Dr Val Colic-Peisker


Associate Professor

School /
Work Unit

Global, Urban and Social Studies

Contact Details

+61 3 9925 9981



Building: 15
Level: 4
Room: 18

City Campus


Design & Social Context

Key activities

Val Colic-Peisker is an Associate Professor (sociology) in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies. She previously worked at Monash and Murdoch Universities and University of Western Australia.

Before becoming a full-time academic, Val worked as a radio-producer at the Croatian National Radio in Zagreb, a journalist and translator in the Croatian Press Agency (HINA) and as a freelance author. She has published extensively, in academic and mainstream media.

Val’s research is interdisciplinary, theoretically as well as policy-oriented, spanning sociology, political science, social psychology and economics, and uses qualitative as well as quantitative research methods. Val’s central research interests are in the areas of migration, mobility, globalisation, cosmopolitnism and Australian immigration and settlement policies. Her research has focused on notions of ethnicity/race, identity, community and class. Val ’s recent publications cover topics such as labour and residential integration of immigrants in Australia, especially those from NESB; development of Australian multiculturalism; and homeownership in Australia.

Val actively promotes cross-disciplinary, inter-university and international research collaborations. She regularly presents her research at national and international conferences and public seminars. In 2006, she was a convenor of the Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference in Perth (TASA 2006). Val regularly serves as a referee for academic journals, research funding bodies, and higher degree theses. In 2009, Val has convened the inter-university Migration and Mobility Research Network (MMRN) based at RMIT.


  • PhD, Sociology (Murdoch University, Western Australia, 2001)
  • MPhil, Women’s Studies (University of Western Australia)
  • MA in Political Science (University of Zagreb)
  • DipEd (University of Rijeka, Croatia)
  • BA (Hons) in Political Science (University of Zagreb)

Professional interests

  • International migration and mobility
  • Socio-cultural aspects of housing and residential mobility
  • Australian immigration and settlement policies
  • Labour market integration of immigrants
  • Australian multiculturalism

Research and scholarship

Research projects, grants and awards

  • 2012, 2013, 2014 ARC Linkage (LP120200076), ‘Refugee employment aspirations and inter-generational communication about future occupational pathways’, $296,235 collaborative with A. Hebbani, C. Gallois and L. Obijiofor (UQ) and Nigar Khawaja (QUT), Linkage partner: Access Community Services Ltd., Brisbane
  • 2012-2013 ‘Housing and Employment for Social Cohesion in Multicultural Neighbourhoods “In Transition”: Building Local Best Practice’, collaborative with S. Robertson and P. Phipps (RMIT) and City of Moreland, Scanlon Foundation Small Grant ($25,000)
  • 2012, 2013, 2014 ‘Refugees, Housing and Social Inclusion in Australia’, AHURI national competitive grant (collaborative with UWA) $193,322
  • 2011-12 ‘Resident third party objections and appeals against planning applications: implications for medium density and social housing’ - AHURI national competitive grant, $95,648 (collaborative @ RMIT)
  • 2009-10: ‘What future for Australian public housing? A critical analysis’ (AHURI national competitive grant $82,438 – collaborative)
  • 2009-10: ‘Other countries’ policy initiatives to meet the housing needs of asset-poor older persons: implications for Australia’ (AHURI national competitive grant, $120,315 – collaborative)
  • 2007-2008: ‘Home as a commodity’ – focus groups on housing wealth, its conceptualizing and use in Australia, collaborative, RMIT Global Cities/Urban Infrastructure Grant $25,000
  • 2006-2009: ‘Community belonging and identity of transnational knowledge workers’ (solo project)
  • 2004-2006: ‘Refugees and employment: the effect of visible difference on discrimination’ Australian Research Council Discovery Project ‘(with Farida Tilbury and Nonja Peters) $99,000
  • 2001-2004: ‘Resettlement of Bosnian refugees in Australia: community, identity and labour market integration’, Murdoch University Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 1997-2000: ‘Croatians in WA: Migration, class and identity’, Murdoch University PhD scholarship


  • ‘Faling Behind: The growing gap between rent and rent assistance 1995-2009’, for Tenants Union of Victoria, March 2010, $3,100 (with Dr Rachel Ong and Mr Clinton McMurray, Curtin University)
  • Tenants Union of Victoria (consultancy) ‘Commonwealth Rent Assistance in the context of Rising Housing costs Since 1995’ (with Rachel Ong and Gavin Wood, 2008)
  • Citibank (consultancy) ‘Global Mobility Survey’ (2008)


Book chapters

‘Cosmopolitanism as a civilizing project’, in J. Malpas & K. Jacobs (eds.) Between the Outback and the Sea: Cosmopolitanism and Anti-Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Australia, Perth: University of Western Australia Press, forthcoming 2011.

with Smith, S. J. and Johnson, G. 'Pots of gold? Housing wealth and economic wellbeing in Australia’, in S. J. Smith & B. Searle (eds.) A Blackwell Companion to the Economics of Housing: The Housing Wealth of Nations, pp. 316-338, Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex, 2010.

