Educated in Australia and Italy, Des Cahill, Professor of Intercultural Studies at RMIT University, has been a world leading researcher and teacher in the areas of immigrant, cross-cultural and international studies for more than three decades.
Research (since 2000)
His research projects have been:
2008–2010 Religion and Diversity in a Globalizing World: Beyond Ground Zero: research project for Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
2008 Chief researcher, Development of a Multicultural Education Policy for Victorian Government Schools: project for the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, July–October 2008,
2007 Irish lecture Series on Immigration Policy and Practice, sponsored by the Irish Episcopal Commission for Emigrants Overseas, Dublin, November 2007.
2007–2010 Chief researcher (with Prof. G. Bouma and Dr Hass Dellal), Freedom of Religion (article 18 of ICCPR, section 118 of Australian constitution): Australia-wide consultation for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in association with the Australian Multicultural Foundation
2006–2007 Vietnamese Community of Australia: The Face of Vietnamese Australia: 30 Years in Australia.
2005–2007 Vietnamese Community of Australia (Victoria): Feasibility study for a Vietnamese Cultural Heritage Centre
2005–2007 Consultant to the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference on migrant pastoral care project, Graced by Migration.
2002–2004 Commonwealth Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Australian Multicultural Foundation: Religion, Cultural Diversity and Social Cohesion Project.
2000–2004 Scalabrini Research Center (Sydney and Manila): History of the Scalabrinians in Australia and Asia 1952–2002.
2000–2001 November – January, Visiting Scholar, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang.
His Ph.D. was a study of family environment and the bilingual skills of Italo-Australian children. His many publications and research projects have focussed on many immigrant and refugee groups in Australia: Argentinian, British, Cambodian, Chilean, Dutch, Filipino, Greek, Italian, Lebanese, Maltese, Polish, Turkish, Uruguayan and Vietnamese, and he has conducted research in Japan, the Philippines, Switzerland and Viet Nam. His areas of interest have been in immigrant, multicultural and international education, cross-cultural communication, bilingualism and biculturalism, ethnic minority youth, immigrant settlement, ethnic community development, world population movements, cultural diversity policy development and evaluation, intermarriage, international students and, more recently, religion and globalization.
He established the Associate Diploma of Ethnic Studies in 1981 and the Bachelor of Arts (Multicultural Studies), begun in 1986, and managed the Graduate Diplomas in English as a Second Language and in Languages other than English. In 1997-98, together with Professor Michael Singh, he developed the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (International Studies), now the top such course in Victoria.
In the area of policy and program evaluation, he has led major projects at the highest level of government, particularly in the area of multicultural education and ethnic youth, especially with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Since the events of September 11th 2001, he has played a major role in researching and bringing together the various faith communities in Australia and across the world through his research and community activities. He currently chairs the Australian chapter of Religions for Peace International, the world’s largest interfaith organization, and represents Australia on the executive committee of the Religions for Peace Asia - in October 2008, he was elected its Deputy Moderator by the Governing Board representing the 18 member nations including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan and the two Koreas. He is a member of the Australian Partnership of Religious Organizations (APRO) and of the Victoria Police Multifaith Advisory Council.
In 2006, he led Melbourne’s successful bid, in competition against Delhi and Singapore, to host the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 3rd – 9th December 2009, the world’s largest interfaith gathering. As a consequence, he has been made an Ambassador for Club Melbourne, a group of 100 leading scientists and academics, to promote the image of Melbourne around the world.
In the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours List, he was awarded the Order of the Medal of Australia for "services to Intercultural Education and to the Interfaith Movement".
