School of Social Sciences

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Postgraduate students research a broad range of topics across the School disciplines.

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Catriona Stevens


Start date

Aug 2013

Submission date

Jul 2018


Catriona Stevens

Catriona Stevens profile photo


Temporary work, permanent visas and circular dreams: trade skilled and unskilled migrants from China in Perth


The movement of people from China across the globe is a phenomenon that has reshaped conversations about migration in many geographic contexts. Australia is no exception. The China-born population in Perth has grown dramatically over the last two decades.

Following the liberalisation of Chinese migration governance in the early 2000s, many labour migrants, particularly welders and metal machinists, were recruited by agents to fill labour market shortages during the last WA mining boom. These trade skilled migrants and their families often come from non-traditional sending areas and have different backgrounds than earlier Chinese migrants to Australia who are predominantly middle class and tertiary educated.

My research project considers the experiences of this new cohort of migrants, and how their presence has reshaped the social and economic landscape of Chinese communities in Perth.

Why my research is important

Understanding the impacts of new migration streams is important for both migration scholars and policy makers. My research contributes to our knowledge of an important and growing segment of the Australian population.


  • Local Travel Award
  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • UWA Safety-Net Top-Up Scholarship