‘Crisis of community in the era of mobility? Transnationals and belonging’, in A. Babacan & S. Singh(ed.) Migration, belonging and the nation state, pp. 63-83, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, 2010.

‘The “visibly different” refugees in the Australian labour market: settlement policies and employment realities’ (PDF 1.08MB), in S. McKay (ed.) Refugees, recent migrants and employment: challenging barriers and exploring pathways, New York: Routledge, London, 2009.

with Tilbury, F. ‘Skilled refugees, employment and social inclusion: a Perth case study of three communities’, in Val C-P. & Farida T.(eds.) Settling in Australia: Social inclusion of refugees, Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University, April 2007.

‘Representing one’s own “ethnic community”: the experience of an awkward insider’ in Hume, L. & Mulcock, J. (eds.) Anthropologists in the Field: cases in participant observation, pp. 82-94, West Sussex: Columbia University Press, New York, 2004.

‘Migrant communities and class: Croatians in Western Australia’, in Kennedy, P. & Roudometof, V., (eds.) Communities Across Borders:New Immigrants and Transnational Cultures, pp. 29-40, New York: Routledge, London, 2002.


Migration, class and transnational identities: Croatians in Australia and America, Urbana and Chicago: Illinois University Press, 2008.

Settling in Australia: Social inclusion of refugees, edited by Val Colic-Peisker and Farida Tilbury, Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University, 2007.

Homeland wanted: Interdisciplinary perspectives on the refugee resettlement in the West (co-edited with Peter Waxman), New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2005.

Split Lives: Croatian Australian Stories, Fremantle, WA: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2004.

Journal articles – refereed

V. Colic-Peisker and G. Johnson: ‘Liquid life, solid homes: Young people, class and homeownership in Australia’, Sociology (UK), 46(4):728-743, Aug 2012

A.Hebbani and V. Colic-Peisker: ‘Communicating one’s way to employment: A case study of African settlers in Brisbane, Australia’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 33(5): 529-47, Oct 2012

‘A new era in Australian multiculturalism? From working-class “ethnics” to a “multicultural middle-class”’, International Migration Review, 45(3): 561-586, Fall 2011

‘Ethnics’ and ‘Anglos’ in the Australian labour market: Advancing Australia fair? Journal of Intercultural Studies, 32(6): 639-656, Dec 2011

V. Colic-Peisker and K. Farquharson (2011) ‘Introduction: A New Era in Australian Multiculturalism? The Need for Critical Interrogation’,Journal of Intercultural Studies, 32(6): 579-586

‘Free floating in the cosmopolis? Identity-belonging of transnational knowledge workers’ (PDF 243 KB), Global Networks, 10(4):467-488, 2010.

Val Colic-Peisker and Guy Johnson: ‘Security and anxiety of homeownership: perceptions of middle-class Australians’ (PDF 139 KB), Housing Theory and Society, pp.1-21, 2010 (March 2010 iFirst).

‘The Croatian community in Australia in the early 21st century: a socio-cultural and demographic transition’. pp. 53-68, Croatian Studies Review, No. 6, 2009-10

‘Settlement success in three refugee communities in Australia: Visibility, class location and life satisfaction’ (PDF 485 KB), Ethnicities, 9(2):175.199, 2009.

S. Torezani, F. Tilbury and V. Colic-Peisker ‘Looking for the missing link: employment assistance and social networks in refugees’ job search’ (PDF 141 KB), Journal of Intercultural Studies, 29(2), April 2008.

V. Colic-Peisker and F. Tilbury ‘Being black in Australia: a case study of intergroup relations’ (PDF 328 KB), Race and Class, 49(4):38-56, 2008.

V. Colic-Peisker and F. Tilbury ‘Integration into the Australian labour market: the experience of three “visibly different” groups of recently arrived refugees’ (PDF 141 KB), International Migration, 45(1), 2007.

