cox L;Brough M, 2015, 'Digital Storytelling as a Social Work Tool: Learning from Ethnographic Research with Women from Refugee Backgrounds', BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK, vol. 45, pp. 988 - 1005, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bct184
    • Sunderland N;Istvandity L;Lakhani A;Lenette CD;Procopis B;Caballero P, 2015, ''They [do more than] interrupt us from sadness': Exploring the impact of participatory music making on social determinants of health and wellbeing for refugees in Australia.', Health, Culture and Society, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/hcs.2015.195
    • Sawrikar P;Lenette CD;McDonald D;Fowler J, 2015, 'Don’t Silence “the Dinosaurs”: Keeping Caution Alive With Regard to Social Work Distance Education', Journal of Teaching in Social Work: innovations in instruction, training and educational practice
    • Lenette CD;Weston D;Wise P;Sunderland N;Bristed H, 2015, 'Where words fail, music speaks: the impact of participatory music on the mental health and wellbeing of asylum seekers.', Arts and Health: an international journal for research, policy and practice, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17533015.2015.1037317
    • Lenette C;Sunderland N, 2014, '“Will there be music for us?” Mapping the health and well-being potential of participatory music practice with asylum seekers and refugees across contexts of conflict and refuge', Arts and Health, vol. 8, pp. 32 - 49, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17533015.2014.961943
    • Lenette C, 2014, 'Teaching cultural diversity in first year human services and social work: The impetus for embedding a cultural safety framework. A Practice Report', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE FIRST YEAR IN HIGHER EDUCATION, vol. 5, pp. 117 - 123, http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/intjfyhe.v5i1.196
    • Lenette C;McDonald D;Fowler JL, 2014, ''Newstart' or 'Stop-Start'? The implications of recent welfare reforms on undergraduate students who are sole parents', HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, vol. 33, pp. 627 - 630, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2014.881767
    • Lenette C, 2014, ''I am a Widow, Mother and Refugee': Narratives of Two Refugee Widows Resettled to Australia', JOURNAL OF REFUGEE STUDIES, vol. 27, pp. 403 - 421, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fet045
    • Lenette C;Sunderland N, 2014, '“Will there be music for us?” Mapping the health and well-being potential of participatory music practice with asylum seekers and refugees across contexts of conflict and refuge', Arts and Health, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17533015.2014.961943
    • Lenette C;Boddy J, 2013, 'Visual ethnography and refugee women: nuanced understandings of lived experiences', QUALITATIVE RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 13, pp. 72 - +, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14439881311314621
    • Lenette C;Brough M;Cox L, 2013, 'Everyday resilience: Narratives of single refugee women with children', QUALITATIVE SOCIAL WORK, vol. 12, pp. 637 - 653, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473325012449684
    • Lenette C, 2013, 'Refugee women: beyond gender versus culture', GENDER PLACE AND CULTURE, vol. 20, pp. 553 - 554, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2013.795724
    • Lenette C, 2013, 'Mistrust and refugee women who are lone parents in resettlement contexts', Qualitative Social Work, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473325013517924
    • Lenette C;Ingamells, 2013, '‘From ‘chopping up chicken’ to ‘cap and gown’: A university initiative to increase migrant and refugee pathways to employment', Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education


    Theses / Dissertations

    • Jops PT, 2017, Negotiating Survival: Uncovering the Lived Experiences of Chin Refugee Women in Delhi, India who Engage in Risky Livelihoods