Honorary Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders
Doctor of Philosophy (Educational and Social Psychology)Faculty of Education, Monash University; Clayton, 1985
Master of Education (Educational Psychology) Faculty of Education, Monash University; Clayton,1979
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1977
Master of Theological Studies, Urban University, Rome, 1970
Bachelor of Theological Studies, Urban University, Rome, 1968
Professional interests and links to industry
Religions for Peace Asia, deputy moderator (since 2008), co-president (since 2008) and Australian representative (since 2001)
Religions for Peace International, Australian representative (since 2001)
Religions for Peace Australia, chairperson (since 2001)
Australian Partnership of Religious Organizations, member (since 2003)
Parliament of the World’s Religions, Board of Management
(2006–2010); leader of Melbourne bid (2006) and honorary program manager (2007–2010)
Victoria Police Multifaith Advisory Council, member (since 2005)
Catholic Council for Pastoral Research, member (since 2008)
Australian Polish Community Services, member, executive committee (since 2000)
Ambassador for Club Melbourne, (since 2007)part of the “Think Melbourne, Think Victoria” strategy
Centre for Dialogue, LaTrobe University, member, advisory board, (since 2006)
World Conference of Religions for Peace, Australian representative, World Assembly at Kyoto, 2006
Australian Catholic Bishops’ National Pastoral Strategy for a Multicultural Australia, member, working party, 2006–2007.
October 2001: Representative for Australia, Post-S11 Conference, World Conference of Religions for Peace, UN Plaza, New York and Ground Zero.
Accomplishments and achievements
2004 Australia Together Peace Award “in recognition of your positive contribution to national harmony”, presented by the Australian Intercultural Society
2006 Honorary Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders for his work and leadership in immigrant, cross-cultural, interfaith and international education.
2006 Appointment as Club Melbourne Ambassador as part of the “Think Melbourne, Think Victoria” strategy.
2007 Club Melbourne Leadership Award in leading the City of Melbourne’s bid to host the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions
2010 Order of the Medal of Australia for "services to Intercultural Education and to the Interfaith Movement"
- Cahill, D. (2015). Turkish Cypriots in Australia: The evolution of a multi-hyphenated community and the impact of transnational events In: Reconciling Cultural and Political Identities in a Globalized World, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, United Kingdom
- Bouma, G.,Cahill, D.,Dellal, H.,Zwartz, A. (2011). Freedom of religion and belief in 21st century Australia: A research report prepared for the Australian Human Rights Commission In: Australian Human Rights Commission Sydney, Australia
- Cahill, D. (2009). In transition: The governance of religious and ethnic diversity in contemporary Australia In: International Migration and the Governance of Religious Diversity, McGill-Queen's University Press, Kingston, Canada
- Cahill, D. (2009). Religious education and interreligious education: Their context in social capital and social cohesion in Australia In: Journal of Religious Education, 57, 4 - 16
- Cahill, D. (2007). From dagoes to doers: Accommodating Australia's Italian immigrants by Church and State In: The Pastoral Care of Italians in Australia: Memory and Prophecy, Connorcourt Publishing, Victoria, Australia
- Cahill, D. (2006). Lifting the low sky: Are Dutch Australians assimilationists or accomodationists? In: The Dutch Down Under 1606-2006, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, Australia
- Cahill, D. (2005). Managing and regulating religion in the context of global governance In: Integrated Governance: Linking up Government, Business and Civil Society, ,
- Cahill, D. (2004). Missionaries on the move : a pastoral history of the Scalabrinians in Australia and Asia, 1952-2002, Center for Migration Studies, New York, USA
- Cahill, D. (2004). Globalization, Christianity and Fundamentalism In: Around the Globe, 1, 15 - 20
- Cahill, D.,Potaski, J. (2004). John Potaski, Australia's first Polish settler: a problematic beginning In: Polonia in Australia: Challenges and Possibilities in the New Millennium, Common Ground, Melbourne, Australia
1 PhD Current Supervisions18 PhD Completions and 7 Masters by Research Completions
- Holy sites, holy cities: Inter-faith interaction between religious schools in Melbourne's north-west suburbs. Funded by: Department of Immigration and Citizenship Contract from (2003 to 2004)
- Indochinese Prisoners in Port Phillip Prison - Agreement. Funded by: Uniting Church Aust (Property Trust) Research Grant from (1999 to 1999)