F. Tilbury and V. Colic-Peisker ‘Deflecting responsibility in employer talk about race discrimination’ (PDF 145 KB), Discourse and Society, 17(5), 2006.

V. Colic-Peisker and F. Tilbury ‘Employment niches for recent refugees: segmented labour market of the 21st century Australia’ (PDF 171 KB), Journal of Refugee Studies, 19(2):203-229, June 2006.

“Ethnic” and “Cosmopolitan” Transnationalism: Two Cohorts of Croatian Immigrants in Australia’, Migration and ethnic themes (Zagreb), 22(3): 211-230, 2006

‘“At least you’re the right colour”: Identity and social inclusion of Bosnian refugees in Australia’ (PDF 156 KB), Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 31(4): 616-638, July 2005.

Compassion and pragmatism: softening of Australian asylum policy?’, Forced Migration Review, 21: 50-52, August 2004

V. Colic-Peisker and F. Tilbury ‘‘Active’ and ‘Passive’ Resettlement: the Influence of Support Services and Refugees’ own Resources on Resettlement Style’, International Migration, 41(5): 61-92, December 2003.

V. Colic-Peisker and I. Walker ‘Human capital, acculturation and social identity: Bosnian refugees in Australia’, Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 13:337-360, 2003.

‘Croatians in Western Australia: migration, language and class’ (PDF 257 KB), Journal of Sociology, 38(2):149-166, 2002.

Conference papers – refereed and published in proceedings

Mobility and its discontents in (sub)urban Australia’, TASA 2012 Refereed proceedings, edited by L. Cheshireand A. Broom, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 26-29 Nov 2012

‘How much cosmopolitanism there is in globalisation? The case of global warming policy debate’, TASA 2011 Refereed proceedings, edited by S. Threadgold, E. Kirby and J. Germov, University of Newcastle, Australia, 28 Nov-1 Dec 2011

‘Australian immigration and settlement in the 21st century: who comes in and how do they fare in the labour market?’,TASA 2010, Macquarie University, Sydney Dec 2010

The rise of multicultural middle class: a new stage of Australian multiculturalism?, The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference, Australian National University, 2-4 December 2009.

Social marginality of a ‘community of need’: a case study of Bosnian refugees in a Perth public housing estate, refereed conference paper, The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference, Melbourne University, Melbourne, December 2008.

Life satisfaction across cultures: a case of recent refugee arrivals in Australia, 10th Quality of Life Conference, Deakin University, Melbourne, 20 November 2008

Visibility, loss of status and life satisfaction in three groups of recent refugee settlers, The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)Conference, University of West Australia, Perth, 4-6 December 2006.

with Torezani, S., & Tilbury, F., Refugees and employment: seeking jobs, finding networks, The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)Conference, University of West Australia, Perth, 4-6 December 2006.

“They’re all cleaning”: recent refugees in the “secondary labour market”, The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)Conference, University of Tasmania, Hobart, 4-6 December 2005.

Conference papers – delivered

Multicultural middle class and “foreign accent”: negotiating the field of symbolic power in Australia’ (keynote), Language and Social Inclusion Symposium, Macquarie University, Sydney, 14-15 Oct 2012

Multiculturalism and fear in Australia’, Multiculturalism in Australia: From Theorising to Policy-Making symposium, Deakin University, Melbourne, 6 July 2012

Mobility and diversity in a global city: the case of Melbourne’, Reclaiming Multiculturalism: Global Citizenship and Ethical Engagement with Diversity, Deakin University, Melbourne, 15-16 November 2012

Mobility and its discontents: a view from Australia’, Spaces and Flows Conference, Prato, Italy, 17-18 Nov 2011

V. Colic-Peisker. N. Cook, L. Taylor and J. Hurley: ‘Consolidating Australian cities: policy, planning and resistance’, EHNR 2012, Lillehammer, Norway, 24-27 June 2012

V. Colic-Peisker and G. Wood: ‘Housing asset-poor older Australians’, ENHR 2011, Toulouse, 5-8 July 2011

Xenophobia in countries of immigration? Australia, Canada and US’, Institute for Migration and Ethnicity (IMIN) 3rd Round Table, Zagreb, 10 Nov 2011

‘Utopia via dystopia? The impossibility of cosmopolitanism’, Australian and international perspectives on the cosmopolitan civil sphere ASSA Workshop, Griffith University, Brisbane, 28-29 April 2011

The Australian way: Urban, global, hyper-mobile and detached’, City community and globalisation workshop, RMIT, 10 June 2011 (Global Cities Institute)

Balkan soil and Habsburg manners: consistencies and contradictions of the Croatian path to Europe, keynote speaker in Post-Yugoslav Identities Conference, Melbourne University, 26-27 September 2008.

