Shaking Shangri-la: the Tibetan mentoring case study
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 11:28 by Phillipa Bellemore
The relationship between refugees and their receiving community is an area requiring further investigation and research. This thesis examines refugee monitoring through a case study of the Tibetan Mentoring Program, based in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. My research question is "How might mentoring assist integration of refugees in Australia?" The study has two aims: firstly, to better understand what contributes to good mentoring relationships and why they sometimes fail; and secondly to understand what mentoring brings to the refugee resettlement experience. A qualitative research methodology was used, including interviews with mentor and mentees, a focus group, and ethnography. The research aims to add to limited literature on how the receiving community can assist refugee settlement. A key hook is exploring and interrogating the role of the receiving community and possibilities of welcome or unwelcome thrown open by refugee mentoring programs. I argue care must be taken to unpack the romantic notions attributed to mentoring and I contend there is a need for theoretical development of refugee mentoring. Everyday social connections and ontological security enable a sense of belonging, and the forging of these emotional connections are examined. Also explored, the nature of the bonds formed in the mentoring relationship and how mentors and mentees interplay, symbolise and construct their cultural identity. In other words, how the mentoring relationship is constructed, shaken and contested between mentors and mentees.