    Conference Presentations

    • Lenette CD;Schweitzer R;Brough M;Murray K;Correa-Velez I, 2016, 'Digital narratives: A transformative storytelling process for refugee women in Australia', presented at Contemporary Ethnography Across Disciplines, South Africa, 16 - 18 November 2016
    • Botfield J;Newman CE;Lenette C;Albury K;Zwi A, 2016, 'Using digital storytelling to promote healthy relationships and sexual health among young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds in Australia: A scoping review', presented at Youth, Health and Practical Justice: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Sydney, 04 - 05 December 2016
    • Sunderland N;Isvandity L;Lakhani A;Lenette CD, 2015, 'They [do more than] Interrupt us from Sadness: Exploring the impact of participatory music making on social determinants of health and wellbeing for refugees in Australia', presented at Conference in Ethnomusicology and Anthropology of Music, Spain, 01 - 03 July 2015
    • Lenette CD;Ingamells A, 2012, 'Migrant and refugee pathways to employment: a university initiative', presented at AASWWE Symposium, Celebrating Diversity: navigating the challenges of inclusivity, 27 - 28 September 2012
    • Lenette CD, 2012, 'The everyday resilience of refugee women', presented at Australian Anthropological Society conference, 25 - 28 September 2012
    • Lenette CD, 2011, 'Narratives of widowhood among refugee women.', presented at Social Participation: Knowledge, Policy and Practice, 28 - 29 November 2011

    Creative Written Works

    • Lenette CD, 2012, From this time forward I pledge., Griffith Review 36: What Is Australia For? Some provocations.
    • Lenette C, 2012, The dishes can wait: a young mother’s reflection post-PhD, Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, Healy K, (ed.)

    Recorded / Rendered Creative Works

    • Sunderland N;Lenette CD;Bartleet B-L, 2015, Health and wellbeing outcomes of participatory music for asylum seekers and refugees., Editor(s): Monsour L


    • Lenette C, 2019, The value of everyday resilience, Refugee Hosts, https://refugeehosts.org/2019/06/27/the-value-of-everyday-resilience/
    • Baker S;Lenette C, 2019, Higher English entry standards for international students won’t necessarily translate to success, https://theconversation.com/higher-english-entry-standards-for-international-students-wont-necessari
    • Lenette C, 2018, Refugee women use their voices through digital storytelling, https://theconversation.com/refugee-women-use-their-voices-through-digital-storytelling-97870

Teaching and Supervision

  • SRAP3002 Social Science and Policy Project
  • SRAP5101 Research Methods
  • SRAP5102 Project Design
  • SRAP5103 Research Report

Honours and prizes

2017 European Union - Durham University Co-fund International Senior Research Fellowship in Research and Enterprise: Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, Durham University, UK.

2014 Endeavour Executive Fellowship ($19,500) – Visiting Scholar: Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Canada.

Shortlisted - FASS Dean’s Research Award for Achievement as ECR (2016)

Griffith Health Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Teaching (2011)

Bachelor of Human Services Medallist, Griffith University (2003)

Engagement and Professional contributions

Forced Migration Research Network, UNSW

Kaldor Centre Emerging Scholars Network, UNSW

Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW

  • Australian NGO delegate, UNHCR-NGO annual consultations, Geneva (2016)

University of Sydney: Sydney Health Ethics (2019).

Related news

Other information


PhD:Mr Oscar Curry (2018, Joint-Principal): Domestic migration of refugee populations in Australia; Ms Ruth Horsfall (2020, Joint-Principal): Participatory theatre and refugee women in Western Sydney.

Completions - PhD: Dr R. Jurczyczyn (Associate): Higher education and young people in care (2014);DrPaulaJops(Secondary):Negotiating Survival: Experiences of Urban Refugee Women in Delhi, India Who Engage in "Risky" Livelihoods(2017).Dr Annabel Dulhunty (Co-Principal):Gender and Development: Worth the Hype for the most marginalised?The impact on lower caste women in West Bengal, India.Dr Amelia Wheeler (2015, Joint-Principal):Bringing the child’s perspective into family dispute resolution: a critical analysis of policy and legislation related to Australian post-separation family dispute resolution practices.Masters:Ms Catherine Clark (2018):Enabling Pathways for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Higher Education.Ms Grace Thomas (2018):Women’s narratives and the #MeToo movement.Ms Geneve O'Connor (2017): Neoliberal appropriation of community development and young women aged 15-25.Honours: Mr Luke Upton (2015): Evidence-based refugee policy; Ms Hannah Zeb (2016): Visual representations of asylum seekers and terrorism.Ms Rachel Lui (2017):Narrative therapy and trauma among refugee women.