Mobility and community: synergies and contradictions, symposium on Diaspora and Migration Research, La Trobe University, Melbourne, 30 May 2008.

Housing generations: the Australian dream from “baby-boomers” to “generation Y”, Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference, Melbourne, 18-20 June 2008.

Multicultural immigration and social cohesion: a current Australian debate, Immigration, Housing and Social Cohesion workshop, University of Reading, UK, 11 February 2008.

A retreat from multiculturalism and the social cohesion debate in Australia, Institute for Migration and Ethnicity (IMN), Zagreb, 22 February 2008.

‘Visibility and settlement success in three refugee groups: a survey of issues’, Metropolis Conference, Melbourne, 11 October 2007.

Cosmopolitanism and transnational mobility: tracing the link, (plenary) Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Conference, University of Technology Sydney, 4-5 October 2007.

Home as a Commodity: report from a focus group project, Housing Wealth Workshop, Durham University, UK, 17-18 October 2007.

Engaging with the “Other” across cultures: refugees in Australia, Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) Developing World Conference, 2006.

Talking Truths: Global Perspectives on Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, 7-9 July 2006.

Settlement and life satisfaction of three refugee groups in Australia: a comparative perspective, Talking Across Borders: New Dialogues in Forced Migration Studies: IASFM 10 Conference, York University, Toronto, 18-22 June 2006.

Refuge in the lucky country: resettlement success and life satisfaction among three refugee communities in Australia, Hopes Fulfilled or Dreams Shattered?, Refugee Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 22-25 November 2005.

Myths and Realities of Social Inclusion: Bosnian Refugees in Australia, Education, Counseling and Social Work as Factors in the Integration of Immigrants and Refugees in Multicultural Societies, Warsaw, 5-7 June 2004.

Other publications

Refereed journals in virtual reality: it is a jungle out there!', Nexus, July 2012, pp. 22-23

N. Cook, E. Taylor, J. Hurley and V. Colic-Peisker 2012. ‘Resident third party objections and appeals against planning applications: implications for higher density and social housing’, AHURI Final Report (Project 30678), Dec 2012

‘Deliberations of a reasonably domesticated immigrant’ in Joyful Strains:Making Australia Home, edited by Kent MacCarter and Ali Lemer, Melbourne: Affirm Press, 2012, pp. 251-260

Beware the scammers targeting academics’, The Australian (HigherEd), 1 Aug 2012, p. 17

‘Business and professional migrants’, Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, Wiley-Blackwell, Immanuel Ness (general editor), City University of New York, forthcoming in 2013

‘Immigration and housing policy’, Elsevier International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home, 2012, Vol. 4, pp. 1-7

Diaspora Croata: Emotiones, intereses y lo que hay por medio’ [‘Croatian diaspora: Emotions, interests and all in between’], Culturas No 9, Jan 2011, pp. 108-122 (Spain).

Gavin Wood, Val Colic-Peisker, Mike Berry and Rachel Ong (2010) Asset-poverty and older Australians' transitions onto housing assistance programs, AHURI Final Report No. 156, Nov 2010,

Jacobs, K., Atkinson, R., Spinney, A., Colic-Peisker, V., Berry, M. & Dalton, T. What Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) research paper, 2010.

‘Brain drain’ (PDF 245 KB) (pp. 104-6) and ‘Professionals and executives’ (pp. 366-7) in Palgrave Dictionary of transnational history, 2009.

‘Croatians in Western Australia’, ‘Central European migration to Western Australia’, ‘South-Eastern European migration to Western Australia’, in J. Gregory & J. Gothard (eds.), Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia, UWA Press, Crawley, 2009.

Paul Ginsborg (2008) ‘Democracy: Crisis and Renewal’, Australian Literary Review (The Australian, 3 Dec 2008, p. 15)

Val Colic-Peisker and with Farida Tilbury Refugee and Employment: The Effect of Visible difference on Discrimination, Final Report, Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University, 2007

Bosnian refugees in Australia: Identity, Community and Labour Market Integration, New Issues in Refugee Research Working Paper No. 97, November 2003.